X-ray Hardware Methodologies

Contrast of X-ray Hardware Methodologies

Instrumentarium Digora Optime phosphor plate reader

PSP Advantages

  • Easy for patient to tolerate and are the same size as traditional film, sizes 0-3
  • Are reusable for extended periods of time (year or greater depending on use)
  • Less re-train time for staff
  • Uses traditional x-ray holders, such as Rinn® Snap-A-Ray® or Rinn
  • Work well with both long cone and short cone devices and techniques
  • Wider dynamic range or exposure latitude than direct sensor
  • Reduced initial cost and replacement costs for plates ($40 vs $3000)
  • Unlimited manipulation and positioning of image receptor


  • Can be damaged if care is not taken
  • Plates need to be replaced approximately once per year, depending on number of images captured
  • Need to re-wrap plates into sterile packets before each use
  • Slower, more complex workflow for staff
  • Examples:  Soredex-OpTime, Gendex-DenOptix, Kodak-Orex

SUNI Intraoral Sensors, numbers 0, 1, and 2

Direct Sensor or solid-state systems advantages

  • Image appears immediately on PC screen
  • Redo's are immediate, no waiting for processing
  • Working "films" for endo are much quicker
  • Image quality is excellent (better than PSP)
  • Better diagnostic capabilities as you can adjust brightness, contrast, sharpness, etc.
  • SuniRay boasts extremely low radiation .04-.06 ms, 1/2 of most other digital sensors
  • Faster workflow for staff


  • Image quality can be easily distorted by older x-ray heads/generators which lack proper settings by patient age, area of the mouth, gender, etc.
  • Staff re-training is required to adapt to sensor dimensions when placed in the mouth
  • Limited sizes available
  • Higher costs
  • Cords which connect to the PC can present a hazard for patients and staff
  • Due to cost, a shortage of available sensors may be experienced during times when many x-rays are to be captured
  • Discrepant diagnostic results if system and digital picture archiving system are not calibrated properly
  • Examples: Dexis Digital X-ray System, Schick CDR® or CDR wireless, Soredex

Digital Radiography Implementation Costs

The initial costs associated with the adoption of digital radiography can seem high when viewed as a single dollar amount. But cost savings should be evident immediately upon implementation.

The chart below shows a comparison of costs for film-based x-rays comparing the cost associated with the use of digital radiography, specifically PSP digital radiography. This example assumes all x-rays are taken by a dental assistant, if hygienists are taking recall BWX, labor costs would be increased.

Approximate "film-based" x-ray expenditures for a single doctor in one-year and five-year timeframes.


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