This study aims to quantitatively evaluate the effect of additional copper-filters (Cu-filters) on the radiation dose and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) in a dental cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). The Cu-filter thickness and tube voltage of the CBCT unit were varied in the range of 0.00–0.20 mm and 70–90 kV, respectively. The CBCT images of a phantom with homogeneous materials of aluminum, air, and bone equivalent material (BEM) were acquired. The CNRs were calculated from the voxel values of each homogeneous material. The CTDIvol was measured using standard polymethyl methacrylate CTDI test objects. We evaluated and analyzed the effects of tube current and various radiation qualities on the CNRs and CTDIvol. We observed a tendency for higher CNR at increasing tube voltage and tube current in all the homogeneous materials. On the other hand, the CNR reduced at increasing Cu-filter thickness. The tube voltage of 90 kV showed a clear advantage in the tube current–CNR curves in all the homogeneous materials. The CTDIvol increased as the tube voltage and tube current increased and decreased with the increase in the Cu-filter thickness. When the CNR was fixed at 9.23 of BEM at an exposure setting of 90 kV/5 mA without a Cu-filter, the CTDIvol at 90 kV with Cu-filters was 8.7% lower compared with that at 90 kV without a Cu-filter. The results from this study demonstrate the potential of adding a Cu-filter for patient dose reduction while ensuring the image quality.
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