By Danny Chan
Is your practice considering a push towards offering in-house imaging services? If so, you would no doubt find it a challenge deciding on the right equipment to invest in. After all, your purchase decision hinges on several considerations: Is the equipment costly only because of the brand or is it really worth the hefty price? How does it stack up with other makes and models in terms of features, functions and durability? What is the ROI? Is the supplier trustworthy? What happens if the machine breaks down? Will there be an issue obtaining spare parts and imaging consumables? Is the technical support reliable?
Buying imaging equipment is not as straightforward as comparing technical specs or going for the most affordable deal. Like with most big-ticket items, it pays to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
That said, your main concern as a dentist is whether the new imaging equipment can help deliver better treatments and maximise patient satisfaction. You are not required to understand the inner workings of the system or be versed in radiation protection techniques. Neither should you be bogged down by maintenance woes or time-consuming software upgrades.
Recognising the core interest of dentists – and the increasingly competitive market in which they operate – Sharmaine Crooks, General Manager of Australian Imaging, believes that her company can help reduce the burden of practices that own imaging equipment.
“In today’s business climate, dentists already have a lot on their plate. The last thing they need is an imaging problem or equipment breakdown. It’s even worse if they were to experience clinical downtime because of it. Their priority and focus should always be their patients and not the equipment they own.”
“The main reason that dentists offer in-house imaging services at all is to provide the team and their patients the comfort and convenience that other practices don’t. Our job at Australia Imaging is to assist them in doing so with complete ease.”
A leading distributor of imaging products from established players like Soredex, Agfa, Tekscan and Scanflex, Australian Imaging is known for its selective range – including Soredex CRANEX 3Dx and Digora Optime Deluxe – and dedication to customer support. Staffed by highly experienced technicians, engineers and applications specialists, the technical support team provides comprehensive imaging support services across Australia and the Pacific. As a one-stop solutions provider, AI also sells imaging consumables and accessories for radiation protection.
Australian Imaging has come a long way from its origins as a dedicated medical imaging company. Its foray into the dental industry began in earnest about 10 years ago, when it took its medical industry focus to the dental market.
“It was evident that the dental industry had been missing out on the service expectations for imaging equipment. Most imaging equipment providers serving the dental industry provided only general dental equipment but weren’t equipped with the expertise necessary for high-tech imaging devices.”
“Through our extensive knowledge and expertise in the imaging field, we were able to fill what we believe was a gap in technical expertise and after-sales support.”
Sharmaine is a firm believer that the sale of equipment marks the beginning, not the end, of customer relationships. However, in the imaging business, it takes more than smiling CSOs to forge favourable after-sales credentials.
“We provide extensive support through a talented clinical and technical crew. You don’t just buy a piece of hardware from us.”
“You get access to clinicians, experts in their fields, who provide expert training at the installation stage and continue to be accessible for the life of your equipment. We keenly understand the need to have absolute minimal downtime so have structured our after-sales team to deliver guaranteed response times and immediate remote access support.”
As emerging technologies continue to flood the market, Sharmaine warns about making myopic purchases based on newfangled features.
“Is there local support who really understand the technology? How can we balance the needs for technology advancement with running a commercially viable enterprise?” She asks rhetorically.
For dentists who want peace of mind – knowing, for example, that their imaging products and software are well supported with available spares at no additional costs – Sharmaine recommends AI Advantage.
AI Advantage is a membership-based service plan for Australian Imaging customers looking for a fuss-free method to ensure they receive expert service and technical support for their imaging wares with guaranteed response times. Available from $590 (excl. GST), there are three plans to choose from: Silver, Gold or Platinum.
“With AI Advantage, there are no nasty surprises and you can plan and budget effectively. It is essentially a holistic service provided by the best imaging minds in the business,” Sharmaine emphasizes.
Before deciding on the type of plan, customers can pick and choose from a checklist that states the items under each category, including: Preventative service; imaging health check; compliance review, software upgrades, on-site support; help-desk support, etc.
The idea of what constitutes a professional and modern dental outfit is constantly evolving. As more dentists appreciate the value of offering their patients the ease and comfort of in-house imaging systems, companies like Australian Imaging play a critical role in guiding them down the technological path to modernity – and while at it, helping them make a hassle-free investment.