J Bone Metab.  2014 May;21(2):117-126. 10.11005/jbm.2014.21.2.117.

Can Dental Cone Beam Computed Tomography Assess Bone Mineral Density?

  • 1Division of Orthodontics, Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Columbus, OH, USA. kim.2508@osu.edu


Mineral density distribution of bone tissue is altered by active bone modeling and remodeling due to bone complications including bone disease and implantation surgery. Clinical cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) has been examined whether it can assess oral bone mineral density (BMD) in patient. It has been indicated that CBCT has disadvantages of higher noise and lower contrast than conventional medical computed tomography (CT) systems. On the other hand, it has advantages of a relatively lower cost and radiation dose but higher spatial resolution. However, the reliability of CBCT based mineral density measurement has not yet been fully validated. Thus, the objectives of this review are to discuss 1) why assessment of BMD distribution is important and 2) whether the clinical CBCT can be used as a potential tool to measure the BMD. Brief descriptions of image artefacts associated with assessment of gray value, which has been used to account for mineral density, in CBCT images are provided. Techniques to correct local and conversion errors in obtaining the gray values in CBCT images are also introduced. This review can be used as a quick reference for users who may encounter these errors during analysis of CBCT images.


Artifacts; Bone density; Calibration; Cone-beam computed tomography; Radiation
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