Getting an x-ray is no longer a big deal. You lay down, they take a picture, turn you, take a picture, turn you, take a picture and immediately the images process on the computer screen. In fact, it can be as fast as 30 frames each second. The first x-ray machine took hours to receive the data for just one scan or what is called a ‘slice’ involving metrology. Then, it would take several days to reconstruct an image from the raw data. Nowadays, x-ray systems can collect up to four slices of data is approximately 350 milliseconds and the reconstructing can be done in less than a second. It really is amazing how far technology has come.
Now that you have a little history of the x-ray machine, let’s move on to the digital x-ray. What is digital x-raying? Digital x-ray sensors are used in a form of x-ray imaging called digital radiography in place of the traditional film. Instead of using that film to capture the image, digital radiography can use a digital image camera.
Why is a digital x-ray better? Well, let’s look a little closer at the benefits.
- Less expensive: film can be costly, so moving the image capturing to a digital outlet cuts some major costs.
- Time efficiency: by foregoing the chemical processing part of the regular x-ray, the whole process is even quicker.
- Less radiation: by going digital, a lot less radiation is needed to produce an image of almost equal quality.
- Immediate results: you can immediately view the image without any delay at all.
- Wider dynamic range: which means that there isn’t as much worry about over and under exposed images.
And that’s just to name a new advantages.
What is digital radiography or digital x-ray used for? Well, mainly medical. There are several other things that it can be used for but for the sake of this article we’ll talk about the medical use. Medical use of the digital x-ray can be separated into two different areas. One being dental, the other being the rest of the body.
- Dental: usually, dental x-raying is done by putting the film in the mouth to focus on a small area or outside the mouthing to capture the whole area. Use of the digital x-ray in dentistry allows the facility to keep all the images on a computer. Simple things like being able to zoom in on an x-ray are very helpful when dealing with such small areas like the mouth. Also, many times customers need to be referred to a orthodontist or someone else, so having digital x-rays allows the images to be able to transferred more simply.
- Rest of the body: This is quite as obvious as it sounds, the capturing of the rest of the body besides the mouth. The benefits are quite the same as dental and are mentioned above.
Like I mentioned, there are other uses for the digital x-ray although we won’t go into detail about those here. For example, industrial scanning can be done using an industrial x-ray. 3d scanning is also done using digital x-ray so the technician or doctor can look at the image from all sides.
Technology has come a very long way and x-ray has saved many lives in what it’s images produce. Making the x-ray quicker, more efficient and less chemically active will only further it’s ability to help this generation and those up and coming.