Assessing Digital Radiography - The "Must Haves" and the "Nice to Haves"

Just thinking about the number of digital radiography options available is enough to make your head spin. However, while some features are mandatory, others may just be added perks. When looking for a digital radiography product, make sure it fits in line with your overall dental practice goals, such as:

  • Efficiency – Will this product streamline your existing processes across the board? Will it help to save time, optimize work flow and improve treatment outcomes?

  • Patient care – Will this help you improve diagnoses, treatment plans or patient communication? Will it help you to gain patient trust for future treatments?

  • Operating costs – Will this reduce your supply costs and help secure new and existing revenue streams?

In the spirit of fully assessing digital radiography from a business perspective, we have created a chart that discusses the must-haves and the nice-to-have features of many radiography products. Understanding what to look for in the initial stages of selecting a digital imaging system can lend some clarity to your research efforts and serve as a guide when you have conversations with sales representatives.

Must Haves



High Image Resolution

Whether you are considering buying a sensor or an intraoral camera, high spatial and contrast resolution should be at the top of your priorities. With high-resolution images, you can offer faster and more confident diagnoses to increase your efficiency and improve patient care.


When switching to digital radiography products, the last thing you want to do is interrupt your workflow to learn how to use it. By choosing an easy-to-use product, with sensor size options and well-designed sensor positioners, you can cut down on your staff’s training time, and increase your office’s overall efficiency.

Efficient Workflow

A product that promotes a more efficient workflow can help your ROI by streamlining your current process and, in turn, allow you to see more patients and increase your revenue.


When purchasing a new product, do your research to ensure it will integrate well with your existing practice management system and other imaging systems. When products work smoothly together, you can eliminate downtime and ensure your practice is up and running quickly.


If your digital radiography images can be easily and securely shared with patients, colleagues, and insurance companies, you can avoid the risk of lost files and improve patient care.


Nice to Haves



Brand Consistency

While many digital radiography products integrate easily with existing brands, staying within the family—that is, the same brand of products and practice management software—can ensure the most seamless integration for all technologies.


Today, there quality phosphor plate systems and a number of digital radiography products that use WiFi technology—such as sensors and intraoral cameras. With wireless products, you can cut down on operating costs by eliminating the need for a computer in each operatory. Wireless products are also less cumbersome than traditional wired products, which once again promotes to a better patient experience overall.

Mobile Applications

With mobile applications, you can view images acquired from intraoral sensors and other digital radiography products on your smart phone or tablet. These applications allow you to easily share images with others and improve patient communication.



Carestream Dental Blog Administrator Contributor