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Intraoral Sensors Uncensored

Originally Published on the Dark Horse Tech Blog

One of the most widely used and vital pieces of dental technology is the Intraoral sensor.  High-quality diagnostic images are of the utmost importance in the dental field. Making sure you are getting the most out of your intraoral sensors means knowing which products have the best track record and being able to troubleshoot as needed.  Working behind the scenes with dental practices for over a decade, we have dealt with almost every sensor and sensor issue. In this post, we will provide troubleshooting steps for most sensors, run through some sensor options (common and not recommended), best practices for maintaining sensors, and some do’s and don’ts for sourcing intraoral sensors.

Troubleshooting Your Intraoral Sensor

Some of the most common service requests we receive from dental practices are in regard to intraoral sensors.  With quality varying so widely between brands and products, it’s no wonder that we’ve built some pretty strong opinions based on our experiences, but we will get to that later.  Something we realized early on is that the level of expertise it takes to troubleshoot an intraoral sensor is actually pretty minimal.  Most issues practices face with intraoral cameras can be addressed by the office staff themselves but if the issues keep coming back, it may be time to consider investing in your diagnostic imaging.  Below we’ve provided two checklists for troubleshooting your intraoral sensor.

Most Common Intraoral Sensor Brands (In Order of Quality)

Kavo – Quality Product, good driver support, widely compatible with other imaging software
Vatech – Quality product, EzDent software is very nice and simple to service
Schick – Expensive with no real benefit over comparable options
Carestream RVG – Software is not recommended, would advise against
XDR – Software is unreliable, support is pricy and slow

Intraoral Sensors to Avoid

Tuxedo – Bad driver support with modern Windows OS
Clio – Low quality “knockoff” of Kavo products, fails constantly
Jazz – Device quality is not the problem, the software is not good

There are plenty of places to save money in your practice but skimping on your intraoral sensor seems to always lead to trouble in our experience.  As this is a vital tool for your practice, it makes sense to do it right the first time, and pick a sensor that has great reviews and is easy to service. If you can find a quality warranty, that helps as well.

Best Practices to Extend Sensor Life

Notoriously finicky, an intraoral sensor requires some careful handling to ensure it works properly and maintains some level of longevity.  The good news is, by following some best practices you may be able to extend the life of this important component of your practice.

  • Intraoral sensor cables are fragile, keep them away from traffic (human or other equipment) and never rest anything on them
  • USB connection is also quite fragile, we advise using a dongle or extender to reduce wear and tear
  • Traveling sensors break, almost like they were built for it.  If you plan to use multiple rooms, outfit each room with its own sensor
  • CMOS (the manufacturing quality of the internal sensor itself) frequently breaks due to fragile materials, again handle with care to avoid this common pitfall

Intraoral Sensor Sourcing Do’s and Don’ts

When purchasing an intraoral sensor the impulse to save a little can be strong and there are a variety of ways to go about that.  However, with so much riding on imaging results, you want to make sure you are getting a high-quality product you can rely on.  When it comes to sourcing the product itself, you could always go for a listing site like Amazon but there is an extreme downside.  Sites like Amazon are riddled with cheap knockoffs offering an inferior product without a warranty when the product fails.  It is important to go straight to the manufacturer or a reputable dental-specific vendor.  By doing so, you will get what you pay for and a warranty to back it up.  Along the same lines is the idea of purchasing used sensors, certainly a way to save some money but as we have outlined already this product is notoriously finicky.  When purchasing a used item you are very likely purchasing someone else’s headache.  Let’s say the product you are looking at is in perfect working order, you still won’t receive the benefit of a warranty if you aren’t the original owner.

Whether you’re just starting out or a well-established organization, Darkhorse Tech has the experience and technology to help get you moving, cut costs, and streamline your operations via unlimited IT support. We are here to help you do what you do best: focus on providing top-notch care and service for patients – not dealing with IT problems, lag time spent talking with technical support, or complicated technological mishaps. Unlimited IT support services help the whole team work efficiently without worrying about significant system issues or constant interruptions.

Contact us anytime if you want to learn more about our dental-specific solutions and unlimited support packages. Our friendly customer service team will get back to you in no time.

1 reply »

  1. Should note of your list of supported Sensors Only Schick offers Sizes 0,1,2. CareStream RVG has discontinued their Size 0

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