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02.11.2015
Diagnostic Systems

Protection of the image plate

In many dental practices the switch from analog to digital x-ray technology is now complete. Here, it is becoming increasingly clear that image plates are establishing themselves as a preferred technology. However, in order to ensure that their service life in dental practices can be maximised, there are a few important things to note about how they should be handled.

The advantages over analog X-ray technology are obvious: Digital image plate systems save time, and there is no need for the chemicals that used to be required to develop analog X-ray images.

The more carefully you treat your image plates, the longer they will last. Although image plates are not delicate objects, there are some typical mistakes that can significantly shorten the service life of a plate and reduce the quality of the digital image diagnostics. For example, image plates can be scratched via finger nails or foreign bodies (dust, dirt), or the quality can be reduced as a result of folding.

It is also important that protective covers are always used with the image plates, both for storage and immediately after the plate has been scanned. If the exposed plates are carried unprotected through the dental practice, image information on the surface can be lost as a result of bright light. It is important here that the protective covers are correctly sealed to prevent ingress of blood or saliva. The manufacturers have perfectly coordinated their image plates and protective covers. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when ordering protective covers. Not only is this the only way to ensure that the highest quality levels are maintained for the diagnostic results, but it also reduces material costs by extending the service life of the plates.

It is also important to follow the manufacturer's instructions when it comes to cleaning. For example, companies recommend the use of special cleaning wipes if dirt ever does build up on the plates. By contrast, disinfecting wipes for example are unsuitable as they can damage the surfaces of the image plates. Tip: After cleaning, wait until the image plates have fully dried out before placing them back in a protective covers.

The service life of plates can also be extended by storing them in the dark at room temperature. Take care when storing image plates in the X-ray room: The X-ray radiation can cause pre-exposure of the plates. If an image plate has not been used for a long time, we recommend erasing it before the next use.

Another way to protect the image plates is to use a matching holder system. This prevents e.g. patients from biting on the image plate and bending it. As the image plates are available in different sizes, always choose the right size for the individual patient. With a flat palate it may also be better to use a child size plate.

Image plates are increasingly establishing themselves as an alternative to X-ray sensors. With optimised handling, e.g. by using genuine protective covers and matching holder systems, the service life of image plates can be extended and the quality of diagnostic results can be improved.

Published by: cb/rf
Protection of the image plate

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