America's Dental Bookstore

(for instructions on using this site, see our home page)

America's Dental Bookstore

Dental Books
Anatomy Books Anesthesia & Sedation BooksBehavior of Patients
Clinical Dentistry & Treatment PlanningCosmetic Dentistry BooksDental Assisting Books
Dental EmergenciesDental Hygiene BooksDental MaterialsEndodontics
Fixed ProsthodonticsHistory of DentistryHumor ImplantologyLaboratory Technology
MicrobiologyOcclusion & TMJ BooksOral BiologyOral Pathology & Oral Medicine
Oral PhysiologyOral SurgeryOrthodonticsPediatric DentistryPeriodontics & Prevention
PharmacologyPractice ManagementPractice Mgmt. Finance & Regulations
Practice Mgmt. MarketingPractice Mgmt. TheoryPsychology & Patient AnxietyRadiology
Removable ProsthodonticsRestorative DentistryTest Preparation Books

Consumer Information Books
Amalgam & MercuryBraces Children's BooksGeneral Care & Misc. Books
Consumer Information About Cosmetic DentistryDental Articles

Anesthesia & Sedation ArticlesClinical Dentistry ArticlesCosmetic Dentistry ArticlesDental Assisting ArticlesDental Hygiene ArticlesDental Humor ArticlesDental Materials ArticlesEndodontics ArticlesFixed Prosthodontics ArticlesImplant ArticlesLaboratory Technology ArticlesOral Surgery ArticlesOrthodontics ArticlesPedodontics ArticlesPeriodontics and Prevention ArticlesPractice Finance & Regulations ArticlesPractice ManagementPractice Management - MarketingRadiologyTest PreparationTMJ and Occlusion Articles

To browse America's Dental Bookstore's huge selection of dental books, click here.

Digital Dental X-Ray Makes Dollars and Sense
Install It Now—If Only to Save Money

by David A. Hall, D.D.S.

Are you agonizing over what digital x-ray system to buy? Are you waiting for patients to demand digital x-rays? Well, I'm suggesting that you do a little math and see how much money you'll save by going digital.

Try setting up a separate accounting category in your practice for x-rays. Put the cost of film, chemicals, mounts, machine maintenance, and anything else you spend on x-rays into that category. If you're a typical one-dentist practice, you spend about $400 per month on these items.

Now add in the cost of staff time in developing, mounting, and keeping track of x-rays. And you may want to throw in the cost of looking for misplaced x-rays. Do you duplicate x-rays? Don't forget to add in that time. According to dental practice management expert Sally McKenzie, an average practice takes 12 to 15 darkroom visits to develop and mount 50 film x-rays in a day, taking about two to two-and-a-half hours of assistant and hygienist time to accomplish it. Multiplying that by $20 per hour gives $700 to $1000 per month in staff time, varying somewhat depending on how many days per week you operate.

This totals about $1250 per month, give or take a few. Compare that with the average lease cost for a digital dental x-ray system: $500 per month. If you're skeptical, run your own numbers and see what you come up with.

Besides that, the perceived value to the dental patient of a digital x-ray system is higher than for a film x-ray system. So, you may be able to raise your fees. And doctor, how much time do you think it will save you not to have to hunt down misplaced x-rays? And how much value will it add to your case presentations when you use the enhancements that all digital x-ray software has?

To use a cliché: It's a no-brainer.

The numbers work regardless of which system you buy. I recommend that you do your homework. Find out which one works best for you. But even a poor choice of a digital system will save you money. So just do it. And take the extra $600 to $900 per month that you were throwing at your old film system and buy yourself a nice car. What do you say?

To find books about dental radiography, click here.

More articles
America's Dental Bookstore maintains this collection of articles on dentistry submitted by visitors to our site. These could be clinical tips, research articles, opinion articles, dental jokes, or whatever. Do you have something you'd like to submit? If so, click here to submit an article.