Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions veterinarians ask about Schick by Sirona.

Is Schick digital imaging cost effective?

Yes. Schick digital imaging will save time and reduce the consumables waste associated with film and processing. In most cases, our customers enjoy a significant and rapid financial return on their investment. These benefits are most fully realized when a practice goes completely digital and no longer needs a processor or darkroom.

Does Schick digital imaging completely replace all my film needs?

Currently, Schick offers three different types of intraoral sensors, sizes 0, 1 and 2. This variety will satisfy virtually every intraoral imaging need. Some veterinarians say that a size 4 sensor would be helpful. However, given the speed at which two size 2 images can be shot, most Schick adherents think that this is a preferred and cost-effective method for image acquisition.

What are the physical and active area sizes of the sensors?

Each item below lists the sensors in size order: Size 0, Size 1, and Size 2. All dimensions are in millimeters (mm).
• Size of outer sensor: 31x22; 37x24; 43x30
• Size of sensor active area: 24x18; 30x20; 36x25.6
• Sensor thickness: Schick Elite—6.3 mm, and Schick 33—7.4 mm

Will Schick digital imaging work with my existing x-ray tube?

Schick digital imaging will work with virtually any x-ray tube and requires no physical contact with your x-ray source. If your x-ray tubes are very old, you may find that you get even better images if you purchase a newer "digital ready" DC tube system, and there is some guidance below on the differences between the two types. Additionally, talk to your sales representative about establishing the correct settings for your unit.

AC x-ray heads fire with a sine wave-shaped pulse — and not always consistently — thus delivering a slightly different amount of radiation with each exposure. So, even with all other things being equal (exposure time, distance between x-ray head and sensor, angle, target, etc.) the exact same shot can be darker or lighter because of the inconsistency in the radiation from the AC x-ray head.

DC x-ray heads fire with a square wave pulse and therefore deliver a very consistent level of radiation with each shot. One would have very little — if any — variation among images with the same parameters (exposure time, distance between x-ray head and sensor, angle, target, etc.)

Is the diagnostic quality of a digital radiography system as good as that of film?

Schick digital imaging produces superior image quality equal to film, meeting ADA Seal of Acceptance requirements. In addition, our products have features like zoom, contrast, colorize, and more to make diagnosis easier and more precise. Our products also brings you benefits you don't get from film: up to 90% lower radiation dosage.

Is it possible to capture digital photographic images?

Yes, with our USBCam4, you can quickly and easily capture real-time digital images directly into Schick DICOM. Should you already have a digital camera, you may be able to configure it to provide streaming video directly with our products. To achieve this, the camera must support S-Video or composite with a capture card that supports this functionality or a digital camera that is USB 2.0 with DirectX compatible. Or if you have digital photographs in JPG format, you can import those photos directly into an existing examination.

How large will the image files be?

File size estimates are as follows:

CDR Phoenix: Size 2 (500 kB), Size 1 (450 kB), Size 0 (300 kB)
Schick Elite: Size 2 (1,004 kB), Size 1 (655 kB), Size 0 (470 kB)
Schick 33: Size 2 (8.2/4.1 MB), Size 1 (5.4/2.7 MB), Size 0 (3.8/ 1.9 MB)

How can I use Schick DICOM with my practice management software?

Some software vendors provide integrated versions of their products, which allow you to switch between practice management or charting tasks and Schick DICOM automatically, without having to re-enter patient information. This list is growing as more practice management software vendors recognize the growing popularity of Schick products in the veterinary industry. The Universal Integration Module, available for domestic customers with Schick DICOM 3.5, supports integration in cases where it is not already provided by the practice management program itself.

Additionally, any program that has TWAIN acquisition can be configured to acquire x-ray images with Schick hardware.

Schick currently works with the following companies:
• Intravet
• Cornerstone
• Impromed
• Tigerview for Vet
• Radinfosys
• Eklin’s eFilm (PACS server)
• Coactiv (PACS server)
• Fuji Medical System’s Axon (PACS)

Does Schick conform to the requirements of DICOM?

Schick conforms with the standards of DICOM. Download our conformance statement.

We also offer an FAQ to answer your DICOM-related questions.

Which sensors should I purchase?

The size 2 sensor is the most commonly used sensor for general practitioners. The size 1 sensor is very beneficial for taking anterior radiographs. The size 0 sensor has been found to be useful for taking radiographs of cats, small animals and for special cases where access is severely limited.

How safe is my data with Schick DICOM?

The Schick DICOM software automatically saves your images as soon as they are accepted. In order to ensure the safety of your data in the event of a disk failure, it is important that you have a data backup system such as a tape and that you perform backups on a regular basis.

How can I clean my Schick sensor?

Schick advocates the use of barriers/sheaths to mitigate the risk of spreading bacteria between patients. However, we also advocate that clinicians wipe the sensor with an approved surface disinfectant (see user manual).

How do I train my staff to my Schick products?

All new Schick systems sold by Patterson Veterinary include training by either your regional Patterson Veterinary Equipment Specialist or via a webinar from the Patterson Technology Center to cover the functionality of the software. The training takes place in your office or online at a time that is most convenient for you and your staff, and we cannot stress enough that your experience with digital radiography will be significantly enhanced from this training.

What are the terms of warranty for Schick digital imaging products?

All Schick systems are warranted against all manufacturing defects for a period of two years. Should your sensor fail during this two-year period (determined during a call to the Patterson Technology Center), you will be sent replacement equipment overnight so that your inconvenience is minimized and you are up and running as quickly as possible. This level of commitment to our customers is what clearly separates us from our competitors. Please contact your local Patterson Veterinary representative or Patterson Veterinary Equipment Specialist for further information about customer support, troubleshooting, and the Patterson Service Club. (Toll-free 866-265-5972)

Is there a way to extend the reach of the sensor even further than the maximum with Schick-approved USB cables?

Yes, Schick has tested a few "booster" extension USB cables that augment your existing setup.
For USB 2.0 equipped systems, IO Gear model #GUE216
For USB 1.1 equipped systems, IO Gear model #G2LUB16
Schick in no way takes responsibility for other manufacturers' equipment.

It's been my experience that computer products often go down in price over time. Should I wait to buy Schick products?

Digital radiography is not a consumer item like PCs or digital cameras. It is a sophisticated diagnostic imaging tool designed specifically for use in a professional dental environment. Development costs of improving existing and creating new technology are high, and in fact, prices of superior systems like ours have actually climbed over the last five years.

There are companies that sell relatively inexpensive systems. But as the old axiom goes, "You get what you pay for." If you consider digital radiography as an investment in the growth of your practice and carefully analyze the payback (ROI), you will find that you can afford the best.

Will I have to change the way my practice handles radiography?

The Schick digital imaging system uses the same radiological techniques that you currently use. The system allows you to take the same anatomical areas that you would with film.

What do veterinary practices usually charge for digital radiographs?

While every practice has to determine their own pricing, generally practices follow one of two approaches:
• Approximately $25 for the first shot and $15 for each subsequent shot
• One to three shots for $65, four to six shots for $105, and more than six shots $135


Sirona Dental is pleased to offer free software to anyone…even without a purchase. Simply register and you can download a full version of our latest software.

Schick is also very pleased to offer the Competitive Exchange Program to anyone interested in turning in a competitive digital imaging system…working or not. Details of the program and pricing can be obtained directly from your Patterson Veterinary Supply representative or by emailing

What options do I have if I can’t turn my x-ray head exposure time down far enough?

We recommend that you speak with the manufacturer of the x-ray head to see if they could recommend any additional ways to lower the duration of the x-ray shot. Short of that, there are two options:
1. Pull the x-ray head slightly away from the sensor. This is not ideal, as it will lead to increased noise in the image, but it will also lower the radiation exposure to the sensor.
2. Margraf Corp manufactures a filter for reducing the radiation at the x-ray source. We do not take responsibility for the success or failure of the product that they sell, however, we have heard that the devices work with some clients' systems.

The staff at our clinic could use some training on positioning, could you recommend someone?

Schick cannot endorse the work of any individual or group, but we may be able to furnish you with a name and contact information. However, we still advise you to conduct your own due diligence and check references. If you are interested in finding someone in your area, please email and we will be happy to put you in touch with someone.