Ask an Expert: Comparing Planmeca ProMax vs. Sirona Orthophos

As a certified pre-owned dealer of several different leading dental imaging brands, Renew Digital is proud to offer customers a true “brand-neutral” approach to buying X-ray systems.

As part of this, their experts can offer advice based on the objective features of each system and the needs of their customers. Their knowledgeable staff can recommend the ideal models and modality for your practice, whether it be panoramic, cephalometric, or CBCT, regardless of brand. With access to so many different leading dental X-ray machines, they can better serve their customers by matching them to the unit that is a perfect fit without any constraints.

With over a decade in business, and over 250 five-star customer ratings, thousands of doctors have turned to Renew Digital to help compare brands. By understanding the features and technology offered by the various brands and models, especially when they have many similarities, doctors can be sure they’re making the best investment for their practice.

In this article, we are going to compare two leading brands in the dental imaging arena, similar in price, functionality, and versatility: Planmeca & Sirona. Namely, their popular model lines, the Planmeca ProMax and Sirona Orthophos family of products.

Available Imaging Modalities

Both of these extraoral imaging systems consist of a wide variety of models to meet the imaging needs of nearly any dental or specialty practice. With Planmeca ProMax and Sirona Orthophos, you’ll have options within each family of products for 2D panoramic, cephalometric, and 3D CBCT. Some models within each brand are even upgradeable, meaning you can purchase a more basic model, and upgrade with future needs to include a ceph attachment or upgrade a 2D machine to a 3D cone beam (CBCT) system, such as the Sirona XG 3D Ready. 

And, with each brand, both of their CBCT offerings have close comparisons with price and functionality. If you purchase a Planmeca ProMax 3D or Sirona Orthophos XG 3D, each will feature a dedicated 2D panoramic imaging modality as well as a small-to-medium field of view (FOV) cone beam. This design gives you the ability to capture both standard panoramic and detailed CBCT scans.

When it comes to available imaging modalities, the Planmeca ProMax and Sirona Orthophos are dead even in comparison.


Both the Planmeca ProMax and Sirona Orthophos are very similar in features and function. Probably the most significant difference is the manner in which the units capture a panoramic or cone beam exposure.

Every model in the Planmeca ProMax lineup features SCARA (Selectively Compliant Articulated Robot Arm) technology, which makes exact, additional movements during rotation in order to capture complex anatomical features in fine detail. Patented SCARA technology helps deliver more accurate and precise CBCT and panoramic images by using real-time computations of dynamic rotational patterns to eliminate mechanical restrictions and capture the most detailed, accurate imaging possible.

Planmeca was also the first manufacturer to introduce True Extraoral Bitewing functionality. This panoramic technique uses SCARA technology for more accurate bitewing exams at up to 77% less radiation than traditional intraoral bitewings, with a scan that tends to be more comfortable for patients.

SCARA technology is not available with Sirona Orthophos models, although they still deliver exceptionally high-quality panoramic X-rays and dental cone beam scans. Sirona does offer an extraoral bitewing program with their Orthophos models, which similarly allows for a comfortable, lower radiation dose scan.

When comparing technologies, both brands deliver incredible image quality and highly-desirable outputs, giving Planmeca only a narrow margin with their proprietary SCARA technology.


When comparing dental imaging brands, software is a key component. It not only will impact your practice workflow but needs to gel with existing systems and networks. 

Both Planmeca and Sirona took considerable care when developing the software that would power their CBCT systems. In order to manage the large files from CBCT scans, a separate 3D imaging software is required with each brand. 

Planmeca ProMax 3D systems feature Romexis 3D imaging software, while Sirona Orthophos XG is powered by Sidexis 3D imaging software. Both 3D imaging softwares can capture and manage both 2D and 3D images, and compare favorably to other brands.

If purchasing a 2D unit from either brand, you can manage your 2D panoramic or cephalometric images into your current software using a TWAIN interface.

When thinking about software, at the surface level, these two brands are neck-and-neck. In this respect, the best choice for your practice will primarily be based on your unique configuration. For example, many doctors replacing existing equipment may choose the same brand to minimize training and maintain their network setup.

DENTAL CBCT IMAGING PROGRAMS – Both of these panoramic and dental CBCT systems include several convenient, pre-programmed 3D imaging settings to capture a variety of exams.

Planmeca ProMax 3D models feature the following image settings for capturing 3D scans:

  • High-resolution mode, with a 100 μm voxel size and a 12-second exposure time

  • Standard resolution mode, with a 200 μm voxel size and a 12-second exposure time

  • Low dose mode, with a 400 μm voxel size and 2.8 second exposure time. This setting is used for radiation dose-sensitive patients and for follow-up exams where the added resolution is unnecessary.

Sirona Orthophos XG 3D systems offer the following CBCT 3D imaging settings:

  • High-resolution mode, with a 100 μm voxel size and a 14.1-second exposure time.

  • Standard resolution mode, with a 200 μm voxel size and a 5-second exposure time.

Footprint and Positioning

Another major consideration doctors looking at dental imaging equipment need to think about is X-ray configuration. Because you’re emitting a radiation dose, your X-ray exam space needs to comply with state regulations to keep staff and patients safe.

Fortunately, when it comes to overall footprint, both Planmeca and Sirona take considerable effort to minimize their actual and recommended dimensions so their units can fit into nearly any practice configuration.

In addition to comparing footprints, you’ll also need to consider how your staff and your patients will interact with the system. Planmeca ProMax units and Sirona Orthophos units have a different approach to patient positioning – so you will need to consult a reputable dealer to help you compare based on your space.

Where to Start

Renew Digital has been the leading provider of certified pre-owned dental digital imaging systems for over a decade, offering a wide range of used panoramic, cephalometric, and cone beam systems to dentists and dental specialists across the United States. They deliver only the highest-quality, premium models from top brands such as Planmeca and Dentsply Sirona at an unbelievable value.

Buying a certified pre-owned Planmeca ProMax 3D Classic or a Sirona Orthophos XG 3D system can save you up to 30-50% off the price of a new unit with no sacrifice to quality or service. All used dental equipment sold by Renew Digital is tested and retested to ensure compliance with manufacturer specifications; plus, all of their pre-owned CBCT systems are sold in “like new” condition, complete with the latest 3D imaging software and up-to-date features.

In addition, the sale price of used dental equipment from Renew Digital includes installation, training, and a comprehensive warranty that covers both replacement parts and onsite service. You’ll also have unlimited access to Renew Digital’s 5-star-rated customer service and support.

To learn more about these systems or to see what models are currently available, contact them online or by phone at 888-246-5611. Their sales team will help you determine the ideal model for your dental practice and your budget. Be sure to ask about equipment financing and other special offers to save even more.

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