Your X-Cel x-ray machine is the source of the x-
rays. When you take an x-ray of a patient, the
rays go from the X-Cel to a "plate". When
discussing digital x-rays, it is the plate and
the method of developing the plate that is
digital. You can use your existing X-Cel with any
digital x-ray system. You will be replacing the
plates, films and processor with a digital system.
There are two types of systems available: CR and
DR. Each system will claim it is better than the
other. DR systems are in many ways similar to
digital cameras; there is a sensing area in
the 'plate' that senses the x-rays, and then
communicates with your computer to transfer the
High-end DR systems will have a slightly better
image resolution than CR systems - but in my
opinion, they are more prone to damage. If you
drop the x-ray plate of a DR system and damage
the plate, you are in for a very expensive repair
since there are sensitive electronic elements in
CR systems have a 'reusable digital film' inside
the plate that you put into a special processor
and 'develop'. The special film is then erased
and ready to be used again. If the special film
is damaged, the replacement cost is much less.
The developer does require maintenance and parts
can wear out.
In a busy practice where there is a chance of
damaging plates, you are at risk of much higher
repair bills with DR systems than CR systems.
When I did my research I found that both systems
provide good quality diagnostic images, but
neither system provides images that are as high
quality as a good true film system.
I elected to get an All Pro CR system for my
practice. I did not have to retrofit my Ortho-
poser. I do not have to worry about the plates
falling, or being dropped and have been very
happy with my system.
Michael L. Brody, DPM, Commack, NY,
Disclosure: In the past, I presented lectures on
digital x-ray systems that were sponsored by All
Pro. I do not currently have a relationship with