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Report No. 261 - AAPM Task Group Report 261: Comprehensive quality control methodology and management of dental and maxillofacial cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) systems (2024)

Category: Reports

Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) systems specifically designed and manufactured for dental, maxillofacial imaging (MFI) and otolaryngology (OLR) applications have been commercially available in the United States since 2001 and have been in widespread clinical use since. Until recently, there has been a lack of professional guidance available for medical physicists about how to assess and evaluate the performance of these systems and about the establishment and management of quality control (QC) programs. The owners and users of dental CBCT systems may have only a rudimentary understanding of this technology, including how it differs from conventional multidetector CT (MDCT) in terms of acceptable radiation safety practices. Dental CBCT systems differ from MDCT in several ways and these differences are described. This report provides guidance to medical physicists and serves as a basis for stakeholders to make informed decisions regarding how to manage and develop a QC program for dental CBCT systems. It is important that a medical physicist with experience in dental CBCT serves as a resource on this technology and the associated radiation protection best practices. The medical physicist should be involved at the pre-installation stage to ensure that a CBCT room configuration allows for a safe and efficient workflow and that structural shielding, if needed, is designed into the architectural plans. Acceptance testing of new installations should include assessment of mechanical alignment of patient positioning lasers and x-ray beam collimation and benchmarking of essential image quality performance parameters such as image uniformity, noise, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), spatial resolution, and artifacts. Several approaches for quantifying radiation output from these systems are described, including simply measuring the incident air-kerma (Kair) at the entrance surface of the image receptor. These measurements are to be repeated at least annually as part of routine QC by the medical physicist. QC programs for dental CBCT, at least in the United States, are often driven by state regulations, accreditation program requirements, or manufacturer recommendations.

Medical Physics

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Keywords: dental cone beam CT, dental radiology, image quality, performance evaluation, radiation dose
Task Group No. 261 - Quality control methodology for low-dose dental and maxillofacial CBCT systems (TG261)

Dimitris N. Mihailidis, Andreas Stratis, Eric L. Gingold, Ray A. Carlson, William W. DeForest, Joel E. Gray, Mary Lally, MS, CAE, Robert J. Pizzutiello, John Rong, David C. Spelic, Michael C Hilohi, Richard J. Massoth

Committee Responsible: Radiography and Fluoroscopy Subcommittee

Last Review Date: 2024
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