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Inside Dentistry
July 2023
Volume 19, Issue 7

A New Leader In Intraoral Imaging

Brasseler USA’s GEM® Digital X-Ray Sensors improve image quality, patient comfort, and practice efficiency

Roland Sanchez II, DDS, describes his private practice in rural Belen, New Mexico, as "an island in the middle of a monstrous ocean in the changing field of dentistry." Sanchez's practice caters partly to a high-end clientele from around the region and partly to the local community, much of which lives below the poverty line. "Many practices are entirely based on insurance and/or Medicaid, or they are niche practices that exclusively offer boutique-type services," Sanchez says. "At my practice, we provide the same level of care to both markets every day. We do not have special Medicaid days. People wonder how we make it happen. The reality is that I come from a Spanish land grant family that has been here for more than 400 years, and this is our community, so we serve everyone."

Sanchez's father was a medical doctor. Of Sanchez's five siblings, two went into the medical field, a third became a veterinarian, another runs an insurance firm, and another is general manager of the family's cattle operations. The family owns and operates Red Doc Farm, a large cattle and farming operation. "All of our practices are in close proximity to each other, and everything that we do is based off of our reputation," Sanchez says. "Our father really pushed us hard to get the best education and participate in residency programs so that we could build clinics in these smaller communities and not need to refer everything out." Accordingly, Sanchez's practice offers IV sedation, implants, full-mouth rehabilitation, high-end cosmetic dentistry, endodontics, clear aligners, laser dentistry, and more. He even has his own on-site dental laboratory because he was unsatisfied with some of the work that he was receiving from third-party laboratories. "The bottom line is that we never skimp when it comes to products," he says. "We use the best products and the best technology because our reputation is everything. If I make a mistake, I have to see that patient at church, at the store, at the cattle show, etc."

Sanchez had been using the same digital intraoral sensors for several years as they are considered by many to be the best on the market. However, Sanchez is always open to newer technology, and eventually, his Brasseler USA representative persuaded him to allow an in-office demonstration of the company's GEM® Digital X-Ray Sensors. Using CMOS sensor technology, GEM sensors provide an actual, not theoretical, image resolution of 20+ visible lp/mm. "The first thing that really impressed me was the clarity and the definition of the images," Sanchez says. "We compared them side-by-side with images from the other sensors, and the difference in image quality was incredible. All of today's sensors produce much better images than what we could acquire 15 years ago, but the images produced by the GEM sensors are on another level entirely. The price point is also wonderful, but that was not our priority."

GEM sensors are available in three sizes: GEM20 is similar in size to a traditional adult sensor, GEM10 is for pediatric patients, and GEM15 offers an intermediately sized option. All three feature clipped corners for a gentler, more comfortable fit. "GEM15 is a bit smaller than other adult-sized sensors, which makes it more comfortable for the patient, but it still captures the entire field that we need for our images," Sanchez says.

Ease of use was an important factor for Sanchez as well. Over the years, he has looked into other intraoral sensor options, but oftentimes, they required adopting complicated new software or presented other integration issues. "The GEM sensors use an intuitive setup and process," he says. "That factor, along with the image quality, made it an easy choice to switch. We have a very busy practice, so we need reliable imaging. If you cannot see what you are working on, then you do not know how to identify the problem, and you cannot serve the patient in the manner that you need to."

Adopting the GEM sensors improved the quality and efficiency of the care provided by the practice. "With a higher-quality image, we can detect caries more easily," Sanchez says. "The clarity is so important, especially in visualizing the difference between the enamel and dentin. Ultimately, the identification of caries depends on dentists' experience and skills, but when they can visualize something on one x-ray image that they could not on another, it can make a big difference. Because acquisition of radiographs for each patient is generally completed once a year, if we can detect caries earlier because of improved image quality, the amount of decay that has occurred is that much less. That is a huge value to the patient, obviously, but it is also a huge value to the dentist because it results in less chair time. In addition, if the restorations can be limited to the enamel, it results in a higher bond strength, and they end up being more durable."

As with any digital product, customer service is important with sensors, and according to Sanchez, Brasseler USA's is second to none. "We deal with approximately 11 companies in purchasing products, and when we first started working with Brasseler USA, we knew them as a bur company," he says. "Over time, they have become a company that services much more of our dental practice. Their endodontic products are incredible, and their burs and handpieces are too. Now, we have these digital x-ray sensors. Although you can get these products from other companies, Brasseler USA's representatives are on point. They explain how each product will work in your practice and how to make sure that it benefits both your patient and the practice. A dentist can buy a product from any number of manufacturers, but none of them follows through like Brasseler USA."

Of course, the quality of the products themselves remains critical, and Sanchez notes that he has learned to count on Brasseler for premium offerings. "It seems as if they will not touch a product unless it is at the top of the market," he says. "I know that because I only use top-end products. I insist on the best to allow me to practice the way that I do, and Brasseler USA delivers."

Key Points

GEM's CMOS technology delivers crystal-clear images with excellent resolution and low noise.

Comfortably sized between common size 1 and 2 sensors, GEM15 is designed for maximum versatility. GEM10 and GEM20 provide a smaller and larger size, respectively.

GEM sensors plug and play seamlessly with most dental imaging software applications.

Gold-plated connections, backscatter plates, adaptable software, and internal cushions, are among the many features.

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