Cloud-Based Versus On-Premise Dental Imaging Software

With practices increasingly switching to cloud-based software, it’s important to compare the benefits of cloud-based and on-premise to find which is better for your dental practice. In the coming years, many practices will have to consider whether it’s time to entirely retire or significantly reduce the image file server in the back office. 

With 20+ years of experience in the dental imaging industry, Apteryx Cloud Imaging’s hybrid model is comprised of both the comfort of on-premise and the security and flexibility of cloud to best suit you, your practice, and your patients. 

Cloud-Based vs On-Premise Dental Imaging Software 

  1. Feature Comparison 
  2. Cost Comparison 
  3. What to Consider  
  4. Which Is Better for You 

Feature Comparison 

Cloud-based and on-premise solutions are distinctly different. While single locations operate fine with on-premise, cloud-based software gives you the security and ability to scale and grow quickly. With the cloud, data loss or damage during natural disasters or cyberattacks are no longer a common issue as backups and storage are secure. 

The following chart will further compare the two: 

  Cloud-Based  On-Premise 
Server Location  External in multi-computer data centers (requires internet browser)  Internal to your physical location (requires local network) 
On-Premise Access  Via internet-connected device  Via computer or device connected to local area network 
Off-Premise Access  Via internet-connected device  Via separate remote connectivity software of VPN 
Data Security  Provided as a function of the data center utilized  Provided by separate software or utilities. Configured and updated by you/your IT expert 
Data Backups  Automatic  Requires initiation from you/IT expert at regular intervals 
Updates  Automatic  Requires initiation from you/IT expert 


Which type of imaging software is more affordable?  

Choosing a system that’s within your budget and cost-effective is a factor every practice should thoughtfully consider before making their purchase decision. Comparing cloud-based and on-premise dental imaging, we can see a major difference in cost structure. 

Initial Cost 

Cloud-Based  On-Premise 
Recurring cost (typically a monthly subscription)  One-time upfront license purchase 

Cloud-based software provides continual support, updates, and security at the same low monthly subscription cost. In contrast, the costs of on-premise software are all separated. 

Associated Costs 

  Cloud-Based  On-Premise 
Initial Set Up Fees 
Image File Server  Minimal 
IT Consulting Fees  If Needed 
Security Software  Included 
Support  Included 
Software Updates Included 

Note: indicates an additional cost on top of the software cost 

While cloud-based software has a recurring cost, on-premise software has associated costs to bear in mind. It’s important to note that some of these services for on-premise solutions also have recurring costs. For instance, support fees can range from minute-to-minute to yearly. Similarly, upgrade fees are required to stay up to date while fixing any bugs or issues the previous version had.  

What To Consider 

Along with features and costs, other factors need to be considered to help you make an informed decision on which software fits best for you. 

  1. Multi-Location Scalability 
  2. Data and IT Security 
  3. Technological Advances 

1. Multi-Location Scalability

If you’re looking to scale your practice across multiple locations, you may be leaning toward cloud-based imaging software.  

While on-premise imaging solutions may have served its purpose in years past, they aren’t designed to accommodate the needs of a growing DSO and multi-location group practices.  

Cloud software like Apteryx Imaging makes it easy for you to acquire new locations or move practices since the data is stored externally in databases. DICOM Image format is also a feature Apteryx offers for seamless growth. 

 2. Security Strength

If you’re looking for strong security backed by high-quality data centers, you may be leaning toward cloud-based imaging software. 

Cloud providers host their applications in remote facilities with hundreds of interconnected powerful computers or servers. A high-quality data center provides security and redundancy that’s unmatched in an on-premise installation.  

Make sure to look for well-known names like AWS, Azure, Google, or IBM. Be careful if they don’t disclose their data center service provider as this is usually a bad sign. 

These high-quality data centers operate from hardened facilities, with backup power, superfast networks, redundant failover, armed guards, and barbed wire fences. For instance, Microsoft Azure backs Apteryx Imaging to ensure your data is tightly secured.  

3. Technological Advances

If you’re looking to continuously advance your practice’s technology, you may be leaning toward cloud-based imaging software. 

It’s worth noting that technology companies are increasingly prioritizing improving performance and functionality on new platforms rather than investing in on-going maintenance and upgrades to older products and platforms. 

Finding software that aligns with your practice’s present and future goals is a necessity for your sucess. With cloud-based software gaining momentum, it will likely be the priority platform for new features and functionality in imaging and other dental practice applications. 

 Which Is Better for You 

Choosing between the two is a difficult decisionhopefully this blog has helped make your choice easier. Many factors go into choosing which type of solution is best suited for you.  

A cloud-based solution may be a great option for you if you: 

  • Plan to operate your practice for the next 5-10+ years 
  • Want to expand to multiple locations now or in the future 
  • Need to upgrade your storage capacity 
  • Want reduced IT support expenses  

An on-premise solution may be a great option for you if you: 

  • Plan to sell your practice in the next five years 
  • Don’t have storage capacity issues 
  • Have good IT support that isn’t costing a fortune 


Now that you have all the research in front of you about cloud versus on premise dental imaging software, you can make the education decision that is best for your practice. Apteryx Cloud Imaging is the leading cloud imaging software provider with over 20 years of dental imaging experience. To learn more about Apteryx Cloud imaging and the benefits of our software, check out this blog, Top 5 Benefits of Apteryx, to learn more.

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