Radiation doses in dentomaxillofacial imaging are typically very low. However, diagnostic and follow-up protocols in orthognathic surgery result in a patient-specific risk in effective dose. Estimating the cancer risks from these exposures remains abstract for many maxillofacial surgeons. In this study, 40 orthognathic patients were randomly sampled and their cumulative effective dose (ED) calculated. The lifetime attributable risk of cancer (LAR) was calculated based on the standard radiological protocol for orthognathic surgery follow-up using methods described in the BEIR VII report and RadRAT. The mean cumulative ED of the 40 sampled patients at the end of their 2-year follow-up period was 1.91 ± 0.58 mSv. The LAR at the end of follow-up was 17.65 (90% confidence interval 6.46–32.90) per 100,000 person-years for male orthognathic patients and 13.93 (90% confidence interval 6.27–25.24) per 100,000 person-years for female orthognathic patients. This represents 0.70% and 0.68%, respectively, of the baseline cancer risk for oral, thyroid, and brain cancer combined. Although theoretical, these results provide a framework for interpreting radiation doses and cancer risks in patients undergoing orthognathic surgery. Considering the increased radiation sensitivity in children and adolescents, indication-oriented and patient-specific imaging protocols should be advised.
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Published online: February 15, 2023
Accepted: February 2, 2023
Publication stageIn Press Corrected Proof
© 2023 International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.