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American journal of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics : official publication of the American Association of Orthodontists, its constituent societies, and the American Board of Orthodontics

Dosimetry of a cone-beam computed tomography machine compared with a digital x-ray machine in orthodontic imaging.


PMID 22464525

Abstract

Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) has become a routine imaging modality for many orthodontic clinics. However, questions remain about the amount of radiation patients are exposed to during the scans. This study determined the amounts of radiation potentially absorbed by a patient during orthodontic imaging with a CBCT machine with various scan settings compared with a conventional 2-dimensional digital x-ray machine. The radiation exposures delivered by a next generation i-CAT CBCT machine (Imaging Sciences International, Hatfield, Pa) at various scan settings and orthopantomograph OP100/OC100 digital x-ray machine (Instrumentarium Dental, Tuusula, Finland) during panoramic and cephalometric radiography were recorded using thermoluminescent dosimeters placed inside a head and neck phantom. The manufacturer-recommended settings for an average adult male were used for both types of machines. Effective doses were calculated using the tissue-weighting factors recommended by the 2007 International Commission on Radiological Protection. The effective doses at various voxel sizes and field of view settings ranged from 64.7 to 69.2 μSv for standard resolution CBCT scans (scan time 8.9 s) and 127.3 to 131.3 μSv for high resolution full field of view scans (scan time 17.8 s), and measured 134.2 μSv for a high-resolution landscape scan with a voxel size as would be used for SureSmile (OraMetrix, Richardson, Tex) therapy (scan time 26.9 s). The effective doses for digital panoramic and lateral cephalometric radiographs measured 21.5 and 4.5 μSv, respectively. CBCT, although providing additional diagnostic and therapeutic benefits, also exposes patients to higher levels of radiation than conventional digital radiography.