Assessment of image quality in dental radiography, part 2 Optimum exposure conditions for detection of small mass changes in 6 intraoral radiography systems

Kazunori Yoshiura, Toshiyuki Kawazu, Tohru Chikui, Masato Tatsumi, Kenji Tokumori, Takemasa Tanaka, Shigenobu Kanda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. The purpose of this study was to compare 2 film systems and several digital intraoral systems with regard to visual image quality through use of a test phantom developed for this purpose. Study design. The detectors used for digital imaging were as follows: Computed Dental Radiography (CDR), Digora, Dixel, and Sens-A-Ray without scintillator layer. Two types of digital images were prepared for the observer performance test: one with original gray scales and another with contrast enhancement. Images with and without enhancement from the 4 systems were displayed to 7 observers. The change in the average number of perceptible holes was plotted against exposure, and modified perceptibility curves were created and compared with curves for the film systems. The exposure level at which the maximum number of holes was perceived was defined to be optimum. The optimum exposure levels were determined for each digital system and compared with that of the film systems. At the optimum exposure, the average maximum numbers of perceptible holes in each digital system with and without contrast enhancement were compared with the maximum numbers for the film systems. The minimum exposure levels were determined to be those at which the number of perceptible holes exceeded the number for film, and the possibility of exposure reduction was evaluated. Results. All digital systems except the Digora system showed lower optimum exposures than E-speed film. In all digital images without enhancement, however, the maximum number of perceptible holes was significantly lower than that for the film systems at that exposure. With contrast enhancement, all digital systems except the Sens-A-Ray system showed visibility superior to that of the film systems. With the CDR, Digora, and Dixel systems, exposures could be further reduced by a considerable amount, with greater retention of information than was associated with film. Conclusions. Our results strongly suggest that digital systems, if properly used, can exceed film systems in the detection of small mass changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalOral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology, oral radiology, and endodontics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • General Dentistry


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