Tools of the trade: PORT—XII portable X-ray system

portable X-ray unit

By Dr Andrew Dallimore, Templestowe Veterinary Clinic, VIC

This handheld X-ray unit is incredibly portable. It’s very easy to use but it does take a little time to find the best angles to get a clear image. Once you have the hang of it, the results are produced in no time.

What’s good about it

The most beneficial thing when undertaking dentistry is to know exactly with what you are dealing. This X-ray unit gives the required information quickly and efficiently. If you find pocketing in the tooth root, you can assess it much more objectively than with a probe alone. You can see whether or not the root is damaged beyond repair or if it’s just a little bit of pocketing in the surrounding tissue.

I really like showing our clients examples of dental X-rays during admission. It instills trust.

While it’s easy to see the plaque and tartar build-up, the X-ray reveals any damage underneath the gums. Teeth are like icebergs—we can see the tips but can only fully investigate with dental X-rays.

I do my dental X-rays with a vet nurse and that makes the processing very fast. I place a slide in the animal’s mouth, take the X-ray and give it to the nurse. By the time I’m ready to take the next X-ray, the first one has been processed. The benchtop processor is about the same size as a couple of coffee mugs and sits unobtrusively on the bench.

What’s not so good

The unit in our clinic is not connected directly to the computer though I believe that’s an option. The only other problem is that it’s easy to knock over the unit when it’s sitting on a bench. 

Where did you get it



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