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Background: Dental X-ray film can be processed automatically or manually in a dark room in a box, but whichever method is used, both of them are expensive.
Objective: To create a dental X-ray film processing box in order to decrease the cost of importing medical radiology equipment.
Design: Experimental study
Subjects: Dental X-ray film and Jaw phantom.
Material & Methods: We studied the shape which needed for the new box, created a design and chose suitable material. To ensure its safety, we tested light filtration and leakage over pre-set times. Regarding image characteristics and quality, we performed comparisons using a control chemical material between the automatic and manual in dark room.
Results: We created a dental X-ray box for using without a dark room from materials readily available in Thailand. The main construction was foam covered with black plastic. The front opening of the box was 10 cm diameter; this allowed both hands to be inserted when processing dental X-ray film. Undue light leakage was prevented by using black cotton. Four inner plastic boxes (5.9 x 8.5 x 15 cm2) held the chemicals and water for film processing. The top opening (25 x 30 cm2) was covered with red acrylic 5 mm thick in order to exclude/filter (96.95%) incoming light . Time safety of the box was 480 seconds: during which there was no effect on image quality, or light leakage from the outside to the inside. The comparison of film characteristics and image quality between automatic and manual processing in a darkroom and our new box showed no significant difference.
Conclusion: Image quality for our new manual processing box was similar to automatic and dark room processing. The cost of the new dental X-ray film processing box was 310 Baht (~10 USD). The innovation is tested at the Department of Dental Radiology, Faculty of Dentistry, Khon Kaen University.