Radiobiological risks following dentomaxillofacial imaging: Should we be concerned?

Niels Belmans, Anne Caroline Oenning, Benjamin Salmon, Bjorn Baselet, Kevin Tabury, Stéphane Lucas, Ivo Lambrichts, Marjan Moreels, Reinhilde Jacobs, Sarah Baatout

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Objectives: This review aimed to present studies that prospectively investigated biological effects in patients following diagnostic dentomaxillofacial radiology (DMFR). Methods: Literature was systematically searched to retrieve all studies assessing radiobiological effects of using X-ray imaging in the dentomaxillofacial area, with reference to radiobiological outcomes for other imaging modalities and fields. Results: There is a lot of variability in the reported radiobiological assessment methods and radiation dose measures, making comparisons of radiobiological studies challenging. Most radiological DMFR studies are focusing on genotoxicity and cytotoxicity, data for 2D dentomaxillofacial radiographs, albeit with some methodological weakness biasing the results. For CBCT, available evidence is limited and few studies include comparative data on both adults and children. Conclusions In the future, one will have to strive towards patient-specific measures by considering age, gender and other individual radiation sensitivity-related factors. Ultimately, future radioprotection strategies should build further on the concept of personalized medicine, with patient-specific optimization of the imaging protocol, based on radiobiological variables.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20210153
JournalDentomaxillofacial Radiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Dentomaxillofacial imaging radiation risk
  • Genotoxicity


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