The Professional Advisory

  1. Is it Time to Move?
  2. Staging A Dental Practice
  3. The High Cost of Dying
  4. Deal-Busters
  5. Patients - Attract and Retain
  6. Should I Stay or Should I Go?
  7. Is There a Buyer for Every Practice?
  8. Good, Better, Best - The Market has Spoken
  9. Smooth-Sale-ing
  10. Buying Time
  11. Patients, Patience, Patients
  12. A Real Patient
  13. Why Do a Practice Valuation? I'm not Selling
  14. Irrational Exuberance or The New Normal?
  15. Do dental equipment and dental technology affect a practice value?
  16. Finding and Being a Mentor
  17. Bigger is Better
  18. Dave's Top Ten List for Buyers (Vendors should read this too!)
  19. How Well Do You Know Your Practice?
  20. Dave's Top Ten List for Vendors
  21. What will happen to dental practice Values in the next 10 years?
  22. Your Premises Lease is an Important Asset
  23. What are Associates Thinking?
  24. There is Life Outside the GTA
  25. When Is the Right Time to Sell My Dental Practice?
  26. Mergers are a Viable Option
  27. Is Your Associate an Asset or a Liability?
  28. Has your Practice Facility Kept Up With Your Billings?
  29. The 100 per cent of Gross Myth
  30. The Past, The Present and The Future
  31. Caveat Emptor
  32. Overpaid Long Term Staff
  33. Selling your Practice in Stages
  34. A Potential Pitfall of Selling Shares
  35. Value in Your Practice Through Balance
  36. Only Trusted Staff Can Defraud You
  37. To Own or Not to Own Practice Real Estate? That is the Question.
  38. Coping With A Large Patient Base
  39. Successful Dental Practice Transitions
  40. Taking Care of Business
  41. The Investing Dentist Phenomenon
  42. Two areas to focus upon that could negatively impact the value of your practice
  43. Organize your Debt in Order to Sell your Practice
  44. Having a Better Team
  45. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale
  46. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale? Part 3
  47. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale? Part 2
  48. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale? Part 1
  49. Advice to My Son or Daughter Graduating from Dental School
  50. Transition - What to Expect
  51. Discussion on Digital X-Rays
  52. Partnerships and Shotguns
  53. Strategic Planning - How to Get Started
  54. Calling All Vendors - Practices have Gone Up in Value
  55. Purchasers: Expect to Pay More for a Practice because of Lower Professional Corporation Tax Rates
  56. Matrimonial Practice Valuations
  57. Purchaser's Guide to Affording a Practice
  58. Location Improvements Throughout Your Career
  59. Small Practice Valuations
  60. Partnerships – The Best and The Worst
  61. Changing Location When the Opportunity Comes Along
  62. Visual Presentation of Your Practice
  63. Presentation of Charts
  64. Your Premises Lease Can Be Your Worst Enemy
  65. How to Select an Appraiser for Your Practice
  66. How Are Your Billing Ratios?
  67. It Pays to Invest in Your Tangible Assets
  68. The Importance of Separate Financial Statements
  69. Five Time Frame Levels to Sell a Practice
  70. 12 Suggestions to Safeguard Computer Data
  71. How to Buy a Visible Practice
  72. Why is there a shortage of good practices today?
  73. The Importance of Equipment in the Purchase of a Practice
  74. The Balanced Practice
  75. Will My Practice Be Saleable in The Future?
  76. Buyer Be Aware
  77. Excess Profit - The Second Key
  78. Patients and Profits are the Keys
  79. Plan Ahead

Volume 29: Discussion on Digital X-Rays

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I have been trying to understand the different digital X-rays that are available today. Which one is best? I have compiled some notes for consideration.

  1. Both the scanned photo phosphorous plate method (Scan X type) and the direct digital sensor systems (Schick type) require computer and monitors in the operatories to view the digital X-rays. Typically when adding computers in the operatories one should consider the whole dental computer system in the practice (this could have an additional cost). It is not only the cost of the computers and monitors but there could be software and such other hardware costs as the mechanical arms that hold the TFT (flat-panel) monitors. Please do not use the cathode ray type monitors.
  2. When a practice goes digital for X-rays, one must check to ensure that the existing Xray units are compatible for digital regardless of which system you purchase.
  3. If there is a panoramic system in the practice, to be totally digital (i.e., no film processor), you should purchase a digital pan or use the Scan X type system which scans pans. This unit costs more than a standard bite wing type scanner. With the Schick type bite wing system a digital pan would be necessary and complementary to the Schick system. A new digital pan is about $35,000 and up.
  4. Both systems eliminate the film processor and one would be seen as being GREEN friendly by removing the film processing chemicals.
  5. The reduction of the X-ray wave strength for the wired sensor type units to about 10 per cent of a standard film setting is a positive perception for the patient. The Scan X type system is about 20 to 30 per cent of the film setting, which is also very positive.
  6. I understand that the photo phosphorous plate of the Scan X type system can deteriorate over time and are more apt to be damaged but their replacement is quite inexpensive (i.e., four for $100.).The Schick type system is more durable and I understand that they can be purchased with a five year warranty. After that the replacement would necessitate the purchase of a new sensor which in today’s cost would be in the $8,000 range.
  7. Dentists tend to be more comfortable with the photo phosphorous plate as it is more like the film that they have been using. I have heard that the wired sensor is perceived to be too thick.
  8. The Scan X type system requires the additional step of scanning the image off the photo phosphorous plate whereas the Schick system is electronically transmitted directly to the monitor for an instant image.
  9. I believe that film processing for X-rays will go the same way that digital cameras are eliminating film in family photograph. I believe that patients will expect their dentist to use digital X-rays to reduce the X-ray exposure regardless of the limited exposure that Xrays give off.
  10. If the fair market value of your equipment, leasehold value and inventory of supplies is less than 25 % of your billings, you have the scope to put in digital X-rays. If you are noticeably over 25 % for the assets to billings ratio, you have less scope to get involved with digital X-rays. This 25 % is not magical but it is a good indication of a balanced practice that I have mentioned before. It is called investing in your practice over the long run. If you are billing $1,000,000 the practice should look like a million dollar practice and digital X-rays can help.

In summary each system has advantages and disadvantages and each dentist should consider which best suits their practice requirements. Understand the total cost before going into digital X-rays.