Recent attention in the media about radiation exposure from a variety of sources provides you dentist an opportunity to educate you the patient about the safe use of radiography by the dental profession. The ADA supports dentists’ use of the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle when prescribing radiographs, some thing we at the 5 Points Center for Aesthetic Dentistry consider with every patient.
Steps to achieve this goal include determining the need for radiographs on a case-by-case basis (weighing the benefit of radiographs against patient exposure to X-rays), limiting radiation exposure by appropriate use of a protective apron and thyroid collar, reducing the size of the x-ray beam to the target area, and using the fastest image receptor needed for diagnosis – digital being the fastest and safest.
Dental standards ensure that everyone is on the same page – from those who design and manufacture dental products to the dentists who use them. Standards for dental products and dental informatics keep patients safe, promote product quality and improve job performance for dentists.
While not the most pleasant thought, a recent example is the specification for forensic dental data. ANSI/ADA Specification No. 1058 for Forensic Dental Data Set establishes a standardized format for dentists and dental professionals to collect patient data which will help forensics professionals in establishing positive identification of human remains.
So whether we are taking a diagnostic image to start your Teen Invisalign (and work towards a new smile) or an X-ray to complete your root canal (saving a valuable tooth in your smile), we will using Digital Radiography and using the least amount of radiation exposure as possible – while getting the appropiate information and staying GREEN.