Dental Radiation Protection

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The safe use of dental x-ray equipment ultimately lies with the operator of the equipment. When good techniques are combined with proper knowledge, the results are not only reduced radiation doses to personnel, but also fewer re-takes are needed, resulting in lower doses to the patient. Improved x-ray image quality will also be obtained, resulting in better patient diagnosis and care.

Whenever performing x-ray exposures, personnel must remain outside of the examination room. If someone is required to be in the room during the x-ray exam, a protective leaded-apron must be worn.

The following guidelines are to be followed for film placement:

  1. Intra-oral film must be aligned securely in the patient's mouth for exposures.
  2. Cephalometric and Pan film cassettes must be aligned in an appropriate cassette holder.
  3. X-ray film must never be held by hand for an x-ray examination.

Radiation exposure can be controlled with four basic measures:

  1. Maximize the distance from a radiation source.
  2. Minimize the amount of time spent near a source of radiation.
  3. Shield the radiation source properly.
  4. Shield the patient and personnel appropriately.

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