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Photo of Dr. Tony Hewlett showing a patient a digital dental radiograph

Making the switch to digital radiography was one of the best things I’ve ever done for my practice.

If you haven’t made the switch yet, now is the time. One of the most common barriers I hear from my peers in the dental field is that they are concerned with their staff adjusting to the new technology. My suggestion: Incorporate your staff in the decision-making process at the very beginning. Here’s what worked well for my practice:

  1. Staff Gathering: Before making the investment, take the time to schedule a full-staff meeting to talk about switching from film to digital. Ultimately, the decision will affect everyone on staff. Facilitate an open discussion in which each member is encouraged to participate — their input could be invaluable, especially if you have vocal supporters!
  2. Focus on the Positives: Talk about the opportunities that digital radiography can bring (new patients and more precise diagnoses). Outline the benefits it can provide to both patients and staff (it’s more accurate, faster, more comfortable and safer).
  3. Provide Reassurance: Switching to digital should not be looked at as the dreaded technology learning curve. Sirona and Patterson both provide excellent training and troubleshooting. They will work hard to ensure your operatories are running smoothly, and that your staff feels comfortable and confident placing sensors, taking an image, and using the imaging tools and software.
  4. Nip Concerns in the Bud: There might be some questions or concerns — whether it’s learning curve or image quality —  and the meeting provides a forum to encourage your staff to share them. Address them honestly. The support and training provided by Patterson Dental, coupled with the outstanding image resolution of the Schick 33 digital intraoral sensor, prepare dental staff to be successful.
  5. Team Alliance: As a practice, you and your staff are in this together. The goal is to help everyone feel comfortable about the ways that digital radiography can improve their jobs and patient oral health.

My staff was an integral part of the discussion from the get-go. Giving them enough time to weigh in on the decision and prepare for the exciting changes helped enable a smooth transition. There’s no question that every dentist should incorporate digital radiography into their practice. I encourage you to make the switch today.

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