Scientifically proven low dose imaging

Planmeca’s unique Planmeca Ultra Low Dose™ 3D imaging protocol offers a scientifically proven method for low dose CBCT imaging, helping clinicians everywhere to adhere to the ALADA (As Low As Diagnostically Acceptable) principle. While using the protocol decreases the exposure values and thus the patient dose, the image quality is kept on a diagnostically acceptable level. The method provides an optimal balance between the image quality and patient dose, making it ideal for a wide range of clinical cases from implant planning to orthodontics.

The use of Planmeca Ultra Low Dose protocol and its benefits have been studied and scientifically proven in various scientific research. Find out more in the publications below:


Planmeca Ultra Low Dose offers the best balance between image quality and dose for both small and large FOVs

EzEldeen et al. evaluated the Planmeca Ultra Low Dose protocols of a Planmeca ProMax 3D unit along with other low-dose protocols. According to the study, the Planmeca protocol had the best balance between image quality and dose for both large and small field of views.

The study concluded that applying dose optimisation protocols allows a considerable reduction in the effective dose (ED) while maintaining sufficient image quality for CBCT-based 3D planning, 3D printing of tooth replica, and post-operative follow-ups.

Source: EzEldeen, M., Stratis, A., Coucke, W., Codari, M., Politis, C., Jacobs, R. (2016). As Low Dose as Sufficient Quality: Optimization of Cone-beam Computed Tomographic Scanning Protocol for Tooth Autotransplantation Planning and Follow-up in Children. Journal of Endodontics, 43(2).

A considerable reduction in the pediatric ED can be achieved while maintaining sufficient image quality for tooth autotransplantation planning and follow-up using the dose optimization protocols

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Compared with standard protocols, Planmeca Ultra Low Dose provides comparable diagnostic information with a significantly smaller dose

Ihlis R.L. et al. studied the overall image quality and evaluated the visibility of anatomic structures on low-dose CBCT scans. The study concluded that images captured with high-definition and standard Planmeca Ultra Low Dose protocols (ULDHD and ULD, respectively) were diagnostically acceptable and can be recommended for the assessment of impacted maxillary canines.

Source: Ihlis, R.L., Kadesjö N., Tsilingaridis G., Benchimol D. & Shi X.Q. (2022). Image quality assessment of low-dose protocols in cone beam computed tomography of the anterior maxilla. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology, 133(4), 483–491.

ULDHD, ULD, and LDHD protocols may be recommended for clinical studies on assessing impacted maxillary canines because these protocols provide comparable diagnostic information with a radiation dose of 23% to 39% of the standard protocol recommended by the manufacturer.

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Reducing patient doses in pre-implant assessment with Planmeca Ultra Low Dose

The in vitro study by Liljeholm et al. evaluated the overall image quality as well as the visibility of most anatomical structures and bone quality assessment in images that were captured using Planmeca Ultra Low Dose protocol. The high- and mid-definition protocols (UL-HD and UL-MD, respectively) were found diagnostically acceptable for pre-implant radiographic assessment.

Source: Liljeholm, R., Kadesjö, N., Benchimol, D., Hellén-Halme, K. & Xie-Qi, S. (2017). Cone-beam computed tomography with ultra-low dose protocols for pre-implant radiographic assessment: An in vitro study. European Journal of Oral Implantology, 10(3), 351–359.

Low-dose protocols may be applied for pre-implant radiographic assessment. For the CBCT unit ProMax 3D Classic, the UL-HD and UL-MD protocols were preferred to the GS protocol for radiographic assessment prior to implant surgery, due to a reduction of radiation to the patient.

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No statistical reduction in image quality between Planmeca Ultra Low Dose and standard protocols

The in vitro study by Ludlow and Koivisto evaluated effective doses and compared Planmeca Ultra Low Dose protocol with standard exposures. In the study, no statistical reduction in image quality was found between the Planmeca Ultra Low Dose and standard protocols.

Source: Ludlow, J. B. & Koivisto, J. (2015). Dosimetry of Orthodontic Diagnostic FOVs Using Low Dose CBCT protocol.

An average reduction in dose of 77% was achieved using ULD protocols when compared with standard protocols. While this dose reduction was significant, no statistical reduction in image quality between ULD and standard protocols was seen.

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Orthodontic cephalometric measurements benefit from Planmeca Ultra Low Dose

The study by van Bunningen et al. compared lateral cephalograms (LC) reconstructed from Planmeca Ultra Low Dose CBCT scans with traditional standard-dose lateral cephalograms to evaluate and compare the orthodontic diagnostic measurements. According to the research, there were no significant differences between the standard-dose and ultra low dose-low dose (ULD-LD) images, although the patient doses with Planmeca ULD-LD protocol were considerably lower.

Source: van Bunningen, R.H., Dijkstra, P. U., Dieters, A., van der Meer, W. J., Kuijpers-Jagtman, A. M. & Ren, Y. (2021). Precision of orthodontic cephalometric measurements on ultra low dose-low dose CBCT reconstructed cephalograms. Clinical Oral Investigations, 26, 1543–1550.

Based on the lower radiation dose and the small differences in variation in cephalometric measurements on reconstructed LC compared to standard dose LC, ULD-LD CBCT with reconstructed LC should be considered for orthodontic diagnostic purposes.

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Planmeca Ultra Low Dose evaluated as the preferred exposure protocol for CBCT images prior and after root canal treatments

In the in vitro study by Yeung et al., the subjective image quality of different CBCT exposure protocols for endodontic indications were evaluated by twelve professionals – 4 endodontists, 4 periodontists and 4 radiologists. The Planmeca Ultra Low Dose scans got the highest grades in the tests. The study concluded that a low-dose protocol did not seem to affect the perception of image quality. Furthermore, the clinical findings demonstrated that a low-dose CBCT mode could even have potential for diagnostics prior to or following endodontic treatments.

Source: Yeung, A. W. K., Harper B., Zhang, C., Neelakantan, P. & Bornstein, M. M. (2020). Do different cone beam computed tomography exposure protocols influence subjective image quality prior to and after root canal treatment? Clinical Oral Investigations, 25, 2119–2127.

Based on the present in vitro data, a low-dose CBCT mode seems not to negatively affect the perception of image quality.

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Planmeca Ultra Low Dose protocol is available for all Planmeca CBCT imaging units as a standard feature and can be used with all volume sizes.


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