Monday, July 22, 2024

Why Do Some Dentists Still Use Film X-Rays?

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Extraoral dental X-rays are the critical first step to properly diagnosing and treating your patients’ oral health. For nearly a century, panoramic dental X-ray images were captured on film, processed, placed on a lightbox for examination, and stored in the patient’s paper chart. Although studies show that the majority (up to 70%) of US dentists have upgraded to digital dental imaging, some dental professionals continue to utilize traditional film X-ray machines within their practices.

With so many used dental equipment companies such as Renew Digital out there that offer certified pre-owned Carestream Dental X-rays and other leading extraoral imaging brands at a fraction of the cost of new devices, there really is NO reason that every dental professional shouldn’t make the change to digital panoramic imaging. Here’s just a handful of reasons why every dental professional should be making the switch:


Traditional panoramic films require harmful chemicals such as fixers and developers to process the images. These chemicals must then be properly disposed of after use. Used films containing patient records must also be disposed of by authorized reclaimers or managed as hazardous waste.

Digital panoramic images require no processing as they are captured with a digital sensor and are transmitted to a computer for viewing. The images themselves are digital, so they are easily stored and viewed, and never have to be discarded as waste.


With advanced features and digital technology now a commodity within most dental panoramic X-ray machines, digital extraoral devices are more affordable than ever before. Although the initial investment of purchasing a digital panoramic X-ray machine can seem daunting, consider offsetting this expenditure with all of the cost savings associated with capturing and managing traditional dental films. For example, you no longer have to purchase dental film and chemicals, pay staff for the time required to develop and process the films, or arrange for the proper disposal of hazardous film and chemical waste.

The used dental equipment market has exploded with reputable resellers such as Renew Digital, which offers certified pre-owned dental X-ray machines at up to 50% of the cost of buying new digital panoramic X-ray systems. Be sure to research all used equipment vendors to make sure they back their devices with quality service and comprehensive product warranties as Renew Digital does.

Efficient Workflow

Digital dental X-ray machines have the patient images ready to view in a fraction of the time it takes for traditional film images because the images are immediately uploaded to a computer. You no longer have to wait for film developing or processing or make trips back and forth from the dark room.

Digital panoramic X-ray images can be manipulated directly on the computer within the patient’s digital chart to facilitate patient exams. You can enlarge images, zoom in, and apply filters and contrast to view even the smallest anatomical details. Having clear, enhanced digital panoramic images, dental professionals can make more efficient and accurate diagnoses, streamlining patient care. They can also help patients better visualize their dental conditions and treatment options, often resulting in enhanced treatment acceptance and a healthier bottom line for your practice.

Digital dental X-rays mean that all of your patients’ images can be instantly accessible from their practice management or imaging software, ready to be viewed at a moment’s notice. They can be easily compared on the computer monitor to view changes over time, as well as safely exported to share with patients and referrals.

Space Savings

With traditional panoramic dental X-ray machines, processed X-ray films must be filed away within the patient’s paper chart in a dry, dark location to slow the process of degradation. These images can take up a lot of valuable office space. Digital dental X-rays can be securely stored on your computer or network server, so there is no need to worry about having physical storage space available.

Also consider the benefits of repurposing your darkroom space into a more productive, revenue-generating area, such as adding another treatment or consultation room. Or you can even convert it into a break room for your dental staff. The possibilities are endless.

Where to Find an Affordable Digital Dental X-ray Machine?

Carestream Dental X-ray machines are some of the best and most user-friendly digital dental panoramic X-ray units on the market. You can find affordable certified pre-owned X-ray machines from Carestream Dental and other leading brands at Renew Digital has the highest quality used digital dental X-ray machines available to fit just about any practice budget. To learn more, contact Renew Digital or call 888-246-5611 today.

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