POLARIS (2015 Preferred Product)
- “Nice, clear images – releasing button to capture image is a good idea.”
- “Swivel capability, comfort for practitioner and images are nice.”
- “Software was not easy to set up.”
- “I would like a higher resolution for crisper display on larger monitors and better print quality.”
POLARIS is a digital intra-oral camera system (640 x 480 pixels) with direct USB connectivity to provide both power and data transfer, as well as room-to-room mobility. POLARIS features a low-glare LED light and fixed focus lens (allowing objects from 6 mm to 40 mm to remain in sharp detail), as well as a 330-degree swivel head for ease of capturing all angles. POLARIS is designed to have superior optics, a broad focal range and to capture images upon release of the button for single-handed operation. POLARIS is automatically activated once removed from its holster and turns off once it is replaced. POLARIS is indicated for use in aiding patient diagnosis and case presentation. The data captured by POLARIS is automatically processed and can be viewed and stored within the patient’s electronic chart by using VISIX imaging software or most other TWAIN 2.1 compliant dental imaging software programs. Minimum computer requirements are: Pentium 4.2 GHz or higher, Windows XP Professional 32/64-bit processor; Microsoft Windows Vista Business, Enterprise, or Ultimate 32/64-bit processor; Microsoft Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate 32/64-bit processor; DirectX 9 or later, RAM – 256 MB, CD-ROM drive – 24X or higher, monitor – SVGA 17” with 1024 x 768 resolution or higher, 16 MB video card supporting 800 x 600 pixels with 32-bit color, USB Port – must be USB 2.0 high speed, high power port, keyboard/mouse – standard, and printer – optional. The package includes the POLARIS camera, quick disconnect connector, 10-foot camera handpiece cable with USB connector, handpiece holder with chairside adapter, 500-count pack of disposable camera covers, CD with drivers and manual, Quick Start instructions, and product literature. POLARIS was utilized by eight consultants in 226 uses. It received a 92% clinical rating.
POLARIS camera is simple to use for acquiring quick images of patients’ oral conditions. The “capture upon release” feature of the button on the handpiece allows the user to focus on an area with the button depressed and then capture it by releasing the button. Compared to units that have a push-button capture, this avoids fumbling for the button or inadvertently moving the camera while pressing a button down. The camera is relatively lightweight and has a swivel connection to the long cord for maneuverability. Illumination from the LEDs is adequate, and focus occurs quickly once the camera is stabilized. Once the software is installed in each operatory, the camera is portable among rooms. Some consultants reported that the software was not easy to set up or use. However, since the introduction of the TWAIN interface (after this evaluation) VISIX imaging software is no longer required to run POLARIS. Fifty percent of consultants reported that POLARIS was better than their current intra-oral camera and 38% reported it was equivalent. Sixty-two percent would switch to it and 100% would recommend it.