weighing the big decision

For users or potential users.

weighing the big decision

Postby alyosha » Mon May 12, 2008 1:26 pm

I have 4 questions and would appreciate input:

Preface: We are opening our first dental practice this week. Exciting/Scary, since my wife graduated less than a yr ago from dental school. We are on a shoestring budget but are determined to have digital xray and intraoral cam from day one, even if it means we'll have to extend our beans and rice diet another year or two.

I'm a medical technologist and am going to manage my wife's practice in my spare time. I have been researching the various practice softwares and so far am inclined towards OD over dentrix or softdent,..although those two outfits are telling me to "look out" for OD incompatibility issues, lack of service, etc.

question 1: would you recommend OD to complete newbies on a shoe string,..or, would we be better off going with a "total support" package like the major guys listed above?

question2: if we do go with OD, with 6 computers: front desk, doctor's office, 4 ops, all using XP Pro, peer to peer, what should we expect this hardware package to cost and install? More or less.

question 3: if I buy a Suni #2 sensor and an EBAY 4megapix intraoral cam,..is this stuff plug and play with OD? The reason I'm asking is that Dentrix told me these two items are basically crap,..Dentrix told me that they used to have Suni make their stuff, but it sucked, so they went to Dexis sensors (which cost >2 times as much) but the warranty lasts forever,..as long as you keep paying the extended warranty deal.

question 4: Suni folks are telling me I need to pay 250 bucks per computer for the software (I guess that's Dr Suni),..but, from this forum I am understanding that OD handles Suni sensor images w/o the Dr Suni software? So,..do I need to buy the 250 dollar/location software, or not?

well, thanks in advance,..Norm
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby brentwood » Mon May 12, 2008 2:19 pm

I am managing my wife's office in my spare time, too. Here are my two cents.

1. I have done my research. Open Dental is the most inexpensive option with good features.

2. I bought the computers from Dell. Go for the Home/Home Office computers. You can get a computer with 1GB of memory for $309 with Vista Home Basic on it. You need 2GB of memory to run Vista. You can then buy 1GB more of memory from somewhere else for less than $30, e.g. Amazon. Dell used to charge $100 for that, which is too much. You may want to opt for Vista Home Premium for the added multimedia features in the ops. If you want to have dual monitor setup for the ops, which I strongly recommend, add $60 more for a video card from Dell. You can get that cheaper somewhere else. But it is easier for Dell to put it on and configure for you. I would suggest you get Vista Ultimate for your server for the drive encryption and as a server for remote desktop from other computers. I would suggest you have someone wire your network, but only the wires. You can then buy a router for $30 or a more advanced wireless router for less than $100. Hook it up with a 12-port switch for around $40. Then you are done. Remember to ask the guy to have network sockets at potential locations as you may need to hook up more networked devices down the road, e.g. network printers and pano machine. A 20-in monitor is about $200.

3. and 4.: I don't know a lot about Suni except it is probably the most inexpensive well-known brand x-ray system on the market. I read from somewhere the image quality is not as good as other brands. They may have improved in the latest version. Also Dr. Suni is slow. You have to check it out yourself to see if it is acceptable. You may want to do a little more research on patient comfort. Some patients are not comfortable with the inflexibility and size of sensors. Suni calims it is the thinnest on the market. But I doubt it will make a lot of differences in patient comfort. We use x-ray of other brand. The biggest complaint we have is patient comfort. Some patients cannot take it at all. If I had to choose it again, I will give DEXIS a serious consideration. It is smaller, one size, and with rounded corners. The problem is the price. It is outrageous!!! I have friends using DEXIS. No patient complains at all.

Good luck!
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby jclaydds » Mon May 12, 2008 3:06 pm

I'll weigh in on Questions 1 and 2. I'll leave question 3 and 4 for others since I have no experience with digital x-ray and intraoral cameral to this point but I plan to go down that road in the next few months. You probably already know about the DentalTown website. They have an Open Dental Forum over there along with several web sites dedicated to other practice mgmt software (PMS) so you could do yourself a favor and check it out for some feedback on other software options.

I have been practicing for 25 years. I have been computerized for over 20 years but only started using Open Dental 2 months ago. I was using a PMS that was not meeting my needs so I was considering Dentrix, Eaglesoft, Softdent, Practice Works, etc. I worked with Lorne Lavine at Dental Technology Consultants (http://www.thedigitaldentist.com) and he suggested I check into Open Dental. I downloaded the trial version and did a lot of reading on forums like this one. I like to save as much money as next guy but my budget would have permitted me to choose any of the PMS software programs but at the end of the day, I chose Open Dental. Picking a software is a very personal decision and most would tell you to get demos from all the major players and see what you like the best. Personally, when I considered all the facts, I went with Open Dental and I have not regretted it. You won't need a conversion of existing data since your are starting a new practice but I did and their conversion department has bent over backwards to help me. I have been quite pleased with their telephone training, their tech support, their responsiveness to help with issues I have encountered, etc.

If I were in your shoes, it would have been an easier decision. I would tell you to save a lot of $ on software by going with Open Dental and spend your money saved on the hardware. I like your idea of XP Pro; most say to stay away from Vista. I know you are needing six computers but most also recommend a dedicated server. I am just going to throw out some ballpark numbers but a good server might cost as much as $3,500. A good workstation with monitor might be in the $1,500 each range. Some like dual monitors in the operatory which might add another $250-300 (equipped with sound bar) A gigabyte switch from Dell would cost $300 or so. A cost that many don't consider are the mouting systems for the operatory computer/monitor. I have dual monitors in my office and I paid nearly $600 per operatory for a ceiling mount for one monitor, a wall mount with swinging arm for the other monitor and the PC mount to keep it off the floor. (They all came from a company called ICW) If you haven't figured it out, things start adding up fast with this technology. I would tell you that you could be up to 15K before you blinked your eyes. I would suggest you give Lorne Lavine a call and discuss your personal situation with him. He also is a moderator (GumDoc) on some of the forums over on the Dental Town Forums. You may get some feedback off ther forums from him before proceeding. My biggest caution for you would be not to skimp too much on your computer hardware. Today's dental practice requires a lot of technology to run. It use to be that it was hard for us to practice if our air compressor or vacuum went on the blink, we now have to add our computer network when we depend on it for x-rays, scheduling ,etc. Skimping on hardware might cause some regrets for you in the future. Hope this helps!
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby Jorgebon » Mon May 12, 2008 4:36 pm

I get a certain feeling of happiness and nostalgia when I read a post from someone who's just starting out. I guess it comes with age. I've been practicing for 23 years in my hometown. I started out with nothing but debt and I went to every bank in town. None of them would help me unless I would go through the Small Business Administration. Only one bank was willing to lend me enough money to get me going. Anyway, the simple answer to your question on if OD is a good choice for a startup is YES. It's a wonderful choice. The price is right and the software is outstanding. When we started using OD in 2005, I spent less than $10K for the computers and network. I have Dell Optiplex dektops (3) and a couple of Dell Latitude laptops. I wired the network myself and used a Belkin (or is it Linksys) switch. If you don't know how to set up the wires and the switch you can get someone to do it for you. Get a multifunction printer/fax/copier/scanner that connects to the network. As for the support and compatibility issues, I think OD probably has the best support in the business and probably bridges to more software than any other practice management system. You have a choice in clearinghouses for sending your claims; you have a choice in digital X=ray and imaging companies. Ask if any of those other softwares let you have those choices. I know the name of the main programmer for OD (Jordan Sparks D.M.D.). I know his e-mail. I can reach him any day and he will listen to what I say. Just yesterday I posted in this forum alerting him to a bug I found in one of the new features. He thanked me and had it fixed in less than 24 hours. Do you think any other software will respond the same way?
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby DavidWolf » Tue May 13, 2008 5:53 am

I was with a large group practice for 9 years, prior to that I worked at three institutions, all with different computer systems and different practice management software.

I left my group 1.5 years ago and essentially started over on a shoestring budget. I chose Open Dental mostly based on the fact it was free and the Database was completely OPEN. That meant that with very little risk, if Open Dental did not work out I would be able to convert the database to whatever I wanted.

In fact, Open Dental was recommended to me by a Former Dentrix salesman! I had his old card, when I inquired about buying Dentrix he admitted that he did not work for Dentrix anymore and asked if I had heard of Open Dental.

I Opened my practice with Digital X-rays (Visix System) and a Gendex Digital Pan (VixWin) and both bridge easily to Open Dental. I had not previously used a digital charting system but was able to easily learn Open Dental with very little help.
I was worried about billing insurance....I decided to use ClaimConnect. They called and walked my receptionist through the setup and we were able to just started sending the claims. I have not looked back or regretted my decision one bit.

Of course the salesman are telling you to look out.....that is what they get paid to do....SELL YOU ON THEIR PRODUCT!!!!
Don't believe them.....what do you have to lose. You can always pay the $10,000 later if it doesn't work out.

Good Luck with the new practice.
DW
____________
Cheers,
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby Anthony J Turner » Tue May 13, 2008 6:39 am

First good luck. WIth a lot of hard work and good decisions it will work. I'll come at your questiosn from a totally different direction to save you a lot of money. As you grow add the other niceties.
1) I would only reccomend Open Dental. I have been computerized since 1992 with clinical workstations since 2002. I have used Easy Dental (DOS), TDOCS and Alta Point. All excellent software in thier own right. The same problem always crept up and caused me to change, support. Either lack of or inefficency. I changed to OD because of the open system. I can always get support. Even if I have to do it myself. Support is reletive to each individual office. I reccomend if you're headed in a paperless direction having support in-house (you or your wife) is imperative for the majority of problems.

2)Instead of the the multiple computer consider tablet PC's clinically. You could start with two and grow from there. Reason being your wife will occupy one and the assistant or hygientist could use the other. If you decide to get desktops in each operatory after business has picked up you can depending on your comfort zone. You can purchase them on Ebay for $500 on up used. Make sure you get an XGA screen. They will run XP pro or WIN 2000. Both work very well. There a alot of remanufactured system out there.

3) For digital sensors I have not taken the plunge yet. I use desktop scanners with transparency adpaters. Microteck i800 for cephs and pans. Microteck i320 with MTMA(still available at Amazon). You have to develop your x-rays as usual and then scan them directly into OD. Much slower than digital but you are only out of ~$3500 with the cost of an automatic devloper included. Usually when you're starting off being too busy is not a problem. Thus the time factor for getting the x-rays into the system is justified. I have been practicing 21 yrs and still use this sytem. You just have to factor in the time. Intraoral camera from ebay is the right decision. I have them for each operatory. Picked up the $39 dollar jobs. More difficult to see molars. Have to angle from facial or lingual but can be done.

4)No info, if you scan in takes care of your per seat cost.

5) One thing you did not mention is a back up system. i would reccomend an offsite back-up system that your start with and carry on through as your system grows. Just Google off-site back up and compare cost.

All of the above are compromises. Starting off I would just advise you to minimize you debt and purchase as you grow, Helps you to sleep at night. Hope this helps

Tony
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby Anthony J Turner » Tue May 13, 2008 6:51 am

One last thing. Go wireless and run WEP or the newer security. Saves money for wiring. I did and office 10 years ago and tried to foresee the furture for upgrading. WRONG! I had each room wired with a Cat5 hook up and placed some extras here and there. My data requirements have far out stripped my plans. I am using systems in places I would have never guessed ie: I have setup an image workstation for manipulation of x-rays and images in the clinic so I won't have to do it in the operatories or go to my private office. Wireless N with cards from the same manufacturer will be trouble free and allow unlimited upgrades. Also think about VOIP for your phone system. You can save alot here also.

Tony
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby parksjdp » Tue May 13, 2008 6:57 am

I see a trend here... dudes managing the dental office for thier wives. Count me in as well, except she is a client of mine as I have my own accounting, consulting, and tax practice. Anyway, I will give my input as well. My wife has been in practice for 3 years and in Sept. 07', we had some equipment go down (X-ray units, Pan, Etc) and also needed to upgrade software etc to compatible with NPI issues. We decided it was time to go all the way with digital charting, imaging, etc. It was quite the experience doing hours and hours of research, all worth in the end.

1. Would I recommend OD. Absolutely, no question. We had in house demos from all the major players and downloaded and used the free demo from OD. At the end of the day, OD was the best option hands down, and the best part is was 10K cheaper than the others. We have needed some minimal tech support and compared to Easy Dental, it is not even comparable, OD has the problem fixed before I would have been able to talk to someone at Easy Dental. If the Dentrix guy tells you to look out for OD, they are scared and just using a saled pitch.

2. Ahh, the cost question. Acutally a loaded question considering you could have someone do it all or some of it or none of it. I choose to have someone do it all, that way when it does not work, you will have some support. Anyway, for us we had a dedicated for 3k, 9 workstations for 1,295 each plus monitor for 350 each, if you add a second monitor plan of 400 - 800 depending on if you want it for just dual monitor or for TV as well, we have cable in each op, so paid 800 for 23" Samsung's. Don't forget about mounts for the monitors, they are spendy 450 for single monitors to 800 for dual monitors per op. Other costs to consider are wiring 3-5k, printers, server lic, anitvirus, switch, router, keyboard and mouse, back-up drives, and installation and configuration (was worth every penny for us). These may seem small however really add up in the end. I have detailed ocsts of all of these so if you want Private Message me and I can give you details. Like jclaydds said, it wold be worth you time to give a specialist a call, I have worked with 2, including Dr. Lavine and could easily recommend them to you at least to get a hard quote. Just let me know.

3. As far as the intraoral camera goes, I spent some good coin on some and they have been great, however there has been talk on DT that a $200 ebay camera is quite cabable as well. I guess it is your choice, but I could give you some insight if you like as I did some good research on these as well.

Digital sensors...from my experience, going cheap is not always good. We bought Eva sensors and they were not a good buy. We returned out #2 5 times and got a replacement, however they just did not perform well. As far as Suni goes, I have not idea, some have liked it, some have not, however I know it does work great with OD. Dr. Lavine ended up selling us e2v sensors from XDR and we have been really happy with them (side note, we have Appteryx for imaging software and it bridges great with OD). As far as Dexis goes, the one size sensor I feel has some limitations. They are not good for pedo or for some PA's and I don't know how they can charge that much for one sensor. You can get a better deal with other sensors.

4. Most imaging software, including Apteryx, will charge per maching lic fee, however if you use just basic mounts I think that OD with Suni will work without any.

Let me know if you would like more details and specific recommendations on equipment or tech companies to assist you. I would be more than happy to help you. Private message me or send e-mail to jparks@paterafamilydentistry.com

Hope this helps,
JD Parks
Pratice Manager
Patera Family Dentistry
712-364-3101
jparks@paterafamilydentistry.com
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby jordansparks » Tue May 13, 2008 8:23 am

I wouldn't attempt to use Suni directly with Open Dental. It will just be an exercise in frustration. Use Apteryx instead.
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby drtech » Tue May 13, 2008 2:30 pm

1) Go with Open Dental. That is the only one you will actually get "full support." Between this forum and Jordan himself (the main programmer) you will get all the software help you need. We used Dentrix for over 12 years and never once had a request added to the program. With Open Dental, sometimes Jordan fixes or problems or adds features in a matter of days! (see viewtopic.php?f=2&t=889 thread)
Hardware is another issue. If you are a computer guy, you can do it yourself. If not, just hire someone to get if together for you. You will need them if you have the "Big Boys" or not.

2)Get your stuff from TigerDirect.com. If you are trying to save $, you can get lots of new or even better refurbished machines for $250(P4's)-$350(dual cores) each that will do plenty for your dental office needs. ( I have about 6 referbs I bought and all work great) Monitors $160 for 19" (I-Inc works good, I have a bunch). You should be able to get monitors and computers like this for around $3500. You can always add secondary monitors etc over time. 19" is a good size for ops, go with like a 22" or 24" thought for you front desk. (the 24" ACER they have work great...we have 2)

You can find servers on there too. Get one with RAID...that means it can keep two copies of your data on two different disks all the time. Have someone set up LINUX server for you if you want real stability, but using one of your windows machines will work just fine for starting out and only having 6 computers.You don't really have to have another dedicated "server." until you get more computer.s Just make sure the one you have the server on is a fast computer and you do have a good backup system in place. Use Carbonite or one of the other offsite systems to make it easy.

3) I would just buy a used film processor and the take digital photos of your x-rays on a light box. You should be able to get this set up for about $2000 and in my opinion it works much better than the sensors for over all ease of use. I have sensors too, but we still like the films and photo method better for most situations. I can show you some x-rays if you want to see the quality. The x-rays are actually clearer in most cases than from the sensors.

4) get the cheap $39-79 cameras off ebay.
Last edited by drtech on Wed May 14, 2008 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby DonDDS » Tue May 13, 2008 9:57 pm

1. OD since Sep 2005.... ex-Mogo
2. I always get my computer from DELL, but thru this web-site...so I know I got a "deal"
http://www.dealcatcher.com/dell-sb-coupons
--------------------------------------
$449
Vostro 200 Slim Desktop
2.20GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
Windows XP Home OR Vista Home Basic
19-inch Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor
2GB DDR2 Memory
160GB SATA Hard Drive
16x DVD Burner
-----------------------------------------
$599
Vostro 400 Mini Tower Desktop with Core 2 Quad CPU
2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Processor
Windows XP Home OR Vista Home Basic
20-inch Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor
2GB DDR2 Memory
160GB SATA Hard Drive
16x DVD Burner
128MB NVidia GeForce 8300GS Video Card
LumaDent, Inc | CEO & Founder
OD since 2006, ex-Mogo, ex-Dentrix
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby Mifa » Tue May 13, 2008 10:34 pm

To follow in the trend "My wife is a Dentist", here is an account of our experience with OD. My wife bought her clinic in Q2 2006 and we are in production with OD since june 2007; before that date, there was only 1 computer at the front desk used for processing eClaims... To select our PMS, I prepared a questionnaire (my background is in advanced planning and scheduling and client/server software) that I sent out to several "mainstream" vendors here in Canada. I then built a comparison matrix with their answer. For OD, I inquired about users in Canada, downloaded the demo and played with it for some time and filled up the matrix myself from my experience with it. Bottom line, the "regular" vendors were selling us the equivalent of a VW Beetle (outdated technology, clumsy user-interface, locked database, very little flexibility...) for the price of a Ferrari, while, with OD, I could have a Porsche (not a Ferrari, but close enough) for free (if I was to compile and install it myself)... So, to answer your questions:

1. Would I recommend OD? Absolutely! Our staff had no PMS experience before implementing OD. Being located in French-speaking Quebec, and after translating the user-interface, I have prepared a tailored one-week hands-on training course and user-manuals (in French) for them. That has been enough to get them 70 to 80% operational from day one after the end of this training. The learning curve was even faster than what I had anticipated: I had decided to be on-site for a total of two weeks after training to provide direct support and monitor their compliance to the procedures. In less than a week, they ran out of questions for me and everything has been smooth ever since. Even the to-be-expected user-errors have been so far easy to identify and correct. From our experience so far, here is a list of PROS and CONS:

PROS:
  • Ease of installation
  • Ease of use
  • Robustness (it simply will not crash)
  • Scalability (no loss of performance regardless of the size of the dataset -- almost 5000 patient files and counting)
  • Total control of your data
  • Impressive functionality
  • Custom reporting (SQL-based, plus a great deal of examples in this forum to build your own queries)
  • Great on-line help and support as well as a dynamic community of users (this forum)
  • Direct contact with the software development team

CONS:
  • No eClaims for Canada (this is the biggest drawback for us so far; we had to develop an add-on to bridge with another software as we ABSOLUTELY NEED eClaims)
  • Access to custom reports is too complex (too many levels) unless you use RDL (I am still trying to figure out how).
  • Some portions of the interface cannot be translated

2. For the original setup, we bought 5 computers from Tigerdirect, 1 for each treatment room (4) and 1 for the front-desk (entry-level new HP Pentium IV with 3 years warranty, XPPro, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB HDD, graphic card with dual ports for 2 monitors, and 10x19" LG monitors), a Linksys router/firewall and a 20 port Linksys switch, a roll of cat 5e shielded cables (we have installed 2 cables per room) and got everything up and running for about 12K, room cabling included. Since then, for an add'l 2K, I have added 4 computers (1 new HP PIV for the digital panoramic Xray machine, 1 new HP dualCore - new file server-, 2 second hands IBMs for Dr's office and case presentation/patient recall room); we now have 10 machines running as smoothly as possible with XPPro (that means with the usual Microsoft-related issues, but nothing too serious so far; the machines have been up and running more than 98% of the time so far). Next step for us will be to install a Linux file server (est. 2 to 3K investment) and plug-in the Untangle.com network gateway machine between the modem and the router for increased protection. We're using mostly open source (free) software for eveything, except for the anti-virus and backup system (a few hundred $ total).

3 and 4. We decided not to use OD for imaging. OD is a great PMS but lacks the features you need to truly take advantage of digital Xray and intraoral cameras. We evaluated a few IO cameras and went on to buy 2 SOTA Claris (easy to use, good image quality). We picked XDR and their e2v sensors for digital Xrays and converted our analog pan. to digital using a retrofit from Schick, that's directly loaded into XDR (TWAIN interface). All this digital imaging suite was the most costly investment for us, about 30K with the pan retrofit accounting for about 50% of the total cost. XDR is a great and easy to use software, their customer support is also very good. Only drawback so far: the e2v sensors, like many others, are too bulky for some patients (mostly children); but this is no show stopper when compared to the benefits.

On the maintenance/support side, so far I got the opportunity to test it first hand when 1) one of the HP's that had been overheating for some time, eventually stopped working and 2) one of the Claris cameras went beserk (poor or no image at all). In the first case, after placing a call to HP customer support and the video card manufacturer, I got to replace the video card and the computer's motherboard. Once the problem was correctly diagnosed (I ended up swapping hardware between two machines to diagnose the problems as accurately as possible), I've got the replacement card in a couple of days (it had to clear customs) and the toasted motherboard was replaced on-site within a day of my service call. Smooth... In the second case, after remote-troubleshooting with the people at XDR and SOTA, we shipped the camera back and got a brand new replacement camera. The only issue for me was the too long time it took (crossing borders didn't help I suppose) to get the new camera from SOTA, about 2.5 to 3 weeks total. Far too long. For this I'm considering buying a couple of these $200 eBay's made-in-china digital cams for backup. Over than that, no complaint: telephone support from XDR has been great and efficient.

That's a lenghty answer, but hope it will help! Good luck with your decision!

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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby Mifa » Tue May 13, 2008 11:11 pm

Anthony J Turner wrote:One last thing. Go wireless and run WEP or the newer security. Saves money for wiring. I did and office 10 years ago and tried to foresee the furture for upgrading. WRONG! I had each room wired with a Cat5 hook up and placed some extras here and there. My data requirements have far out stripped my plans. I am using systems in places I would have never guessed ie: I have setup an image workstation for manipulation of x-rays and images in the clinic so I won't have to do it in the operatories or go to my private office. Wireless N with cards from the same manufacturer will be trouble free and allow unlimited upgrades. Also think about VOIP for your phone system. You can save alot here also.

Tony


I would not, for my part, recommend going wireless and certainly not with WEP encryption (check http://thedigitaldentist.blogspot.com/2008/05/lock-it-down.html for a detailed explanation why you should at least implement WPA encrytion). For security reasons, I would always favor a wired network: your risks of breaching are merely limited to your internet gateway. As for unforeseeable expansion / office remodeling, have your (shielded) cables run freely in the ceiling and connect directly into your computers and in a switchbox (a.k.a. hub, I believe) at the other end that, in turn is connected to your Internet gateway. In our case, each cable had an extra 12' in length just in case we decide to transfer the switchbox to another floor (which, in fact we have done less than a year after the initial setup)... We have a 20 port switch but only 10 computers; I also have some cable left on the orignal roll for new rooms. As we have hidden the computers in cabinets, no need for fancy wall plates: the cable that runs through the ceiling comes out (from the wall or the ceiling if the cabinets is high enough) and connects directly with a male shielded connection in the network port at the back of the computer. Also, if needed, installing a new plug in a GProc wall would be a matter of minutes. If for some reason we decide to relocate to another building, I can even bring all this cabling with us... So, yes there is a higher setup cost with wires, but security is better and risks of interference with other devices (such as XRays) and loss of data are less.

As for VoIP, I too would recommend you look into this option.
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby murmsk » Wed May 14, 2008 5:50 am

Jordan,

Whattrouble did you have using Suni directly? I sure has worked well for me.

steve
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby klinlv » Wed May 14, 2008 9:02 am

Norm

As you can see the Open Dental users represent a wide variety of practices and people, the one thing that is universal is their passion for Open Dental and it is completely justified.

I walked away from Softdent after 20 years, due to poor updates and lack of meaningful support. One year ago I put upgraded the server , all workstations, and put computers in the ops with dual monitors. We also changed to digital xrays (Apteryx) and the patients love to be able to see their "problems" with the introral camera (Claris by Sota Optics), computerized notes and medical histories (Medic Talk and Easy Notes Pro). It was a tough decision to make the change (old dog new tricks thing) but it actually far exceeded my high expectations. I can't imagine going back to the old way.

The best advice I got from Lorne Lavine, the digital dentist was to use Dell and Windows XP. To save money you can shop Dell Outlet and get new or refurbished hardware, with a warranty.

One last thing that Open Dental has going for it is this forum. I have found many answers to questions here on this forum as many of the users are far more computer literate than I'll ever be.

Best of luck in the new practice.
klinlv
 
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby Nate » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:04 pm

jordansparks wrote:I wouldn't attempt to use Suni directly with Open Dental. It will just be an exercise in frustration. Use Apteryx instead.


Would a Suni sensor work well enough directly with Open Dental for endo and emergency basis? I have thought about getting a single #2 sensor and using it for such cases on a limited basis until we go with full digital radiographs.
Nate
 
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby drtech » Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:10 pm

I got a #2 suni sensor a few months ago for just that...emergency and endo...but I have to admit, I haven't used it a whole lot yet...just been too busy seeing pt's to really figure it out! But I have tried it a few times and it seems to work fine, the only problem is the mount is made for BW's, so the mount isn't quite right. Also, it seems sometimes the sensor doesn't pick up the x-ray...is this what you mean Jordan?
David Fuchs
Dentist - Springfield, MO
Smile Dental http://www.887-smile.com
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby jordansparks » Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:34 am

Right it's the lack of good mounts. Also, it only supports one sensor, so you can't have two different sized sensors hooked up.
Jordan Sparks, DMD
http://www.opendental.com
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Re: weighing the big decision

Postby haddon » Sun Jun 15, 2008 1:26 am

Hi
i use the #2 sensor only, its ALL Ive used for the last 14 months, and I havent had any problems so far.
i mostly use it through apteryx because the imaging is better, but through open dent its just fine.

the ebay 4mp cam is an excellent cam, but the drivers are causing some real frustration.
To directly import into open dent you can only bring in 640x480 images. If you want the full 4mp image its a real pain in the @$$.
If you dont mind a 640x480 image, its good value..... and you can hope that somebody fixes the drivers one day.

As a recent grad in a new practice, open dent has allowed me to compete with the bigger practices oaround, and Im grateful.

Haddon
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