Refurbished Kodak X-ray Sensor: from destroyed to repaired

(This article was written with a refurbished Kodak x-ray sensor in mind.  The following information can be applied to any new, used, or refurbished digital x-ray sensor.)

A Refurbished Kodak x-ray sensor can come from the worst of conditions.  We’ve received Kodak x-ray sensors in our offices that seem to have been trampled by a large elephant and then sent through the kitchen sink garbage disposal.  No matter what the condition of the sensor there’s always a great chance that Sodium Dental technicians can refurbish a Kodak x-ray sensor.

Refurbished Kodak X-ray Sensor

Refurbished Kodak X-ray Sensor

In most dental practices refurbished Kodak x-ray sensors are used constantly throughout the day.  Even with a single patient a refurbished Kodak x-ray sensor can see up to 18 x-rays during one appointment, sometimes more.  Most sensors are made of plastic housings and plastic shielded cables which means every time a refurbished Kodak x-ray sensor enters a patient’s mouth the x-ray sensor is prone to damage from patient’s teeth.  All it takes is one patient to accidentally bite down on the sensor housing and/or sensor cable for permanent damage to be done to your refurbished Kodak x-ray sensor.

We receive many x-ray sensors in our office for repair every day and we are occasionally faced with the question, why only a 30 day warranty with your repairs?  The reason for a 30 day warranty is because our warranty, much like the original manufacturer’s warranty, is put into place to ensure quality and longevity of our repair on a refurbished Kodak x-ray sensor.  Our warranty is not in place to protect from misuse from office staff or the accidental patient bite which is why we do our best to educate every client that sends us a sensor on the proper care and use of their refurbished Kodak x-ray sensor.

If your sensor is coming to us for repair then there very well may be something that your staff can change in the way they handle and use your newly refurbished Kodak x-ray sensors.  If taken care of properly a refurbished Kodak x-ray sensor could last 3 – 5 years, which is why most manufacturers offer a 5 year warranty with the purchase of a new sensor (if your sensor manufacturer doesn’t include a 5 year warranty in your purchase price then please call us 800-821-8962 and speak to one of our account managers asap, we can help.)  What Sodium Dental, and the original manufacturer, can’t warranty against is staff misuse and damage due to patient bites.

Staff misuse may seem like a harsh phrase and I’m sure the first thought to mind is “my staff treats these sensors like gold, we’ve had our sensors for X amount of years and never had an issue before” but all it takes is that one time.  It only takes one misstep from a staff member to trip over a plugged in sensor cable, ripping it from your computer and damaging the cable and/or connector.  It only takes one moment to accidentally suck a refurbished Kodak x-ray sensor cord up into a vacuum cleaner, severing the cable.  It only takes a split second for a staff member to accidentally slam an x-ray sensor cord in a drawer when they’re putting the sensor away for the night.

Prolonging the use of your refurbished Kodak x-ray sensor or one of Sodium Dental’s refurbished x-ray sensors can be accomplished by following a few guidelines.

  1. Make your staff aware of the value of the refurbished Kodak x-ray sensor in your office and reiterate this fact frequently. Having a clear policy on what would occur if a staff member damages a sensor can also help to reinforce the importance of staff members being aware of how they are handling the x-ray sensors.
  2. Staff training can make a world of difference to prevent accidental damage to your expensive refurbished Kodak x-ray sensors. Your staff members are well trained in how to take an x-ray with your digital x-ray sensor but what’s their knowledge level on how to take care of your digital x-ray sensors?
  3. Properly storing your refurbished digital x-ray sensor has been a topic of debate on many forums and by many different equipment reps but storage comes down to a few simple things.
    1. Protect the sensor head, cable, and connector. A simple way to keep things safe is to purchase a small basket for each of your sensors.  A small basket gives you a safe spot to store your sensor and a convenient carrying case for your sensor barrier shields and sensor holders.
    2. Do not hang your sensors by the sensor head or the cable. Some equipment reps and even some manufacturers will suggest hanging the sensor by the sensor head or cable.  Some manufacturers even provide handy sensor holsters to mount on your wall but we think that this, over time, can cause cable issues due to the weight of the cable and connector.
    3. Lightly coil your sensor cable. This means that if you have to coil your cable do it in big coils, not tightly wound coils.  By keeping the coils large and loose you will reduce the stress on the cable.  Keep in mind that the internal wires of your sensor cable are made from very thin strands of copper.  Bending thin strands of copper back and forth, over time, will cause breaks in the strands and eventually the entire wire which will result in connection issues.
  4. X-ray sensor cable or wire protectors should never be used. While the idea of having a thick piece of surgical tubing or airline tubing may sound like a good idea to prevent damage to the refurbished Kodak x-ray sensor cable, it is not.  Wire protectors are heavy, much heavier even then the x-ray sensor cable itself.  Your x-ray sensor was designed to bear the weight of its cable and connector, it was not designed for the additional weight of a wire protector.
  5. Powered USB hubs should be used at every single computer that your refurbished Kodak x-ray sensor is used on to ensure clean and steady delivery of power to your refurbished Kodak x-ray sensor.
  6. Short USB pig tails should be used on every digital x-ray sensor that you have in your office. USB connectors are actually only rated for about 1,500 plug in/out cycles.  This means that as your sensor is moved from computer to computer the USB connector is degrading and will fail within +- 1,500 uses.  Using short USB pig tails will put the wear and tear on the pig tail rather than the sensor USB connector.
  7. DO NOT use USB extension cables in your rooms. The power current through regular unpowered USB extensions degrades exponentially as the extensions length increases.  This will cause damage to your sensor over time and may introduce intermittent connectivity issues.  Always use a powered USB hub.
  8. Ring and bar x-ray sensor holders should be used with every sensor, on every patient, no matter what. When using the ring and bar sensor holder always make sure that you are gently guiding the cable right next to the bar as it exits the patient’s mouth.  Always be aware of the cables proximity to the patient’s teeth to prevent biting of the cable.

We hope that with these tips we can help you see a long useful life out of your refurbished Kodak x-ray sensor.  If you have any questions, would like some remote technical support, or need digital x-ray sensor repair services call us today 1-800-821-8962