Digital Radiography

Turnkey digital imaging solutions for any size dental office


Pictured:
NewTom VG3, modular and upgradeable

Why implement digital radiography in your dental practice?

  • Better diagnostic tool
  • Easier to educate patients about clinical needs
  • Reduced costs
  • Enhanced patient safety through reduced radiation exposure
  • Digital radiography makes is easier to stay within ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable)
  • Image accessibility, storage and transfer (No more fumbling around trying to find images or looking for lost x-rays. With digital images, it is easy to send quality x-rays with referrals)
  • Patient education and treatment plan acceptance
  • Elimination of dark-room and chemicals (a GREEN approach)

Pictured:
SUNI Sensor

What types of digital radiography are most commonly used?

  • PSP-Phosphor Plate (PSP) Systems utilize photostimulable Storage Phosphor plates and are considered an indirect digital radiography system as images are captured in an analog format like film and then converted into digital data via the scanning process. 
  • CCD-Charged-coupled device or CMOS-complementary metal-oxide semiconductors, are both considered direct digital imaging as images are captured in a digital format. CCD and CMOS are very similar, though containing different micro architecture and different cost basis related to production. CCD/CMOS sensors are available in both wired-connected to a PC via a cable, or wireless-connected to a PC using RF "wireless" connectivity. 
  • Digital x-ray solutions are also available for extra-oral films such as panoramic or cephlametric in both PSP and CCD varieties. 

Pictured:
SUNI Sensor X-ray

Which digital radiography methodology is best for your practice?

  • Does your x-ray generator have a digital timer? Exposure times should be between .02-.12 depending on equipment, cone length, patient age, gender and area of the mouth.
  • Can you calibrate both millampere (mA) and kilovoltage (kV)  
    • Exposure kV:  Should be less than 70kV, 50-70kV is optimal
    • Exposure mA:  2-8mA, 5mA or less is ideal
  • Does your x-ray generator utilize DC current?  AC current, used by most units manufactured before 2000, is not ideal for sensor-based digital images.

If your answer is "no" to any of these questions and you do not plan to update your x-ray generators you should consider using PSP plate technology rather than CCD/CMOS sensor technology. CCD/CMOS sensors have a limited dynamic range (or are more sensitive to overexposure) and poor image quality will likely result if your x-ray generator does not operate within the aforementioned criteria.

A determining factor for making a decision about direct vs. indirect may be practice oriented, for example:

  • A pediatric practice may be best served with indirect PSP rather than direct sensors because phosphor plates are easier to use with children.
  • An endodontic practice may prefer direct sensors because of fast viewing times and image quality.

Digital radiography software for dental practices: required for the storage and enhancement of images.

Digital x-ray software is available from many vendors.  Each software package contains certain software features; some are unique to the vendor and others are fairly common. QSIDental™ and partners are uniquely qualified to meet all your clinical digital imaging needs. QSIDental experts and digital x-ray partners will help you to determine what options would be best for your practice.

QSIDental offers turnkey digital imaging hardware, software, and supplies for any size dental office or multi-office dental practice. To learn more about solutions and options suited to your practice contact us at 800.888.7955 or provide us with the information below.

Common Enhancement Tools

Depending on the digital x-ray software utilized, a variety of tools will be at your disposal for x-ray image enhancement.  (Note:  From a "medical-legal" standpoint it is important to always save both an original or native image and a modified image in case of litigation.)

  • Brightness — allows you to lighten or darken an image after capture. If images are consistently "too dark" it is important to investigate the cause which could include improper Kvp, mA or timer setting for patient age/body size.
  • Contrast — increases the light and dark aspects of the image.  Good contrast begins with the correct monitor that features contrast ratios of 400:1 and dpi of less than 0.27mm.
  • Image reversal — creates a “negative” view i.e. dense matter is black.  This feature is helpful when looking at bone or during RCT treatment to view the apical region.
  • Embossing — presents the image as though it were three dimensional. Can be helpful when evaluating the marginal fit of a crown.
  • Colorization — converts gray shades to multi-color spectrum making it easier to distinguish dissimilar aspects.
  • Measurements — allows for numerical measurement on images (must be calibrated to assure accurate measurements).
  • Histogram — an automatic enhancement of contrast which can be very helpful when diagnosing less than optimal images.
  • Filters or "flashlights" — tools which create enhancement of small/localized areas with either enhanced contrast or with the use of colors.  Good for detection of interproximal caries or apical RCT evaluations.

QSIDental offers turnkey digital imaging hardware, software, and supplies for any size dental office or multi-office dental practice.

With over 35 years of experience implementing dental practice solutions, Quality Systems, Incorporated (QSI) represents the most comprehensive information technology product suite available for dental practice organizations in the marketplace today. During the last three decades, QSI has built a reputation of anticipating changes in healthcare and delivering solutions that address those changes. 

Use Model for Digital Imaging Software

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