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Computer Science Department

Image Enhancement of Dental Digital X-Rays

Jeff M. McQuinn

When a patient visits a dental office, radiographs are integral part of the dental experience as the serve as a crucial diagnostic tool. In the past, the traditional method of taking dental x-rays involved the use of x-ray film which involved chemical development of that film. However, with the lowering expense of digital x-ray technology the practicing dentist has a greater opportunity of using digital technology, which lower patient x-ray exposure, the need to "paper charts," and the ability to easily share images between a patient's dental care providers. In addition, the use of the digital dental x-rays gives the dental practitioner the capacity to use technology to enhance the images and possibly detect dental anomalies in the image. Using Visual Studio.Net 2005 and coded in C++ with Intel Open Source Computer Vision Library (OpenCV), this project will investigate and develop algorithms that will provide the opportunity to enhance the dental x-ray so that employment of computer aided detection algorithms for dental anomalies may be explored in dental x-rays. The resulting project will not be designed to replace a dentist's conventional diagnosis; rather the investigated and developed algorithms are to serve as tools to assist the dentist in the analysis of dental x-rays.