X-Ray and Radiation Safety
- Here’s a great reference about radiation exposure levels. If your patients want to know how much radiation they receive from dental x-rays versus other sources of radiation, here’s something you can show them that’s very interesting (and reassuring!) I mean, who’s afraid of bananas?!
- Here are the ADA recommendations concerning types and frequency of xrays. Please note they recommend the use of a lead apron with a thyroid collar when taking x-rays, so long as it does not interfere with the procedure.
- The newest guidelines from the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology say that lead aprons for gonadal and fetal shielding are not necessary and do not offer additional protection from radiation.
- To be clear, I don’t agree with these recommendations. I totally agree with their findings and I also agree that there is basically no risk, but dental patients are freaks about xrays. If they end up with testicular or another cancer, or they have a baby with a developmental issue, trust me, in their minds, dental xrays could be the cause! COVID should have taught us all about the level of medical knowledge in America, and unfortunately, they’re the same people who make up our juries. I would never take an xray without a lead apron unless it was blocking my view.
- X-Ray Badge Information: X-ray badges are generally not required in dentistry because the radiation levels related to dental xrays are so low. However, they are recommended for pregnant employees, as a general rule, (to prove there was no fetal exposure in the event of problems with the baby), but check with your local board to make sure it’s not required by your state. Click here for more information . The Georgia Department of Community Health also recognizes that dental health care workers rarely receive enough radiation to require the use of dosimetry badges. They also RECOMMEND badges for pregnant staff members and those who use handheld xray units, such as NOMADS (because some devices were not shielded properly), but no badges are required.
- To check out the Georgia laws, click here for an overview. Here are the actual laws for general rules under “X-rays in the Healing Arts”.
- Here is an information sheet from the ADA about dental x-rays and safety.