1. Background Reducing the X-ray dose too much produces images with low quality; Noisy, blurred, faded, under exposed. The approach used in this work aims at enhancing image quality by using advanced automatic image processing algorithms.
2. Purpose To minimize X-ray dose exposure during panoramic dental X-ray imaging, in addition to automatically enhancing the acquired X-ray images to achieve high quality images that can be viewed using ordinary monitors.
3. Method An automatic, adaptive image enhancement algorithm was developed and implemented on multi-core CPU as well as GPU to achieve real time performance.
4. ResultsThe method was tested on panoramic dental X-ray images acquired with varying radiation dose. The results were promising and indicated the possibility of obtaining diagnostically usable images using a reduced dose by 50%. A group of ten dentists and specialists evaluated the resulted images. Figure (1) shows a comparison between an enhanced panoramic dental X-ray acquired with reduced dose by 50% and an original (unprocessed) panoramic dental X-ray acquired with a standard dose.
5. Discussion and conclusionsThis study shows the possibility to achieve a number of goals that can lead to better patient safety and better healthcare in general, such as:Minimized X-ray dose to the patient, which can lead to reduced risk of physical damage (e.g. cancer) and psycological consequences (e.g. stress).Better image quality which can lead to better, faster and more accurate and confident diagnostic.The resulted enhanced images can be automatically produced without any noticeable waiting time and viewed using any ordinary monitor (LCD/LED TV or computer screens) without any need for any expensive/exclusive high-dynamic-range displays.