PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to compare the effective dose for imaging of mandible between multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) and cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT). An MDCT with low dose technique was also compared with them. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) chips were placed at 25 organ sites of an anthropomorphic phantom. The mandible of the phantom was exposed using 2 different types of MDCT units (Somatom Sensation 10 for standard-dose MDCT, Somatom Emotion 6 for low-dose MDCT) and 3 different CBCT units (AZ3000CT, Implagraphy, and Kavo 3D eXaM). The radiation absorbed dose was measured and the effective dose was calculated according to the ICRP 2007 report. RESULTS: The effective dose was the highest for Somatom Sensation 10 (425.84 microSv), followed by AZ3000CT (332.4 microSv), Somatom Emotion 6 (199.38 microSv), and 3D eXaM (111.6 microSv); it was the lowest for Implagraphy (83.09 microSv). The CBCT showed significant variation in dose level with different device. CONCLUSION: The effective doses of MDCTs were not significantly different from those of CBCTs for imaging of mandible. The effective dose of MDCT could be markedly decreased by using the low-dose technique.