Digital sensors cannot be heat sterilized like other dental instruments and due to their extreme cost, throwing them away after each use, like a packet of film, is not an option. So strict procedures MUST be consistently followed after EVERY patient use to ensure that the sensor is completely sterile before the next patient uses the sensor. If these protocols are not precisely followed, the PATIENT IS AT RISK! So the question is, do you trust that those procedures are being precisely and consistently followed? If not, then a thin plastic bag is the only protection.
The first article, written by Dr. David Gane, discusses Infection Control and Sterilization with Digital Sensors. With x-ray film, no sterilization is required, because the film is disposable, it’s sterile every time. The second article was printed in the Journal of the American Dental Association, and discusses the effectiveness of barrier sheaths. It points out that the failure rate is up to 51% based on a study of 400 patients!READ FULL ARTICLE
Did you know that an office has the option to buy either Deluxe or Economy bags?12 DENTIST STUDY
If digital sensors were in fact fully sterilized before every new patient, then there really shouldn’t be a need for bags at all, right? However, since all digital offices use these bags, its not hard to imagine that digital sensor sterilization protocols may slip from time to time, or far worse may not even be followed at all. The office may begin to believe that the bag will fully protect the patient. Few offices are aware of the articles that you just read. The 51% bag failure rate puts PATIENTS AT RISK! Insist on X-Ray FILM. It’s safe, disposable, and always sterile!