Dental Radiographics

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Many people may worry that dental radiographs are not safe, because we all know that radiation exposure can cause cancer, which is the mutation of cells. While cancer caused by radiation is a very valid concern, the amount of radiation a patient would be exposed to during a dental radiograph would usually be too low to pose a health risk depending on the tissues that are to be examined and the size of patient. Subsequently, many techniques are used in the dental office to make sure that patients and employees are protected as much as possible from the risk of radiation exposure. A patient sitting in the patient chair, who is ready to receive a diagnostic x-ray at the dentist may be wondering if the dental radiograph he or she is receiving …show more content…

While some exposure to radiation is acceptable in medical practice, it should be understood that levels of radiation exposure to patients, dental staff, and other nearby occupants should be kept to As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) to reduce health risks from ionizing radiation. Any methods that can reduce patient and area radiation exposures without major difficulty, great expense or inconvenience, should be practiced. Practitioners must always consider the risk of patient exposure with the benefit of diagnosis.” (Carestream Healthcare. 2007) By regulating what film speeds are being used, the risk of radiation exposure can be greatly lessened. Lead aprons are one way the a dental assistant would aid the patient in to better protect them from scatter radiation. Some lead aprons have collars for extra protection and can come in different sizes to better accommodate different sized patients, such as children. To best protect the dental assistant who is taking the radiograph he or she should be at a distance of at least 6 feet away from the source of radiation exposure. Many employees will wear aprons as well as badges that monitor radiation exposure dose continuously over a period, to make sure that they are under the yearly exposure dose. Many would argue that the fact that since such precautions must be taken to prevent patients and to monitor radiation levels of employees shows that there is a very real risk factor for radiation caused cancer. The efforts shows that employees are using ALARA and are being precautionary and using help to aid in no extra or unnecessary exposure to themselves or to the

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