By Steve P. Lynch
Every day you delay making the investment to convert your office to digital radiography is actually costing you money. This money could easily finance that digital radiography system that you have always wanted. Even using very conservative calculations, not converting your office could easily cost you $30,000 next year and every year thereafter. By the time you finish reading this article, checking your numbers could uncover a mother load of cash that you can redirect to purchase your digital X-ray system.
Let me explain: Each day that you put off converting to digital, you essentially are paying for consumable supplies that you don't need. If your office takes just 30 X-rays per day, your cost for these supplies amounts to $13.50. (I am calculating the cost of film and chemicals at the accepted industry standard of .45 cents per X-ray.) In other words, you are wasting between $300 and $500 each month on supplies alone.
It takes an average of six to eight minutes for your staff to process each X-ray, as compared to instantly displaying an on-screen digital image of the X-ray. This means that wasted staff time processing 30 film X-rays amounts to more than three hours every day. At $35 per hour, this amounts to $105 per day or about $2,000 per month.
And wasted time means lost revenue. Increasing your efficiency by installing a digital X-ray system can easily translate into an extra one or two hygiene patients every day and two to three extra endodontics or implant procedures every week.
You can fill in your own figures for the number of X-rays your office processes per day and the average hourly rate for your assistants or hygiene staff. Bottom line — and let's agree we are definitely talking bottom line here — I am sure that you get my point about the tremendous cost savings associated with converting to digital radiography.
Every day you put off converting to digital, the total amount of money that you waste is around $120. Over the course of a year, or approximately 220 to 240 working days, those wasted costs add up to more than $28,000. Compare this to the investment of around $4,000 to $5,000 yearly to lease-purchase a new digital X-ray system.
Let me put it another way: If you take an average of 30 X-rays a day and have not converted to a digital X-ray system yet, over the next year you will waste nearly $30,000 in supplies and wasted staff time with nothing to show for it when you are done. That's $30,000 that should be going straight to your bottom line.
I converted my office to a digital X-ray system nearly four years ago. Since then, I calculate that I have saved much more than the cost of my system. My staff is happy and much more productive.
The benefits I've received have made digital radiography a no-brainer for me. Check out your numbers and I am sure that you will come to the same conclusion!
Steve P. Lynch, DMD is in private practice in Oxford, Alabama. Since 1995, he has been teaching dentists, team members, dental students and faculty the applications of lasers and digital radiography. You can reach Dr. Lynch at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his web page at www.lynchdmd.com for more information.