Dental Technology Sales, Support, and Repair | 1-800-821-8962

Monthly archives for February, 2011

Top 7 Reasons A Good Backup Solution Is Necessary

Top 7 Reasons A Good Backup Solution Is Necessary

Broken Hard Drive

1. Redundancy:Redundancy will allow you to sleep well at night knowing that no matter what happens, your patient information is safe and secure and can be recovered within a day or two and have your practice up and running without issue.

2. Selective Recovery:Having rotating backups allows you to have a backup for every day of the week for as long as a week or more in the past (depending on how you have it configured). This allows for selective recovery if you run into a corrupt file on a certain day than you are not limited to only the previous days back up, you’ll have a full weeks worth of back ups to pick and choose files from if necessary.

3. Production Interruption:You’ll never have to worry about lost data and production interruption. Ie. an office that only does a single back up to a single external hard drive every day could lose that external drive in a fire, to an employee dropping the external drive, etc. The patient information will be forever lost leaving you to only be able to scramble to recover patient information from old emails, Rolodex, paper charts, etc.

4. Power Outages:Power outages can be the worst thing to happen to your computer. Power outages or power surges can cause irreversible damage to your hard drive and the information contained within.

5. Viruses, Spyware, Adware:In an office environment you have a staff of anywhere from 2 people – 20 people, all of which are accessing your computer network via their workstations. Even the best anti virus program cant prevent a user from manually downloading something that they shouldn’t. A lot of times the anti virus program won’t notify you of a problem until it is too late. Having a good back up will allow for a quick recovery of data if a virus takes over your system.

6. Hard Drive Failure:Server hard drive failure. There is always the possibility of your servers hard drive failing. With a good backup you’ll be able to replace a failed hard drive, restore your data to it and be up and running!

7. Save’s You Money On IT Time:Save on future IT time. what happens if you don’t have a good back up? Time to bring your IT company in to try and recover any data that they can. this can be a tedious and most of the time unlikely task. Your IT company will only be able to retrieve so much from your failed hard drive, having a good backup turns mountains into ant hills for your IT company.

Week 1 – Digital Intra Oral X-Ray Sensors – The Good The Bad And The Ugly – Part 1

Week 1 – Digital Intra Oral X-Ray Sensors – The Good The Bad And The Ugly – Part 1

The topic is Digital Intra Oral X-Ray Sensors

-A device with either a CCD or CMOS sensor (just like in your digital camera except bigger) and then a coding or solid filter that converts X-rays to light that the sensor can read. Some medical digital X-Ray uses a specially charged plate that can read the X-ray directly without conversion. I do not believe any company is currently using this technology in dental.

I don’t intend to go into great technical detail about the sensors instead I will be discussing some important features of the different manufacturers. Hopefully arming you with some information that will be helpful in your buying or re-purchasing decisions.

If you would like a very technical discussion on digital X-Ray I suggest you refer to

First of all lets discuss options. There are lots and lots of options. Through selling and servicing Digital X-Ray and repairing many other manufacturers products I have come by quite a bit of “insider knowledge” about dental products, but sometimes I still feel terribly confused. Not because the technology is complicated but because the way it is sold is so complicated. Some sensors only work with specific imaging software, some imaging software only works with specific sensors. Why can we not just have a standard software protocol that all sensors use and all imaging software use.

The closest you will come to this in dental is Apteryx Imaging, I suggest taking a look through its sensor driver section. You’ll see just about every product out there is on the list, minus Dexis, The most expensive and fattest (As in thick, not cool or good) sensor on the market.

So now lets figure out what merits a doctor most wants in a sensor (in no particular order).

-Good Image Quality – Part 1
-Reliability – Part 2
-Price – Part 3
-Functionality – Part 4

Now lets get a list in here, I am sure I will miss some sensors in this list, but I’ll do my best.
-Eva by Dent-X (AFP Imaging)
-SuniRay-Suni Corporation (Orange Dental)
-Dixi 3-Planmeca
-Dexis Platinum-Dexis
-CDR Elite-Schick
-Kodak RVG6100- Kodak(Owned By Carestream Now)
-Lots of others but I got bored just putting these on the list

I will now give my opinion on each of these products in each of these categories.

Good Image Quality
I believe this category has been over complicated on purpose. Why do we need to know all of these things about sensors? Why can’t the manufacturers just put up full resolution and undoctored or filtered images on their site. Then you could simply download the images and see which one you liked. Sadly while trying to collect images for this little blog I found that no one seems to post any images to their website in full resolution. So here goes with what I found.

-CMOS Sensor
-15 line pairs per millimeter

The image quality is not as good as some of the competitors. it is diagnostic though and the image quality is understandable when utilizing a cmos sensor.

Eva Sensor
-CMOS Sensor
-16 lp/mm

DIXI 3-Planmeca
-CCD Sensor
-26 LP/mm

No Image I could Find

Dexis Platinum
-CMOS Sensor
-No Advertised LP/mm

CDR Elite-Schick
Not Much info on their site. I don’t like this. I feel like anything that isn’t on your website means that you don’t want to advertise your numbers.

Kodak RVG6100
-20 lp/mm

Beware Of The Dog

Beware Of The Dog

We all have experienced it at one time or another, the relentless virus/spyware that attacks one of our office computers. Even with a good anti-virus protection on all of your workstations we can’t make up for user error. Websites with malicious pop-ups, emails with virus attachments, etc., are all uncontrollables in the world of computers….until now. A program that we’ve used for a while now is K9 Web Protection.

K9 Web Protection is a super easy to use program that will allow you to allow most websites while blocking specific ones, or block all websites and only allow specific ones such as your insurance website, practice website and email, etc. Couple K9 Web Protection with a good anti virus program and you’ll have your PC’s locked down!

K9 Web Protection is also a useful tool if you find that your staff is surfing non work related websites a lot. Your staff might not like you for a bit after installing K9 Web Protection but they sure will be more productive!

Local IT Person: To Use Or Not To Use

Local IT Person: To Use Or Not To Use

Utilizing dental technology within your dental practice will provide you a more streamlined daily process and a more productive practice. In my experience there are two types of dental technology installations: an installation done by a local IT person and an installation done by a specialized dental technology integrator.

At a very minimum you should at least consider using a dental technology integration company that specializes in practice management software, image management, intra oral cameras, and digital radiography, in conjunction with your local IT person.

A local IT person will, at best, be successful at doing basic configuration of windows, installing your server, and maybe even running the cabling in an aesthetically pleasing way but most local IT companys have never touched a piece of dental practice management software, image management software, intra oral cameras, or digital radiography sensors and this can be dangerous.

OK, well maybe not dangerous per se but it can certainly cause a major head ache and probably add more cost to your dental technology installation than necessary.

The problem is that practice management software and image management software are quite finicky when it comes to installation and proper settings. Firewalls need to be disabled, specific exclusions need to be set in any anti virus software, specific drivers need to be installed for digital radiography and intra oral cameras, scanners need to be integrated with practice management software, and the list goes on… Yes your local IT guy is probably capable of doing all of these tasks however more often than not they will not be familiar with any of these tasks and how they integrate with dental software.

An IT guy that’s not familiar with dental related technology and the proper ways of integration will have to research these things. Research takes time. Time costs money. And when your a dental practice that makes $500-$1000 per hour, downtime will cost you huge.

Things to consider when getting dental technology installed:

Does the technology person know….

- how to install practice management software?

- how to install image management software?

- how to configure your software to work for your practices needs?

- how to install and configure intra oral cameras to get the best and truest image quality possible?

- how to install and configure digital radiography sensors adjusting brightness/contrast, gamma settings, tube head exposure, etc to prevent burn out and to achieve the clearest radiography possible.

- how to set up custom toolbars and image filtering so that you can get the best of your images for diagnostic capabilities.

…..The List Goes On…..

Do yourself and your practice a favor by getting your dental technology installation done right the first time, hire a specialized dental technology integration company.

German Dental Staff Wear Low-Cut Dresses

German Dental Staff Wear Low-Cut Dresses

A German dentist has ordered low-cut dresses for herself and her nurses to distract patients as she works on their teeth. Dr. Marie Catherine Klarkowski whose practice is in Munich in southern Germany said that she came up with the idea after watching the way male visitors to the local Oktoberfest enjoyed looking at the traditional low-cut Dirndl dresses. So she ordered for herself and her 10 staff similar frilled blouses in the same style with low cut cleavages and tight bodices that work like a push-up bra.

Read the full story here….

Keep It Super Simple: A Dental Technology Integrator’s Mantra

Keep It Super Simple: A Dental Technology Integrator’s Mantra

Nothing is more frustrating for a dental technology integrator like myself than going into a new network that is just a complete mess. I just did a basic install of some digital x-ray sensors in an office that already had prof.suni and dentrix. As I am going through the workstations loading drivers I see that windows firewall is on, anti virus real time scan is on with no exclusions set, and the current IT guy has like 5 mapped drives all mapping multiple ways to get to the same location. It was just a big mess!
Keep It Super Simple, the K.I.S.S. method.

Every week the opportunity to gain a new client due to poor IT work presents itself to my company. As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, its not that the average IT company is bad at what they do, it’s simply that they are not specialized to the needs of your dental practice.

You can always tell when you arrive in an office that has had a typical IT company: computers are locked down like a fortress, Norton anti virus everywhere with no exclusions set, firewalls are on, every workstation has its own user on the domain, permissions on shared folders aren’t set properly, it just blows my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I can totally see where these IT companys are coming from, they’re used to managing large corporate networks with 50-100 + users, multiple servers, etc. A dental practice just doesn’t need the same treatmant that a 50+ user corporate environment needs.

Take for instance this recent x-ray sensor install I mentioned. Not only did they have a massive anti virus program like Norton on each machine, firewall on, multiple users, etc, but they ALSO shared out each workstation’s My Documents folder and than mapped drive’s on each workstation for every other workstation’s shared My Documents folder and this is was their universally shared document protocol!

Instead of all of this shared My Documents mess they should have just put a single folder on the practice’s file server, shared it out, and than changed the directory of each workstation’s My Documents to simply point to this shared folder, clean and simple. This way every one is using the same folder, it minimizes confusion, maximizes production, AND gets backed up with each nights backup!

As for having different user names, (for each computer or even for each person in the practice), I feel that this is completely unnecessary. Some of you may disagree but here’s my thought process. The only people that would need their own user name is the Office Manager and the Doctor/s. Clinical and non-clinical staff can just use a universal user name all across the board. This way will keep the Office Manager or Doctor/s user items safe and secure from prying eyes while providing a simple, hassle free way for the rest of the staff to log in every day.

I can go on for days but I think I’ll leave my other items (Anti Virus, Exclusions, Firewall, etc) for another blog post! Keep yourself posted for when these blogs debut ;)

If this is how your dental practice’s network is set up than feel free to contact me for a technology consultation!

13 Creepiest Dental Instruments Known To Man

13 Creepiest Dental Instruments Known To Man

A lot of people are scared of going to the dentist but what if we didn’t have the dental technology that we have today?  Take a look at some of these early dental instruments, some of which were still in use within 100 years ago….

7000 BC Dental Bow Drill

Bow Drill (7000 BC)
The earliest known dental drills originated around 9,000 years ago in the Indus Valley area of present-day India and Pakistan. Dental bow drills were constructed much like bow drills used to create fire — with a stringed wooden bow tied to a rotating spindle — except that instead of using friction to make a fire, the spindle was used as a drill, with a flint head made to penetrate teeth. (The pictured example is an Eskimo drill from the early 20th century.)




What Is Smile Cinema

What Is Smile Cinema

The #1 Patient Entertainment Solution

Smile Cinema is a media server solution designed specifically for dental practices.

Our package combines a fantastic piece of software with a rock solid piece of hardware to deliver to you a quick and easy way for your staff to show patients your movie, tv, product, and in-house DVD’s with two simple clicks of the mouse.

Let us show you how we can save you time, money, and stress by implementing the Smile Cinema media server solution in your practice today!

Included in your Smile Cinema package will be a public viewing license issued to your office by the Motion Picture Association of America enabling your practice to publicly show just about any movie or tv show you want without violating Federal copyright laws!

Get 30 Days FREE Unlimited Support For Your Practice’s Technology!

Watch our demo below!

Smile Cinema is absolutely the EASIEST technology solution that you will ever have in your office! If you’re staff can shop for DVD’s online then they can use Smile Cinema to quickly and easily play any movie in your offices collection for your patient’s entertainment and education.

Its just that EASY!!

Smile Cinema’s simple plug and play set up will have you up and running the day you receive your package and Smile Cinema’s trained support team is available 9:00a.m. – 9:00p.m. EST 7 days a week to help you!