The analysis of touched and untouched surfaces starts in just the same way as the analysis above of the drilled out and debris material. First the before-and-after scans are registered in 3D. After that, we again make the binary datasets of the root canal spaces in the registered before-and-after datasets. (We can in fact just load the binarized root canal datasets that we already created for analysis 1, above.) Then however we introduce a new step – making binary images of a thin boundary around the root canal only, not the whole root canal volume. We start this with the before, reference dataset, already binarized. First threshold the image dataset in custom processing (necessary even for binary images), then following steps will create a one-pixel thick boundary just one pixel external to the original binary of the root canal:
1 – Bitwise / ROI = COPY IMAGE; 2 – Morphological operations / dilate (3D, 1 voxel) applied to ROI; 3 – Bitwise/ IMAGE = ROI SUB IMAGE; 4 – Save Bitmaps / Image, BMP, monochrome (1-bit).
After this, load into CTAn the binarized dataset (already created from Analysis 2) of the after-scan root canal. Follow a similar procedure but modified to create a 3 pixel thick boundary layer, not just one pixel.
1 – Bitwise / ROI = COPY IMAGE; 2 – Morphological operations / dilate (3D, 2 voxel) applied to ROI; 3 – Morphological operations / erode (3D, 1 voxel) applied to IMAGE; 4 – Bitwise / IMAGE = ROI SUB IMAGE; 5 – Save Bitmaps / Image, BMP, monochrome (1-bit).
The reason for this is to allow for registration error of ± 1 pixel. The part of the 1-pixel-thick root canal boundary from the before-scan which coincides in space with the 3-pixel-thick root canal boundary from the after-scan, will be considered to be untouched surface, not changed by the experimental procedure. All other surfaces thus will be assigned as touched surface, eroded by the drilling procedure.