There are a number of strategies to reduce the collective dose for patients undergoing a dental CBCT examination. Even though X-ray doses for CBCT can be considered low, its wide-scale application increases the collective dose received by dental patients; furthermore, many patients undergoing this examination are children, who are more susceptible to the detrimental effects of radiation. It is crucial to optimize the relationship between diagnostic image quality (and equally important, diagnostic requirements) and radiation dose.
In general, there are a few strategies to lower patient dose:
- Adjusting exposure factors such as the amount of X-rays (mAs), energy of X-rays (kV) and spectrum homogeneity (filtration).
- Limiting the diameter & height of the field of view (FOV) to the region of interest (ROI), avoiding unnecessary exposure to radiosensitive organs and tissues which are outside the ROI.
- Using dose reduction techniques such as thyroid shielding.
At a later stage of the SedentexCT project, based on evidence from dosimetric and image quality studies, specific dose reduction strategies will be developed for dental CBCT, enabling a patient-specific optimisation of radiation dose, following the ALARP principe (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALARP) which states that the dose should be kept as low as reasonably possible.