Why Intra-Oral Sensors Cause Pain for DSOs

intra-oral sensor

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Using intra-oral sensors to take radiographs in your offices? There are two things you don’t want to hear: 1) a sensor is down or 2) we need more sensors.

Why do intra-oral sensors fail?

Intra-oral sensors are like cell phones. They are the single most handled piece of technology in any dental office. It’s generally the same story when they stop working; manufacturing defects, software issues, and general wear and tear can all make a sensor usable. Regardless of why they stop working, the DSO pays the price. Left without a vital clinical tool, there is a ripple effect in patient flow until that sensor is replaced. This can make the cost of downtime as much of a consideration as the cost of replacing a sensor.

We’ve seen it before. When a sensor fails, the CSI-style investigation begins and questions arise.

Is this sensor in or out of warranty? Where did we buy it from? Is the sensor dead or did someone break it? Does it matter which? What do we do next? Do we call the dealer or the manufacturer’s support line? How long will it take to get a replacement?

It’s a horrible pattern, and the more offices you own, the more critical the problem becomes.

Chandler Werr, Facilities & Equipment Coordinator for GPS Dental, a DSO with 83 locations, describes their sensor problem this way: “We grew rapidly in 2023, doubling in size in just 9 short months. As our Facilities & Equipment Coordinator, sensors were always a pain point for us. Astronomical costs aside, keeping track of warranties, bulk ordering, and purchasing necessary twain drivers was a chore. Then, when a sensor failed out or was broken, working with multiple customer service lines and checking warranty statuses became a full-time job.”

Why are intra-oral sensors so expensive and the warranties so terrible?

While it may seem that there are many different sensors to choose from, in reality, there are only a handful of intra-oral sensor manufacturers in the world. The truth is most brands do not make their own sensors. Instead, they’re made overseas, purchased by the brand, then distributed through a dealer.

And this distribution tactic comes at a cost. Every time a sensor changes hands before landing in a dental office, the cost is marked up by 20-40%.

This middleman approach also explains the confusing warranties that accompany a sensor. When your sensor breaks, the brand who sold you the sensor must either buy a replacement sensor from the manufacturer. Or, it must send the sensor to the manufacturer to see if it was defective. Delays or added costs to replace a failed sensor don’t make sense for the end user.

Dealers are hugely important when purchasing large equipment that needs to be installed and maintained by a local organization, but intra-oral sensors don’t fall into this category. Sensors aren’t maintained in the same way as other equipment because they are simply replaced if they fail.

Enter Jazz Imaging

Founded by the members of the company that developed DEXIS and Gendex Sensors, Jazz Imaging develops, manufactures and supports sensors in the US, delivering the highest quality sensors directly to dental practices.

Chandler from GPS Dental has this to say about Jazz:

“GPS connected with Jazz Imaging in 2024. It almost seemed too good to be true. Various members of the GPS team looked at the numbers and Jazz’s proposal and it quickly became a no-brainer! While financially, it wasn’t good business sense to replace hundreds of sensors in the practices. However, Jazz didn’t want us to do that! Rather, as sensors inevitably needed to be replaced, we would encourage our doctors to replace them with the Jazz Club sensor. While we give our doctors autonomy to use products and brands they like, we wanted a go-to solution for our practices. So, we selected a group of our doctors to trial the sensor and give us honest feedback. Across the board, it was unanimously yes. The doctors were impressed by all aspects of the product: from image quality, ease of use, and compatibility, to Jazz Club’s subscription model and lifetime warranty. Since all GPS locations are acquired, we use various software, as well as X-ray methods, both wall mounted and handheld. This had no bearing on how well Jazz sensors were received in our practices. The headache of keeping up with warranties and taking advantage of bulk ordering when deals are available is over, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that!” 

We need more sensors!

Given the historical cost and expensive warranties of intra-oral sensors, it’s understandable why many offices don’t have enough sensors to operate efficiently.

Clint Nicholson, Director of IT for Positive Impact Dental Alliance, a 24-location DSO, succinctly explains why they turned to Jazz Imaging, saying, “When it comes to finding a decent sensor that takes great images, and won’t break the bank to invest in, working with Jazz Imaging has been hugely helpful. We have a tough time keeping our teams equipped with enough sensors to keep our workflows efficient at the practices, and with Jazz’s help, we’ve been able to bridge that gap. The Jazz Sensors take beautiful images, have an ideal shape to work with patients very well. They are some of the best technology on the market when it comes to the inner components that make up these sensors.”

The dental world didn’t need another run of the mill dental sensor. It needed a sensor that combined clinical excellence with fiscal sense. That’s what makes Jazz Imaging the perfect replacement sensor for DSO.

To learn more, contact:

Bob Edwards, JAZZ Imaging
Director of National Accounts
DSO | Schools | Government | Special Markets
(C) 916-947-2897
(O) 567-234-5299
(E) Bob@jazzimaging.com

intra-oral sensor

intra-oral sensor