Thursday, March 22, 2012

How To Properly Store Dental Images On Your Computer

Before I get into this topic, I wanted to remind everyone that you can get regular updates on this blog by clicking the "follow" button in the upper left. Best of all, you can do so anonymously, meaning that you'll get regular updates, but no spam or e-mails from us. It's just a great way to keep getting updates related to clinical photography and digital case presentation.

Now, onto the topic at hand...

At every one of my courses, the first question I am invariably asked is "Which camera should I get?" followed quickly by "How should I store my images?".  The first question I answered in my previous post found either below this post or in the archives from last month (on right side of screen). The second one I'll answer below.

Sorry ahead of time to all of my orthodontists who subscribe to this blog. You folks (and myself hopefully in 30 months) are tethered specifically to your image management programs due to specific needs related to how you practice. The information below, however, would be great for you to use for personal image management at home.

When thinking of storing images, what are some of the features of the software I want to use? Let's run through a few. Ideally, the software would be:

              Easy to Navigate
              Regularly Updated
              Supported by Customer Service
              Part of a Stable Company
              Compatible from User to User
One last feature, not to be overlooked, is the ability to pull your images out at will and move them somewhere else. Why?

Imagine that you've bees storing your images using dental software "X" for the last 8 years. It's worked OK for you, but you're kind of getting upset with the way company "X" isn't doing regular updates to their software, and common nuisances are not being corrected. You decide you want to switch to dental software company "Z", only to find out that you cannot batch all of your images over to the new software. What that means is that your thousands of images are now stuck in "X" and would have to be brought over to software "Z" image by image, patient by patient. At last check, there is no guarantee from any dental software company anywhere that they can bring over every image from your old software and place the images in the correct file in the new software. So, if you make the switch to brand "Z", you either need to keep a copy running in the background all of the time on a separate computer, or you have to hire someone to go through every record, one by one, to bring over every image. I call that being held hostage, and there are better options out there.

So, if you're looking for a way to save images for free, with free updates in an easy to use, supported environment that has been proven for decades, is part of a company that will not be going out of business and can be used by virtually anyone on the planet, consider....Microsoft Windows Explorer. It comes FREE on every PC computer and is just sitting there ready to use!!!

Ask any programmer who works for Microsoft about Explorer's ability to save images and files and folders and they will gently correct you and tell you that it isn't about files and folders but rather "database management".  That's exactly what we want!!! A way to manage our database of images.

Using Explorer, we can create folders that make sense, duplicate them for special purposes such as showing our implant or veneer cases. We can search them quickly and we can alphabetize. Best of all, we can have this database stored on a computer other than our server so that it doesn't slow down the server if several users are searching it at once. Simply have your IT person (or yourself) create an icon for that folder on the desktop of any computer in the office and you guessed it...one click and it will open up anywhere in the office.

By right clicking the "Start" button, and left clicking "windows explorer", you'll unlock open one of the best tools we have for database management in dentistry. Best of all, it's FREE!!!

You'll get free updates and it has millions of users, so there are articles of every type on the web that can answer almost any question you can have. It's REALLY easy to use and once you switch to it, you'll wonder why you ever stored your images on your dental software. Plus, you'll have that liberating feeling of knowing that you can change to any dental software company you want, and your images will never have to be touched. That, to me, is priceless, which is why I make teaching it a vital part of all of my 2 Day Master's Class.

Wanna learn, hands-on, how to set up and manage a database of images for dental use? It's a key component of our 2 day Master's Class, along with hands-on clinical photography, image editing and digital case presentation.  Click Here to learn more and let us help you master the technical things to help your practice grow, so you can focus on doing dentistry. You can use code "Blog10" to get 10% off of any of our products or classes.

I'm here whenever you need me, so please e-mail me at Glenn@KriegerContinuum.com, though I look at (and answer) every comment left on this site.


  1. Excellent sharing.a healthy smile is an important part of overall health.You shared a really good information I appreciate it. Thank you and keep sharing.

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    1. My pleasure. You keep reading, I'll keep sharing...:)