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J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2018 Mar-Apr;32(2 Suppl. 2):59-66.

Standard and low-dose cone beam computer tomography protocol for orthognatodontic diagnosis: a comparative evaluation.

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Dept of Biomedical, Dental Science and Morphological and Functional Images, Dental School, University of Messina, Italy.
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Messina University.
Department of Healthcare Physics A.O.U. “G. Martino” University of Messina.
Department of Orthodontics, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy.
Unit of Dentistry, Division of Orthodontics, Research area in Dentofacial Orthopedics and Orthodontics, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.


Considering the diagnostic capability offered by cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), nowadays orthodontists often use this exam for treatment planning, especially in cases of impacted teeth, maxillary ipoplasia, orthognathic surgery etc. The aim of this study was to compare the radiation doses related to a conventional CBCT setting and that of a low dose protocol, usable in orthodontic practice. The absorbed organ doses were measured using an anthropomorphic phantom loaded with thermo-luminescent dosimeters related to sensitive organs (brain, bone marrow, salivary glands, thyroid, esophagus, oral mucosa, extrathoracic airways, lymph nodes). The device used was a MyRay Hyperion X9-11x5. The standard setting of the apparatus was 90 Kv, 36 mAs, CTDI/Vol 4.09 mGy, instead the low dose one was 90 Kv, 27 mAs, CTDI/Vol 2.89 mGy. Equivalent and effective doses have been calculated; the measurement of the effective doses was based on the ICRP recommendations. For the assessment of image quality, five readers, independent and experienced orthodontists, were asked to state if the images were sufficient enough to perform an orthodontic diagnosis. The lowest organ dose (5.01 microSv) was received by the esophagus during low dose CBCT acquisition. The highest mean organ dose instead (1227.67 microSv) was received by the salivary glands during conventional setting CBCT acquisition. Image quality has been considered sufficient for orthodontic diagnostic needs for both CBCT protocols. CBCT low dose setting should be preferred over the standard one in orthodontic practice, because it provides a significant lower radiation dose to the patients ensuring a good image quality. However, further studies are necessary to evaluate the opportunity of CBCT exams in orthodontic treatment planning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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