by Dr Kirsten Hailstone, Adelaide Animal Emergency & Referral Centre, SA
This is an imaging software package that can be added to a laptop or computer in your practice. It comes with a direct digital sensor that’s used in conjunction with an X-ray generator. Once the sensor is placed inside an animal’s mouth, an immediate X-ray image comes up on the computer. It can be used for dental procedures on cats and dogs.
What’s good about it
The results appear on the computer screen within 20 to 30 seconds of use. The clarity, quality and definition of the image is superb. The Sopix is also incredibly easy to use.
Traditionally, X-rays were taken using film that you develop yourself or that’s placed into an automatic X-ray processor. However, that requires the plate to be removed from the animal’s mouth. If you don’t like the result, repeating the process is very difficult.
This system leaves the plate in situ. When you’re not happy with the image or it needs a small adjustment, the plate and generator are still in position. It only takes a moment to take another image.
The learning curve for intraoral dental radiography is much better with this format. When teaching people to use intraoral X-rays, it has assisted dramatically.
What’s not so good
Compared to a standard intraoral film, this sensor is more expensive. However, what usually happens with intraoral plates is that they end up sitting on the bench a lot of the time. The Sopix sensor gets used—so while it’s more expensive, it pays for itself faster.