|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2016 | Volume
| Issue : 7 | Page : 21-22
A simple and affordable method to view conventional intraoral periapical radiograph when X-ray viewer is unavailable
Vagish Kumar L Shanbhag
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Yenepoya Dental College and Hospital, Yenepoya Research Centre, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
|Date of Web Publication
Vagish Kumar L Shanbhag
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Yenepoya Dental College and Hospital, Yenepoya Research Centre, Yenepoya University, Mangalore - 575 018, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:
Shanbhag VL. A simple and affordable method to view conventional intraoral periapical radiograph when X-ray viewer is unavailable. N Niger J Clin Res 2016;5:21-2
|How to cite this URL:
Shanbhag VL. A simple and affordable method to view conventional intraoral periapical radiograph when X-ray viewer is unavailable. N Niger J Clin Res [serial online] 2016 [cited 2024 Feb 27];5:21-2. Available from: https://www.mdcan-uath.org/text.asp?2016/5/7/21/187191
Conventional intraoral periapical (IOPA) radiographs are taken more frequently by the general dentist, especially in developing countries such as India. IOPA is essential in diagnosing the disease conditions affecting not only of the tooth but also of the surrounding periapical area.  Furthermore, it is frequently required to provide the necessary dental treatment. To accurately visualize and interpret a conventional IOPA, a dental X-ray viewer is required.  However, X-ray viewer may not be available in all situations. There might be situations such as community oral health camps when a number of X-ray viewers available may be less when compared to time and huge number of population to be examined. The present article describes a simple, affordable, and convenient method to view a conventional IOPA in such situations and emergency when X-ray viewers are not available.
In today's modern technologically oriented world, almost everyone possesses a smartphone. Dentists are not an exception to this. Smartphone and mobile phones based on android platform are becoming increasingly popular, especially in developing country like India. There are several android applications in the Google play store that are of immense use to medical and dental practitioners. 
To view a conventional IOPA, a source with backlit white light such as an X-ray viewer is required. It is possible to view conventional radiograph on smartphones if a backlit white light is available. A search for android application on Google play store providing a complete backlit white light with pure white background and without an advertisement was done and it yielded an application called White Screen.  The application is developed by Markus Maier with small size of 6.8 kb. The white light provided by the application covers the entire screen, without any unwanted icons, advertisements, or residual space. Furthermore, the white light is uniform in nature. The application has a simple interface and is easy to operate. The application after installing can be opened with a single tap on the application icon on the phone. The time until which the white light remains on the screen depends on the screen timeout set in the display settings of the phone. For example, if the screen timeout is set to 2 min, the white light in the screen will remain uninterrupted for 2 min. After the application is started, the phones entire screen becomes white and conductive and convenient to visualize an IOPA. The application supports all screen sizes of mobiles. However, to view the conventional IOPA film, mobile screens used should be slightly larger than the film size. Android smartphones used now a day have a screen size larger than that of a conventional IOPA film.
The phones screen should be cleaned with soft silk cloth before placing the IOPA on it. The area where the conventional IOPA is visualized should be preferably as dark as possible. The IOPA is placed flat on the mobile screen for visualization and interpretation. Conventional IOPA can be visualized conveniently by this method. This method in practical is of no way inferior to dental X-ray viewer and is useful in situations where X-ray viewer is not available. Contrast and detail obtained by this method are reasonably sufficient for diagnosis. Higher the screen resolution of the mobile phone, better is the contrast and detail. [Figure 1] shows the mobile screen running the application. [Figure 2] shows conventional IOPA radiographs placed on the mobile screen.
|Figure 2: Intraoral periapical radiographs placed on the mobile screen for visualization and interpretation
Click here to view
Recently, there is launch of cheap affordable android phones under android one project with adequately large screen sizes.  Probability is that majority of dentists already are/will possess an android phone in near future. This method can be used by any medical or dental specialist to visualize any conventional radiographs, as long as the size of the conventional radiograph remains well within the size of the mobile screen used for this purpose. Larger conventional radiographs can be used with screens of larger android tablets. It should be mentioned that this method does not require expensive smartphones, any simple android phone with size larger than the IOPA size will work. Furthermore, this technique is useful to capture photographs of radiographs through a digital camera. Although the White Screen android application was not meant to be used for this purpose, viewing conventional IOPA with this android application, on a smartphone is a convenient, simple, and affordable method. However, it should be noted that this method is not a replacement for conventional X-ray viewers, but as a method when X-ray viewers are not available. This simple method can be reasonably used when dental X-ray viewer is not available to the dentist. It is suggested that more applications similar to White Screen with additional software enhancements should be developed by mobile phone application developers for specifically viewing X-ray films on portable electronic gadgets. Extensive research should be carried out in this area to make X-ray film viewing affordable, convenient, portable and easy. Such research will specifically be of immense use to improve health facilities of poor and developing countries.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2]