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Effective Practices for Dental Radiography

Some things in life are just not worth the frustration.  Using an ineffective sensor holding device is one of them.  Has this ever happened to you?  You’re taking an FMX on a challenging patient, you gingerly place the sensor for the maxillary right molar, you ask the patient to close, and phhhilp!  The sensor slips out of the sensor holder.  Auugh!  That is so frustrating. It leads to crummy images, retakes, and it doesn’t leave a good impression on your patient either.

Why does this happen? 

While this can happen with any type of image receptor, it is most common with the wired sensor.  The plastic barrier is slick to begin with, and when we submerge it in saliva it becomes even more slippery.  

How can we change this? 

Choosing a dependable sensor holding device is incredibly important.  There are better options on the market.  My favorite is the XCP QT by Dentsply/RINN.  The sensor is firmly held on 3 sides, and it stays right where you place it in the patient’s mouth.  I am also impressed with the XCP DS Fit, also by RINN.  When using a Snap-a-Ray upgrade from the outdated blue/grey type (photo above).  The Snap-a-Ray DS has my hearty endorsement.  Although it isn’t perfect, it is much better than the alternative.

You may also want to evaluate the Barrier you are using. 

If it is made of stiff plastic with a raised seam (uncomfortable for the patient's mucosa) and it fits loosely on your sensor, it may be time to shop for a different barrier.   Stiff plastic seems to have a mind of it’s own and it can be difficult to keep it in the holding devices grip.   Plastic that is easy to manipulate and is not so stiff tends to conform to the sensor holding device.  

Quality dental X-rays are too important and life is too short to use frustrating and inferior products when better alternatives are out there.  Is it time to do some shopping?

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