ADA Digital X-Ray Recommendations
The American Dental Association (ADA) encourages all dentists and their patients to discuss their treatment options, including the need for X-rays, to be able to make informed decisions. Knowing the need for radiographic representations, the ADA and the FDA formulated recommendations to serve as guide when dentists make professional judgment regarding X-ray imagings.
These are not meant to be standards, requirements or regulations because dentists are in the best position to make the judgment, knowing their own patients’ history and vulnerabilities.
Although dental radiation is but a minor portion of total exposure from all sources, accounting for approximately 2.5 percent of the effective dose received from medical radiographs and fluoroscopies (half of which from CT scannings), the ADA nevertheless calls for careful and minimalist use of radiation in dental practice and only on the basis of need, not as routine.
It advocates use of the fastest image receptor available; use cone-beam CT (CBCT) only when necessary; collimate the beam to the area of interest; always use a thyroid collar/shield; and “child-size” the exposure time.
The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) have listed detailed Effective Radiation Doses for Dental Radiographic Examinations for adults, including occupational exposure for dental personnel, which limits should not be exceeded. Likewise, state laws and regulations set specific requirements for the use of ionizing radiation, including X-rays. Training requirements for dental office personnel typically are found in state dental practice acts or dental board regulations.
With all these safeguards from the ADA, the NCRP, and our state laws, the dental patient’s welfare is always foremost and supreme.
Bellingham Dentistry is Safe Dentistry
If you are concerned about radiation, it is good to know that here at Dr Tetrick’s in Bellingham, we practise safe dentistry using light exposure digital X-ray and only on a per need basis.