Basic technical properties of a system for direct acquisition of digital intraoral radiographs

Ulf Welander, Per Nelvig, Gunilla Tronje, Willam D. McDavid, S. Brent Dove, Ann Catherine Mörner, Torsten Cederlund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


The Sens-A-Ray system for direct digital intraoral radiography may be used with any computer compatible with an IBM PC/AT. The system relies on a charge-coupled device designed for direct conversion of x-ray energy to an electronic signal. It is the first such device for direct acquisition of radiographs. Technical properties of charge-coupled device detectors when exposed to radiation energies in the range of x-rays used in dental radiography have been studied. Even in the absence of light or x-radiation there is a spontaneous generation of charge within a charge-coupled device detector that gives rise to a background signal, a dark current. It was found that the dark current is a linear function of exposure time. The dose response of the charge-coupled device detector was determined at nominal kilovoltages that range from 50 to 90 kVp. The dose response was shown to be a linear function of exposure. The functions for all kVp settings were practically identical. The charge-coupled device detector is more sensitive to x-radiation than conventional dental films and, consequently, its exposure range is more narrow. The signal-to-noise ratio was calculated from the digital radiographs used for the dose response test. The ratio is above 10 for exposures higher than about 2 μC/kg. The line spread function was determined from test radiographs of a 10 μm wide slit in a test object of 1.5 mm thick tantalum. After curve fitting, the line spread function could be expressed as the sum of a Gaussian and an exponential function. Presampling modulation transfer functions valid at the detector plane and at an object plane were calculated from fitted data on the line spread function. It is concluded that the Sens-A-Ray system has such technical properties that it may replace conventional film-based systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-516
Number of pages11
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Dentistry(all)


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