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Dr Dale Miles - learndigital.net
Dr. Dale Miles


Technical Issues in Digital Imaging: How Do They REALLY Impact Clinical Care?

Dale A. Miles DDS, MS, FRCD

Back to Part I

In this article, I’ll present information on the software or "image processing", the part of the system which truly impacts patient care, the part of the imaging system which is so foreign to us all as dentists who were brought up on "film". I will not attempt to compare and/or rank the various systems. Frankly, I have not played with all of them yet. I am familiar with most image processing tools and have used dental image processing software from Trophy, Schick, Dent-X (CCD systems), and Digident (PSP system). I have evaluated other packages as well. However, like many of you I have also used standard "desk top publishing" software programs like Adobe Photoshop, Aldus Persuasion, MacPaint, etc…to make pictures, graphics, tables with shading and so on. The operations are, for the most part, very similar.

What are the common tools? Most image processing software program for performing electronic image processing or image enhancement (DON’T USE THE WORD MANIPULATION) allow you to change the following image parameters or characteristics:



Image size (zoom)

Image orientation


Inversion (white to black and visa versa)

Pseudocolor alteration

either together or separately. These are all useful tools, and these are all available in desk top publishing software. There is nothing proprietary about these "enhancements". You could purchase the software, scan a radiograph from your practice and practice! You could do digital imaging in your own home. This is actually "indirect digital imaging" using a desk top scanner. You just need to make sure your document scanner comes with (or can have added) a "transparency adapter" which allows light to be transmitted through the image (radiograph or color slide) to be scanned in the lid of the scanner, instead of by reflection off the lid to the CCD below. Yes, that’s right! I said to the CCD below. Scanners and fax machines use a linear CCD device to capture the image. And all this time you didn’t realize you were using digital technology already!

These five images show the use of the various tools.





 Back to Part I


© Dr Dale Miles DDS, MS, FRCD
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