Dale Miles on Digital Radiography Image Quality

by Larry Emmott on July 10, 2005

in Radiography

In an article reprinted in Dental Town online Dr. Dale Miles makes these observations about digital radiography

“…if we think of the sensor as a messenger for the image you use to interpret, it may not be the sensor’s fault that the image quality you see is less than ideal. The sensor or receptor is not the only component that affects image quality. The digital image (and even the conventional film image) is the result of the sum total of all the parts it took to get it to your monitor effectively.”

Imaging “Chain” Components
• X-ray generator
• Solid-state Sensor
• Frame Grabber
• Video Monitor
• Printer

The X-ray Generator

When the sales person shows you a new sensor system, the images look great! They used a good x-ray generator, displayed on a high-quality monitor and the images looked as good or better than most of your film images, right? You get your system installed, take your first image and it too looks great (or maybe not). However, once the salesperson leaves, image quality starts to vary and periodically you get images that look awful. Logically, the first thing you blame is your new sensor. In a perfect world it would be that simple. Your old x-ray generator could be the prime “culprit” in the production of an non-diagnostic x-ray image.

Consequently, the first thing to look at in our “imaging chain” is your x-ray. Is it old? Have you had it since you opened your office? When was it last inspected?

Very few of the x-ray generators currently used in dental offices have characteristics that are ideally suited for a solid-state detector device.

Ideally, an x-ray generator to be used with a solid-state detector should have the following characteristics:

• low kV (70 kV or less)
• low mA (5 mA or even less may be ideal)
• an extremely accurate timer
• a timer capable of producing very short exposure times accurately
• the smallest focal spot feasible
• a DC (direct current) circuit
• rectangular collimation

Read the whole article HERE

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