There used to be strange and mysterious devices that would document the lives of primitive people. These unfortunate souls would gaze through the devices, hoping upon hope that when a meaningful moment came the device would capture it. Weeks later, they would find out if the moment was captured or not.

OK, so maybe it wasn’t that long ago that actual, physical film was the way people took pictures, but sometimes it seems like it has been ages. Today, we know right away if we got the image we were hoping for; we snap another one if we didn’t. We upload the pictures for viewing at will from the comfort of our living rooms. For most people, film developing is a thing of the past.

The same cannot be said for about 50 percent of dental practices, which still use film for their X-rays. While film, as a technology, has been marginalized in favor of digital imaging for virtually every other practical purpose, it has held firm in the dental industry. Why? Familiarity with film imaging? Distrust of the photo quality? A fear that the devices we invented to make our lives easier will one day take over the world?

Familiarity and comfort go hand-in-hand. Certainly, many practices have enjoyed the charms (and, quirks, shall we say?) of film X-rays for many years, and are comfortable with them. Digital sensors, on the other hand, are the unknown. In this case, though, the unknown is ultra-reliable and efficient, saves practice and patient time by providing instant diagnosis, and the technology can be mastered in a matter of hours. That’s worth getting familiar with, too. (And let’s not forget that Schick digital sensors come with the around-the-clock support of the Patterson Technology Center.)

Taking Schick digital sensors even further is Schick WiFi. Schick WiFi untethers the clinician from the operatory computer, providing safe and easy 360-degree access to the patient in the dental chair, while allowing fast and convenient transfer of the system between operatories. Schick WiFi offers compatibility with all sizes of the Schick Elite family of sensors, room-to-room mobility, long-life rechargeable batteries and much more.

There are so many other reasons why digital sensors are valuable to a practice: patient appeal and an increase in patient acceptance, elimination of hazardous chemicals, electronic storage and increased practice production. It also better positions a practice for the future, attracting colleagues and improving resale value.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we can be confident there is no danger that digital sensors one day will rise against us and take away our ability to practice dentistry. Will they simplify the X-ray process and make operating a dental practice smoother? They definitely possess that ability. And that’s enough for me.

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