Radiation exposure due to medical imaging is a topic of emerging importance. In Europe this topic has been dealt with for a long time and in other countries it is getting more and more important and it gets an aspect of public interest in the latest years. This is mainly true due to the fact that the average dose per person in developed countries is increasing rapidly since threedimensional imaging is getting more and more available and useful for diagnosis. This paper introduces the most common dose quantities used in medical radiation exposure characterization, discusses usual ways for determination of such quantities as well as some considerations how these values are linked to radiation risk estimation. For this last aspect the paper will refer to the linear non threshold theory for an imaging application.