The Main Differences between a DR and a CR System: What You should Know

As you may already be aware of, digital radiography is a type of X-ray imaging system which many doctors, dentists, and other medical and laboratory personnel are making use of today. There are many benefits associated with digital radiography, especially when it comes to diagnosing different conditions, but some of the most common benefits include a much faster processing time, less risk posed by exposure to radiation, better storage, less expense, and, of course, much more precise detection and diagnosis.

If you are thinking of purchasing a digital radiography system for your own use, you should also know that there are two main types of systems you can choose from: the CR or computed radiography system, and the DR or direct radiography system.

The differences between a DR and CR system

In a computed radiography or CR system, an imaging plate is placed between two screens which are also X-ray sensitive. This imaging plate then develops a record of the image which is then read by a special device. The special device also transfers the image taken by the CR system to a PACS, or Picture Archiving and Communication System.

In the direct radiography or DR system, the clinician or medical personnel makes use of a special cassette which can capture images as well, and this cassette also contains a system for imaging comparable to the system (CCD) used in digital cameras. The image, when recorded, is then transferred directly to the Picture Archiving and Communication System or PACS.

Which is better, DR or CR?

At the beginning, CR systems were preferred over DR systems, primarily for one reason: the earliest systems using direct radiography were quite costly and expensive. Initially, these DR systems could cost upwards of £40 to 50,000. And, since the system was taken or transferred to the patient, there was the risk of damage as well.

But nowadays, there have been plenty of notable advancements in DR systems, and the system in its entirety has become cheaper – with the cassettes being used coming out less expensive as well. Aside from this, the cassettes used for DR systems are now stronger and more durable, and, with the use of wireless transfer technology, DR systems are much preferred. There are now also integrated direct radiography systems which are almost the same price as the X-ray equipment, and which also come with warranties for cassette replacement.

Digital Radiography

On a different note, dentists, even veterinary dentists, have made great use of digital radiography as well. It’s now easier for them to capture images, which can then be enhanced and even made larger, making diagnosis much easier.

Of course, each system still has its merits, and it’s really up to the user which system they would like to choose in the end.

By Franklin Cedric