Every digital sensor comes with a warranty. However the warranties vary significantly and they are always being changed by the vendors. Comparing warranties is one way to compare the relative quality of different sensors. On the other hand don’t get too carried away with this, there are ways to hide extra costs and confuse the buyer.
Terms: The sensors all come with an initial warranty; these vary from one to five years. After that the buyer can purchase an extended warranty or service contract. Extension contracts are usually for one year at a time and some companies will not offer extensions after a certain time.
A great long term warranty is worthless if the company offering it goes out of business.
Cost: The initial warranty is part of the purchase price. The vendor could choose to lower the price and shorten the warranty or the vendor could increase the price and extend the warranty.
Extension contracts are usually priced at so much per sensor per year. They vary significantly from $800 to $1200 in price. Some only charge the full warranty cost for the first sensor and then less for additional sensors. When buying get the details this could make a big difference in your ongoing costs.
Coverage: Some cover the sensors and provide software upgrades and support. Some just cover the sensors. Some cover everything including accidental damage. Some just cover a limited number of problems. The primary failure point in most sensors is the connection of the cord top the sensor.
Although the coverage is different with each vendor the leading vendors have shown themselves to be extremely reliable and consistent when called upon to provide service. Users in need of help report consistently that the company has provided replacement sensors for next day delivery.
For most dentists the extended service contract is a good investment.
Digital radiography sensors are expensive. They are expensive to make, they are expensive to sell, they are expensive to support, and they are expensive to service. As with so many other things looking for the cheapest option does not always provide the lowest cost in the long run.
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Last modified: June 4, 2012