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Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics. He is also the author of 18 technology books, including the award-winning Green IT: Reduce Your Information System's Environmental Impact While Adding to the Bottom Line. As such, he’s particularly interested in the technological side of dentistry.
Why one dental assistant prefers using the XCP-DS FIT universal sensor holder system for digital radiography.
In the mid-‘90s, Janet Simpson, RDA, CDA, BVE, took a break from her dental career to raise her family. When she returned 12 years later, a lot had changed - including the way in which dental radiography is performed.
“Film was history,” says Simpson, a continuing education provider, speaker and consultant in San Diego. “Wired digital sensors were here to stay. I hoped my re-entry would be just like riding a bike; I’d get back on and everything would be OK. Nothing could have been farther from the truth.”
Chief among those problems, she says, was that the wired sensors were bulky and difficult to place in patients’ mouths.
“The sensor holder I used on my very first FMX was a flimsy, gray and blue Snap-A-Ray,” she remembers. “It was awful. The plastic barrier was so slick that the sensor would slip out of the sensor holder. My first images came out all wrong. It was a confidence-crushing experience. Over time, I learned to manage, but I missed film. The tendency of the wired sensor to slip out of the sensor holder is an aggravation in an already challenging procedure.”
While the procedure was frustrating for her, working as an educator led her to see that same exasperation in her students.
“When obtaining diagnostic quality images, the ability to place the sensor with certainty is crucial,” Simpson says. “As an instructor at a community college, I watched as my students were struggling with sensor holders that were unreliable. They would carefully navigate the sensor past the lips and gingerly place it behind the patient’s teeth, but when the patient closed down, the sensor slipped out of the sensor holder. Not only is that frustrating, it shakes a beginner’s confidence. I couldn’t just watch them flounder; I had to do something to address the problem.”
Ultimately, she found the XCP-DS FIT universal sensor holder system from Dentsply Sirona.
“When I came across the Dentsply RINN XCP products, I decided to give them a try,” Simpson says. “I ordered the DS FIT and was not disappointed. It’s obvious that the developers have studied the difficulties posed by the wired sensors, and they understand the challenges.”
The system’s simplicity and overall engineering has made their use reasonably straightforward for Simpson and her students.
“Once they learned how to assemble the bite block, arm and ring, my students began to take excellent X-rays,” she says. “Because of the system’s design, they were able to position the sensor with confidence, and it stays securely where they place it. The system of three colored rings (red, blue and yellow) has been updated with the ORA-ring, giving us the same ‘no-brainer’ ease of PID positioning with one ring instead of three. It’s the best design I’ve seen, and it has helped my students tremendously.”
Simpson’s experience with the sensor holders isn’t limited to a college setting. She often uses them in practical, clinical environments too.
“As a continuing education provider, I keep my clinical skills current by temping in various offices in my county,” she explains. “I typically bring along my own XCP-DS FIT sensor holder in case the office I work in does not have them. When I am called upon to take an FMX or a PA, I know I can rely on them to obtain my best radiographs.”
Patients might not normally have much input on dental devices; however, the XCP-DS FIT is designed with patient comfort in mind. Best of all, the sensor holders resolve the chief problem many experience with digital radiography.
“What I like about it is that the DC FIT holds the sensor on the top and bottom firmly,” Simpson says. “I can place it in the mouth with confidence that it will stay right where I placed it. Then, I simply slide the ring close to the patient’s face, position the PID up to the ring and expose the image. I recommend the DS FIT to anyone who is struggling with this problem.”