ADAA View Course

Digital Imaging Techniques and Error Correction (AGD 730)

Presenter: Gail Williamson, RDH, BS, MS; Reviewed and Revised by Sarah Guy, CDA


Digital radiographic imaging in dentistry is nothing new.  This technology was first introduced in the mid-1980s but has made significant entry into the private practice, military dental services and dental educational institutions in the last decade.  As with any new technology there is a learning curve and a transition time before it becomes widely adopted, but it’s only a matter of time before digital imaging replaces traditional film.  There are many conveniences associated with digital imaging that make it an attractive alternative to film, but the basic mechanics and principles of radiographic technique remain the same.  Like film-based imaging, the clinician is responsible for the majority of errors and retakes that occur in dental imaging.  Regardless of the receptor, a non-diagnostic radiographic image does not provide the information necessary to render a diagnosis or to provide proper treatment and results in increased radiation to the patient.  Clinician errors occur as a consequence of improper patient preparation or management, technique and exposure.  Correct technique and proper patient management skills are essential to maximize the outcome and the information obtained from digital radiographic images, while at the same time minimizing patient radiation exposure.  This course will provide an overview of digital imaging, a review of technique principles and the identification and correction of common errors that occur in digital intraoral and panoramic imaging.


Gail F. Williamson is a Professor of Dental Diagnostic Sciences in the Department of Oral Pathology, Medicine and Radiology at Indiana University School of Dentistry in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Her educational background includes an A. S. in Dental Hygiene, a B. S. in Allied Health and a M. S. in Education from Indiana University.  A veteran teacher, Prof. Williamson has received numerous awards for teaching excellence.  She is a published author and presents numerous continuing education courses on Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology on the national, regional, state and local levels.  


Upon completing of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

• Describe the principle imaging concepts used in digital intraoral and panoramic imaging.
• Discuss the receptors used in digital radiography.
• Identify and correct common errors that occur in digital intraoral radiography.
• Identify and correct common errors that occur in digital panoramic radiography.


The ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry.  Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.


The ADAA cautions participants taking this course on the hazards of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into their practices.  

Credits earned upon completion of the course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.


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