Dental Workers

Understanding the fundamentals of radiological health protection is essential for all radiation workers, including employees, students and contractors engaged in patient care in dental practices. Radiation workers must take precautions to protect their patients, co-workers and themselves from unnecessary exposure to radiation. This is primarily achieved by use of a remote switch located outside the dental operatory, and use of protective gear like lead aprons. However, in recent years newer versions of panographic x-ray units and new Cone Beam Computed Tomography (Cone Beam CT or CBCT)  technology units are becoming prevalent, operating at higher peak energy than traditional bite-wing X-ray units. For units operating at higher peak energy than traditional units, consistent use of radiation badges to record radiation dose of workers (which accumulates over a lifetime) is important.

Resources for employees in dental practices:

  • Answers to a range of questions about radiation, with answers vetted by multiple professional organizations. Of special interest to radiation workers is the “Radiation and Me” or “Radiation and Reproduction” sections of this web site, which is hosted by the Health Physics Society:
  • Information prepared and published by the Society for Pediatric Radiology, titled “Resources for you and your Child”.
  • Radiation safety information published by the American Dental Association:

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