Modern digital lateral cephalometric images are produced by machines that vary in a number of critical features such as: 1) machine geometry, 2) movement (or lack of movement) of the x-ray source, 3) movement (or lack of movement) or x-ray detectors, 4) cephalostat geometry and 5) digital data manipulations by proprietary software. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the magnification characteristics of images produced by five commercial digital lateral cephalometric machines. These digital image magnification characteristics were then compared with images produced by an analog cephalometric machine. The two goals of this study were to: 1) measure the magnification present in analog and digital lateral cephalometric radiographs in the horizontal and vertical dimensions at three different depths (source to object distances) and 2) to determine if the magnification present in digital lateral cephalometric radiographs is comparable between various digital lateral cephalometric machines.

Six lateral cephalometric images produced by the following machines were evaluated: 1) a conventional analog machine, the Quint Sectograph 2) Sirona Orthophos Plus DS Ceph, 3) Sirona Orthophos XG Plus, 4) GE Instrumentarium OP 100 D/OC 100D, 5) Planmeca PM 2002 CC Proline and 6) Kodak 8000C. All the images were made using a standardized imaging object that was similar in size to a human skull but was box shaped and contained a series of wire-mesh grid.

The main conclusions of this study were as follows. There is no standard for digital cephalometric machine specifications. The analog cephalometric machine produces an image with an average of 110.1 % vertical magnification and 108.6 % horizontal magnification. The digital cephalometric machines produced images ranging in averages from 108.1 to 113.2 % vertical magnification and 108.2 to 114.2 % horizontal magnification. Only one machine (Sirona Orthophos DS Ceph) displayed non-symmetric magnification characteristics and is therefore not comparable to other machines. For clinical purposes, all machines evaluated in this study are likely adequate. For longitudinal comparisons, we recommend using the same machine.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Leroy Leggitt

Second Advisor

Craig Andreiko

Third Advisor

James Farrage

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Tomography, X-Ray Computed; Radiographic Image Enhancement -- methods; Cephalometry; Radiography, Dental -- methods



Page Count

viii; 54

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives