Why Storing 3D Dental X-Rays in the Cloud Saves Time and Money

How is your 2018 going so far? With hopes that March is in like a lion and out like a lamb, let’s look towards starting Q2 with a new way to gain momentum for your dental practice.

Ask any business owner what they’d benefit from most and chances are they’d say MONEY and TIME. Author and entrepreneur Tim Fargo captures just how interdependent these two assets are: “You can’t make time; so those who waste the least achieve the most.”


What’s important is your choice of technology. It can be the one solution that saves you enough time and money to gain robust momentum this year. And positively impact your business in ways that matter.

Access Patient Images From Multiple Locations With 3D Dental X-Rays

Progressive dental practices today are 100% digital and in the Cloud. Others, not quite so quick to adopt new technology, are at various stages of transition.

Imagine two dentist practices, each at a different stage of technology transition.

The first practice is owned by, let’s’ call him, Dr. Johnson, a Baby Boomer on the brink of retirement. His Gen X son is driving change since he recently joined the practice.

They still use analog X-rays, storing the X-ray film (paper clipped to patients’ charts) in large metal filing cabinets. The office has a separate room for these, and two more cabinets for the files behind the receptionist desks.

It doesn’t take long to access one particular file. But the time accumulates. In a day, staff might access a dozen files; in a 5-day week 60 files; in a month 240 files. So staff spends a significant length of time on this task, and time is money.

Further, this setup restricts all of Dr. Johnson’s patient files to one location. For now.

Dr. Johnson Sr. and Jr. plan to acquire a second location this year and aim for a fully digital environment. Unlike the first location, which will still employ analog X-ray. If any of Dr. Johnson Jr. and Sr.’s patients wish to go to their second location for treatment, staff will burn the patient’s X-ray images to a CD, photocopy the patient’s chart, and send both over by courier.

This will result in inefficient use of time and labor cost. Not to mention a need for space to store the CDs.

The second practice in our comparison is co-owned by a group of Millennial dentists. The senior partner is a 31-year-old who we’ll call Jared. He and his five partners are digital natives. They’ve never known a world without computers.

They like all things digital. That is, after all, what they know. So having a fully digitized practice is, without question, essential to them.


When it comes to X-rays, 3D is the only choice for them. These images are generated by their Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) machine. They use i-CAT™ Tx STUDIO™ imaging, fully supported in the Complete Cloud™.

One benefit of this setup is that the dentists record all data in real-time, so patient records are always current. That means there’s no need for administrative staff to perform the time-consuming task of updating records after the dentist has completed treatment. Cost savings for the practice.

The benefit most valued by Jared and his partners is the everywhere, 24/7 access to patient files.

Convenience and Safety of Storing Data in the Cloud

3D dental X-rays, a critical piece of quality care, are better than any type of imaging. But as technology increases over time, the resolution of images improves. That’s great, right? Well, except for one thing. It means larger file sizes, which demands higher data storage.

To get an idea of how much greater the demand for data storage might be, consider this. From still imaging to video to 3D, the rate of data production has increased 1000-fold in recent years for certain procedures. Imagine an X-ray image of about 262 MB, produced by a 10-year-old X-ray machine. Next to that lies an image produced by a 3D CT scan, about 100,000 times that file size.

Storing patient imaging data on your own server and CDs is no longer viable. Not only does this kind of storage occupy space that could be used for another purpose like a dental chair or a staff lunch room. But more importantly, storing patient data on a CD or even on a private server is a major security risk.

Managed Cloud computing provides a safer method for storing your 3D dental x-rays. The space your sensitive data occupies is away from your premises so that in events, like power outages or flooding, your data would be protected. And the storage capacity is unlimited.

Benefits of Savings Can Reach Various Layers of Your Life

Storing 3D dental x-rays in the Cloud saves time and money. Which, in turn, will benefit your patients, employees, family, and your business itself.

Patients will get more efficient, high-quality treatment. Employees’ time will be freed up to do tasks that are more patient-centered and less administrative. Your family will enjoy having you home in time for dinner every day, and you may even manage to take them on more family vacations. Saving time and money will also, of course, be a boon to your business’ bottom line!

But don’t take my word for it. Find out how West Texas Maxillofacial Surgery found tremendous peace of mind when they discovered how to save money and time. Even further, they gained more data security and quality care for patients!


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