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An Update on Digital Radiography

Categories: Digital Radiography

Author(s): Howard Glazer

Date: 01-10-2019 13:06:01 pm


First introduced in the 1980s, digital radiographic images can now be obtained using sensors and photostimulable phosphor (PSP) plates, respectively direct and indirect methods. The ability to digitally enhance images by adjusting the contrast, brightness, and/or magnification is a significant advantage in comparison to viewing traditional film radiographs. Consideration must be given to the risk vs benefi ts of radiographs for an individual patient before taking these, and if radiographs are required, radiation exposure must be minimized. Digital intraoral radiography has significantly changed the manner in which radiographs are taken and viewed.

Intraoral radiography is an essential procedure in dentistry, enabling the identification and diagnosis of dental conditions and diseases, monitoring and the assessment of treatment outcomes. In the 20th century, intraoral radiography began with the introduction of traditional film radiographs, a technique still used today. The subsequent introduction of digital radiography, initiated with use of a charge-coupled device in 1984 by Dr. Francis Mouyen, has offered additional features and removed the need to develop and fix radiographs before viewing them. For both traditional and digital radiographic images, the contrasting shades observed on images are the result of the difference in the attenuation (penetration) of the x-ray beam as it passes through tissues of varying density.

Educational Objectives
The overall goal of this article is to provide the reader with information on digital radiography. On completion of this article, the participant will be able to:
1. Review the applications for intraoral radiographs
2. Describe the attributes of traditional and digital radiography
3. Contrast and compare options for sensors for digital radiography
4. Review the use of scanners for digital intraoral radiographs.

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