OBJECTIVES: To compare organ and effective doses from analogue scanographic and periapical radiography. METHODS: Thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD-700) were inserted in the parotid glands (bilateral), submandibular glands (bilateral) and bone marrow (left ascending ramus) of three human cadavers. Dosimeters were also attached to the skin, thyroid gland and lens of both eyes. Central, left lateral and left posterior scanograms were obtained with a Cranex Tome (Soredex, Helsinki, Finland) multimodal imaging system. A similar procedure was applied for periapical radiographs of the midline, left lateral and left molar regions using E-speed film both with and without rectangular collimation. Organ and effective doses were calculated for scanograms and periapical radiographs. RESULTS: The effective doses for the scanograms were 0.001 mSv (central), 0.011 mSv (lateral) and 0.015 mSv (posterior). The effective doses for periapical radiographs were 0.001 mSv (anterior), 0.001 mSv (lateral) and 0.003 mSv (posterior) for rectangular collimation and 0.001 mSv (anterior), 0.002 mSv (lateral) and 0.005 mSv (posterior) for round collimation. CONCLUSIONS: When a larger area of the upper or lower jaw needs to be visualised, scanograms might be considered as an alternative to periapical radiography since the effective dose is lower.