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The importance of X-Ray Protection in Dentistry

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Imaging procedures in today’s dentistry industry has become indispensable. Therefore, protection from harmful scattered radiation is more important than ever.

X-Ray procedures and protection

Innovation in imaging devices and procedures allow dentists gain valuable insights on the oral health of their patients. These procedures are usually done with x-ray imaging devices, panoramic x-rays, and digital volume tomography (DVT) devices, aka, CBCT. With valuable insights on the one side, negative side-effects may be the consequence, if radiation protection is not addressed probably. Let’s take a look what x-ray radiation is and what can be done to avoid the risk from ionized radiation.

Radiation protection clothing and other devices that protect patients and staff from harmful radiation go through testing procedures that are regulated and overseen by authorities to ensure compliance with national guidelines. Hospitals and medical centers may have a radiation protection commissioner (Strahlenschutzbeauftragter), who ensures compliance of x-ray protection suppliers and may facilitate training on proper maintenance and inspects the x-ray protection apparel for any damages.

Why is radiation harmful and why should I be concerned?

X-rays are electromagnetic particles with high energy waves and in combination with certain molecules, ionized radiation is formed. These ionized radiations can damage living cells, such as the membrane or cell structure. Exposure over the long-term without proper radiation protection can cause the cell to mutate or degenerate and the risk of cancer increases.

Radiation Protection done right

As every person has a different DNA-structure, the sensitivity towards x-ray protection varies. However, there is no limit where damage to a DNA through ionized radiation can be guaranteed. Therefore, the risk of cancer through radiation is a serious hazard and should not be neglected in a dentist office or hospital that uses x-ray imaging as part of a medical procedure. In order to reduce unnecessary high radiation doses on the patient or staff, the ALARA principle (as low as reasonable achievable) is applied to analyze the benefit and risk to the patient. Such as to detect a dental condition in its early stages in order to take proper measurements before it may be too late.

In order to classify the risk of a radiation procedure or exposure, a so-call effective dose is determined. The effective dose is captured in Sievert, usually as Millisievert (mSV). Human organs are sensitive to ionized radiation to different degrees, which is also considered when designing x-ray protection clothing. Medical staff needs to reduce the risk and exposure of ionized radiation as much as possible. These best-practices are to ensure the optimal patient-specific device setting, the avoidance of unnecessary exposures and of course the use of high-quality x-ray protection clothing. It is also important that the medical staff that may assist the patient during an x-ray radiation procedure wears a radiation protection apron during a panoramic x-ray, as the operating personnel can be exposed through scatter radiation.

If you are looking for x-ray radiation clothing that meets the highest industry standards for x-ray protection clothing and offers high-quality x-ray protection aprons, visit www.medical-index.com. Learn more about why patients and medical staff trust and love x-ray protection aprons from Medical Index GmbH.