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
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:
- Intra-oral film must be aligned securely in the patient's mouth for
- Cephalometric and Pan film cassettes must be aligned in an appropriate cassette
- X-ray film must never be held by hand for an x-ray examination.
Radiation exposure can be controlled with four basic measures:
- Maximize the distance from a radiation source.
- Minimize the amount of time spent near a source of radiation.
- Shield the radiation source properly.
- Shield the patient and personnel appropriately.