Contact Us



Cone Beam CT image
A patient with an unerupted
supernumerary tooth (mesiodens)

The SEDENTEXCT project (2008-2011) is supported by the The Seventh Framework Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for nuclear research and training activities (2007 to 2011) . It is an ambitious collaborative project which aims to acquire of the key information necessary for sound and scientifically based clinical use of Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT).

In order that safety and efficacy are assured and enhanced in the ‘real world’, a parallel aim is to use this information to develop evidence-based guidelines dealing with justification, optimisation and referral criteria and to provide a means of dissemination and training for users of CBCT.

SEDENTEXCT project objectives

  • To develop evidence-cased guidelines on use of CBCT in dentistry, including referral criteria, quality assurance guidelines and optimisation strategies.
  • To determine the level of patient dose in dental CBCT, paying special attention to paediatric dosimetry, and personnel dose.
  • To perform diagnostic accuracy studies for CBCT for key clinical applications in dentistry.
  • To develop a quality assurance programme, including a tool/tools for quality assurance work (including a marketable quality assurance phantom) and to define exposure protocols for specific clinical applications.
  • To measure cost-effectiveness of important clinical uses of CBCT compared with traditional methods.
  • To conduct valorisation, including dissemination, activities via an ‘open access’ website.

Cone Beam Computed Tomography

Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) is an emerging X-ray technology for dentists. Also known is Digital Volumetric Tomography (DVT) it presents a radical change in imaging. For over one hundred years, dental X-ray imaging has been based on two dimensional images. In contrast, medical imaging has become increasingly dominated by developments in three dimensional image production, notably computed tomography (CT).

Slide 1Slide 2Slide 3

Slide 4Slide 5

The ability of CBCT to provide images in three dimensions with a high level of detail makes it a very attractive method for many dental applications. It is, however, associated with greater radiation dose and risk than is the case with traditional dental radiographic methods. Unlike most 'medical' radiology, the bulk of dental x-ray imaging is performed in primary care by dentists with no postgraduate qualification or special expertise in radiology. Approximately one third of medical x-ray exposures in European countries are performed by dentists. In most EU states, dentists can purchase and use CBCT without any additional training. Numerous manufacturers are now producing CBCT equipment, yet the evidence-base for appropriate use is not yet strong.

There is evidence in the literature of inappropriate and excessive use of conventional X-ray techniques in dentistry. Similarly, there is evidence of poor image quality because of insufficient attention to quality assurance methods and inadequate training of users. European Guidelines on Radiation Protection for Dental Radiology were produced in 2004 covering all relevant aspects of justification, optimization and referral criteria for conventional dental x-ray imaging techniques, but these guidelines did not cover CBCT in any way.

The SEDENTEXCT project is focused on enhanced safety and efficacy in the medical uses of radiation. We will develop methodologies to better assess and reduce doses to patients and staff. We will give essential information for developing referral criteria through quantification of benefits over conventional imaging methods. We are developing practical quality assurance mechanisms, including a marketable quality assurance phantom, and criteria that can be taken up by users and standard-setting bodies. Finally, this website will develop during the years of the project to provide a robust mechanism for valorisation of the project results so that they have a real impact with users of CBCT. By “users”, we mean all those parties who might have contact with, or an interest in, CBCT technology:

  • Dentists
  • Dental and Maxillofacial Radiologists
  • Radiographers
  • Medical Physicists
  • Manufacturers and supply companies
  • Patients
  • Students
  • The interested public

Whichever category you are in, please bookmark this page and return to watch how the website develops and grows in the years ahead.