Radiobiological risks following dentomaxillofacial imaging: should we be concerned?

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


Institutes & Expert groups

  • Uhasselt - Hasselt University
  • KUL - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • USPC - Université Paris Descartes
  • UNamur - University of Namur

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This review aimed to present studies that prospectively investigated biological effects in patients following diagnostic dentomaxillofacial radiology (DMFR).
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.
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.
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
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalDentomaxillofacial Radiology
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2021


  • Dentomaxillofacial imaging Radiation risk, Genotoxicity, Cytotoxicity

ID: 7164687