Computed Radiography (CR) vs. Digital Radiography (DR): Which Should You Choose?

Computed Radiography (CR) vs. Digital Radiography (DR)

Which Should You Choose?

When deciding how to modernize your practice with the use of digital radiography it is important that research be done into which way would be best for your clinic. In the choice between Computed Radiography and Digital Radiography you need to weigh the abilities of each, and the needs you wish to satisfy.

What is Computed Radiography (CR) ?

Computed Radiography — or CR for short —  is the use of a Phosphor Imaging Plate to create a digital image. CR uses a cassette based system like analog film and is more commonly  considered to be a bridge between classical radiography and the increasingly popular fully digital methods.

Often considered the most initially cost friendly choice, CR is used almost exactly like conventional film, and so requires few changes to your office or workflow, and requires a smaller initial investment compared to DR devices of similar quality. CR systems also do not speed up your workflow in the same way as a DR panel and can require more maintenance. CR cassettes may additionally run the risk of getting damaged if improperly stored or handled, but are much cheaper to replace if dropped than a wireless DR panel.


  • Low initial investment
  • Compatible with a wide range of traditional systems
  • Effective for smaller or low volume clinics
  • Multiple sizes allow for greater flexibility


  • Long time to view image
  • Risk of overexposure
  • High Maintenance

What is Digital Radiography (DR)?

Digital Radiography (DR) is the latest advancement to the radiography field, using a digital x-ray detector to automatically acquire images and transfer them to a computer for viewing. This system is additionally capable of fixed or mobile use.

While it is the more expensive option, the Digital Radiography system comes to the table with much higher efficiency and quality that more than justifies the price for many users. Given its high volume capabilities it is often the choice for larger or busier clinics.


  • Faster image acquisition
  • Better quality images
  • High volume capacity
  • Greater dose efficiency [for Cesium Iodide (CsI) panels]


  • More expensive initial costs
  • Requires protection from dropping or mishandling
  • Protection cover is recommended if panel will be removed from the bucky tray or table
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