How Can We Reduce The Radiation
To make sure the child exposure is reduced as much as possible the Image Gently campaign recommends dentists to:
- Take x-rays based on the specific patient/ childs needs and not as a routine test
- Use up to date equipment and techniques
- Use thyroid collars and protective shields as needed for other body parts
- Use child-size exposure times
- Take Cone-Beam CT scans only when necessary
Is A Cone Beam Still Safe
We manage the radiation dose. Even though a cone beam would give us the most amount of information, its not necessary for the majority of people. But the radiation dose of a cone beam is still a lot smaller than a lot of the conventional medical X-rays. This is because the machines are smaller and it takes less time to take the image.
The Reduction Methods Of Operator’s Radiation Dose For Portable Dental X
Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology, Dankook University College of Dentistry, Cheonan, Korea.
Correspondence to Won-Jeong Han, DDS, MSD, PhD. Associate Professor, Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology, Dankook University College of Dentistry, 119 Dandae-ro, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan, Korea 330-714. TEL, +82-41-550-1922 FAX, +82-41-556-7127
©Copyrights 2012. The Korean Academy of Conservative Dentistry.
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Dental Patient Doses Information
E. Russell Ritenour and S. Julian Gibbs
In dental radiography, the part of the head that receives the greatest dose is the skin in the area where the x rays enter. A recent study was performed at the Department of Diagnostic Sciences at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, using a realistic head phantom and state-of-the-art imaging systems . In the table below are some typical skin and thyroid doses received for the exams indicated. The effective dose is explained below. Of course, these doses vary somewhat from different machines, but the figures listed below are probably within 10 to 20 percent of the actual amounts received by the patient.
Patient Doses from Dental X-Ray Exams
â Written by E. Russell Ritenour and S. Julian Gibb Revised and updated by John P. Jacobus in July 2010
What Are Dental X
Dental x-rays are used to make quick and painless images of your teeth and jaws. X-rays are invisible beams of energy, a form of radiation. The images are displayed on film or on the computer monitor after the x-rays pass through an area of the body and are absorbed differently depending on the density of the structures. Dense body parts such as bones and teeth absorb much of the x-rays and will show up as white areas on the resulting image, while less dense body parts such as nerves and muscles absorb less, showing up as shades of gray.
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Radiationexposure In Dental Vs Medical Procedures
When compared to medical imaging,dental X-ray machines produce very little radiation, primarily because muchmore radiation is required to penetrate large areas of bone and tissue than isneeded to penetrate dental anatomy. Additionally,the bones and skin of the mouth have low radio-sensitivity compared to largerparts of the body.For example, a 2D chestX-ray requires 50 Sv of radiation, while adental 2D panoramic X-ray requires only 10 Sv . Likewise, amedical CT scan of the maxilla and mandible can require up to 2,000 Sv of radiation, as compared to only 36 Sv for a similarly sized dental cone beam scan.
A Daily Dose Of Background Radiation
Every day, were exposed to radiation. It comes from the sun, our cell phones, and even riding in an airplane
But when you get a set of four bitewing X-rays the total amount of radiation is only about 0.005 mSv which is less than an average daily dose of radiation in everyday life.
To give you an idea of other types of radiation encountered in everyday activities, consider these comparisons:
Going through an airport security scanner 80 times is the equivalent to a single day of casual radiation exposure. 1,000 times equals the amount of radiation used for a chest X-ray. An average 7-hour plane ride exposes each passenger to approximately 0.02 mSv
Comparison Of Medical Dental And Natural Radiation Levels
When you visit with your oral surgeon in Chicago, chances are that you will need to have at least one advanced x-ray as part of your examination. Whether you are having your wisdom teeth evaluated or you are interested in dental implants, sophisticated x-rays are necessary and will provide a wealth of information about your anatomy.
If you have ever wondered about the effect of dental x-rays on your body or the amount of radiation that is produced with each press of the button, then you are not alone. Traditionally, dental x-ray technology has been exceptionally safe. With ultra-sensitive x-ray film and highly focused x-ray beams, the exposure to the dental patient was minimal.
Today, with the use of digital x-ray imaging, the radiation dose is even lower than ever before. In fact, compared to other sources of natural and medical radiation, dental imaging generally produces a significantly lower dose.
Since radiation is naturally created in the environment, it is helpful to compare medical and dental radiation exposure to a day in the sun. In the course of normal daily activities, you can expect to accumulate a certain amount of radiation. For instance, on a flight from Los Angeles to London, the estimated radiation dose is equal to approximately 10 days of natural radiation exposure.
A more thorough comparison between real radiation exposure values in milliseiverts can be found below in the accompanying tables labeled 1-3.
Natural Background Radiation Levels
All people are exposed to naturally occurring ionising and non-ionising radiation arising from our environment and our sun. It is difficult to give a meaningful measurement of dose of this naturally occurring radiation but the level to which we are all exposed is low. One way in which we can quantify this background radiation dose is by comparing it to the dose required to carry out X-ray examinations.
The quantity of natural background radiation we receive varies depending on where we are. The nearer to the sun you are, the greater the dose of this radiation you will receive. For example flying in commercial aircraft as a passenger at an altitude of 40 thousand feet will expose you to a higher dose of radiation than walking on the surface of the earth. Therefore we can compare the radiation received from many activities and X-ray investigations.
We can express the quantity of this naturally occurring background radiation as background equivalent radiation times Abbott P. Aust Dent J 2000 45: 208-213).
Radiation doses can also be measured in micro-Sieverts. However, the dose received by a patient undergoing X-ray investigation may vary significantly depending on the make of the Xray equipment, the model of the Xray unit in use, the settings used which depends on the size of the patient .
*This value in microSieverts is the dose on the actual machine used in Dr Priestlands practice (Planmecca ProMax 5×8 format
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How Much Radiation Do I Get From A Dental X
If youve ever wondered why your dentist draped you in a lead apron and all of their staff step out of the room each time you need a dental X-ray, its normal to have some concern about the safety of the procedure.
Fortunately, getting dental X-rays today is extremely safeand the only reason why your dental team stays far away, is because of the risk of gradual exposure that accumulates day after day throughout their career.
Otherwise, dental X-rays are usually nothing to be concerned about!
Whats The Difference Between An X
An OPG is a type of X-ray. It stands for orthopantomograph. Its a way of taking an X-ray of the major structures all the way around the mouth. The X-ray beam travels around your head and will show the areas from just behind one of your jaw joints to just behind the other joint.
It gives a good overall screening picture that shows all of your teeth. It will show where any impacted teeth are underneath the gums. It will show the nerve of the wisdom tooth. It will show the inferior dental nerve and it gives us a picture of the sinuses as well. Its a good screening tool for identifying general dental problems.
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Effective Radiation Dose In Adults
Here are some approximate comparisons of background radiation and effective radiation dose in adults for several radiology procedures described on this website. These values can vary greatly, depending on the size of the patient and the type of imaging technology being used. Manufacturers of imaging technology continue to make improvements towards reducing radiation exposure while maintaining image quality.
Radiation From Dental X
In order for dentists to see hidden problems in your jaws and in your teeth, it is necessary to take x-rays. It goes without saying that the more dental x-rays you get, the more radiation exposure your body receives. Extensive exposure to radiation can increase your risk of getting certain types of cancer this is why it is important to only get needed dental x-rays.
How many dental x-rays you need and how often you need them largely depends on your risk for oral disease. You can find out how often you should get dental x-rays taken here.
The purpose of this article is to simply let you know how much radiation various types of dental x-rays give you.
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Faqs For Health Professionals
» What is meant by radiation dose of X rays?
Radiation dose is a measure of how much energy is absorbed when something or someone is exposed to X-rays. This is important because it is this absorption of energy that can cause damage to a person. Different quantities are used to express dose.
» Which quantity is used in practice to relate radiation dose to risk?
A commonly used quantity to express the dose to a person is effective dose, which takes into account the dose to different organs/tissues which are exposed . Effective dose is related to the risk for stochastic effects . Effective dose and its associated risk should not be applied to individuals, but can be used to compare between modalities, techniques and other sources of exposure . Non-stochastic effects (tissue reactions / deterministic effects may also occur at organ dose levels above a specific threshold.
» Which quantities are used to measure the dose from dental X ray equipment?
Since the effective dose cannot be measures, in practice, other dose quantities that are directly measurable are used for the purpose of optimization, dose monitoring, and quality assurance. They are specific to a certain imaging modality.
The measurable quantity is the entrance surface air kerma/dose. The unit of entrance surface kerma is the gray , but in dental radiology the dose levels are usually a small fraction of one gray – milligray , or even microgray .
Naturally Occurring Background Radiation
We are exposed to natural sources of radiation all the time. According to recent estimates, the average person in the U.S. receives an effective dose of about 3 mSv per year from natural radiation, which includes cosmic radiation from outer space. These natural “background doses” vary according to where you live.
People living at high altitudes such as Colorado or New Mexico receive about 1.5 mSv more per year than those living near sea level. A coast-to-coast round-trip airline flight is about 0.03 mSv due to exposure to cosmic rays. The largest source of background radiation comes from radon gas in our homes . Like other sources of background radiation, the amount of radon exposure varies widely depending on where you live.
To put it simply, the amount of radiation from one adult chest x-ray is about the same as 10 days of natural background radiation that we are all exposed to as part of our daily living.
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Summary Of Radiation Dose Equivalents For Patients
When a patient is irradiated in order to take an X-ray, an area of their body is exposed to ionising radiation. This form of radiation has the potential to damage normal tissue cells if it is used in a high dose for a prolonged time. However, modern X-ray equipment is designed to minimise this dose of radiation in order to limit, as far as possible, any damaging effects on the human body while obtaining a clear image for diagnostic purposes. All members of the medical and dental team are committed to minimising the dose of radiation and keeping the exposure of the patient to a level as low as reasonably achievable.
Why Do I Need A Dental X
When we take dental X-rays, were looking for problems in places we cant see. We cant see in between your teeth. We cant see the bone underneath your teeth. Often, we cant see if decay is occurring in between your teeth until that decay gets quite advanced. Dental X-rays allow us to see things before they become big problems. They let us detectand treatany dental issues much earlier.
Small dental x-rays give fine detail about things we cant see like what is happening under fillings and in between teeth
This style of x-rays is called bitewings and they are placed inside the mouth.
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The Honest Truth About Radiation From Dental X
How is radiation measured?
Radiation is measured in units called Sieverts. Because of the small amount of radiation emitted during dental x-rays, it is measured in MicroSieverts . Many patients are concerned about the amount of radiation we get from dental x-rays, so wed like to give you something to compare this to.
How much radiation is significant?
Doses of radiation below 100,000 MicroSieverts indicates that risks of health effects are either too small to be observed or are nonexistent. The bitewing x-rays we take are only 0.03% of this amount! The potential health risk from dental x-rays is far outweighed by the benefit of early cavity detection the x-rays give us.
We consider your personal risk factors when deciding which type and how often you should receive X-rays. We also use exclusively digital X-ray sensors, which reduce radiation exposure by up to 75%. When administered appropriately, dental X-rays provide us with a safe, accurate way to diagnose dental disease.
What about lead aprons?
Digital x-rays use far less radiation than traditional x-rays. We follow the recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health, and lead aprons are not required for dental x-rays. We recognize that every patients situation is unique and therefore, we keep lead aprons and thyroid collars available for use upon request.
How Often Should Dental X
The type and frequency of dental x-rays depends on the patients needs which are determined based on the clinical exam and risk factors. If you are a new patient, dental x-rays may be requested to determine your oral health and to have a baseline to identify changes that may occur later.
How often dental x-rays should be taken depends on:
- Age and stage of development
- Present oral health and clinical findings
- Risk for dental caries and periodontal disease
- If you have any signs and/or symptoms of oral disease
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The Reality Of Dental Radiation
Dental x-rays have always given patients such a small amount of radiation that its effects are considered almost an afterthought. Dentists and hygienists are taught the details and intricacies of radiation dose and its interactions with the human body, but the publics knowledge is limited. To make it understandable, in practice, dental staff members often compare dental radiation dose amounts to the amount of natural radiation a person gets from a few minutes in a plane or on the beach. But like a nagging little grain of sand in your shoe, this question of radiation can be frustrating because the general public has a fear of it. Questions from patients about the radiation emitted from dental x-ray machines come up on a regular basis, and some people even refuse exposure to the detriment of their own oral health.
So why do charts show the dose of dental x-rays as so much lower than regular x-rays? Reference Figure 1.
The skin and bone have a 0.01 weighting factor and the gonads have a 0.08 weighting factor, which is eight times more. The colon has a weighting factor of 0.12, which is much larger than the skin and teeth as well. This is a bigger difference than just the difference in the change in thickness from the mouth to the abdomen.
What is the truth that you can tell your patients?
Justification For Radiation Exposures
Justification is the concept that a dentist needs to decide that a radiograph should be made when a patient is likely to benefit from exposure to diagnostic imaging. An initial clinical examination is required to determine the need for imaging of some or all of the tooth-bearing regions and surrounding hard tissues. Follow-up or periodic examinations to detect the presence of carious lesions and other conditions in areas that are not clinically accessible to direct view may require radiographic imaging. The frequency of such examinations will vary with patient considerations such as age, caries history, oral hygiene, history of periodontal or endodontic treatment, and other factors.
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Dentalradiation And Cancer Risk
Radiation isoften associated with cancer risk. If a patient is concerned about a 2D or 3Ddental X-ray exam, they are likely worried about the risk of cancer. There isno scientific evidence that dental radiography has been shown to cause cancer. Thefact that routine dental X-ray exams emit significantly lower radiation thaneven natural background exposures further supports that there is little to norisk associated with exposure from these types of exams.
Needadditional tips for discussing dental X-ray machine radiation exposure withyour patients? Renew Digital is happy to offer assistance atany time.