Tools of the trade: VistaScan


by Mary Miller, Women in Dentistry, Melbourne, VIC


VistaScan is a digital X-ray unit that uses digital image plates instead of film. These plates can be used repeatedly—between 2500 and 3000 times—and are the same size as normal X-ray film. It’s just like taking an X-ray in the traditional way but the plate is processed in the VistaScan machine.


What’s good about it

The whole process is very quick. The X-rays are taken and developed within 90 seconds. The VistaScan is connected to our computer system so the images are automatically attached to the patient’s file.

We also have it connected to a printer to produce high-quality hard copies. We can include these with our referral letters or we can email the X-rays directly. Everyone comments on the quality of the images.

The radiation dose is 50 per cent of a normal X-ray. Patients love it because there’s less radiation and they can see the results immediately. Purely digital X-ray systems introduce a large cartridge into the mouth, but with VistaScan it’s just a small digital plate.

We’ve been using it for about two years and it’s the best of both worlds between digital and analogue technology. It’s also very easy to use—my staff mastered it in a day.


What’s not so good

It’s quite an expensive set-up. The plates are very delicate, so the staff have to be very careful when handling them. That being said, in two years we haven’t had to replace any plates. The only problem we’ve had is a couple of tiny white marks that appear on the developed image. The plates can also be marked when using clip type film holders.


Where did you get it

Oasis Software.


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