When dealing with radiation in a dental office, it is essential to follow safety protocols to ensure the safety of both patients and staff. The use of rectangular collimation is an important step in reducing the amount of radiation directed at the patient. It is also important to position yourself behind a shield or at least six feet away from the X-ray source and outside the path of the primary beam. Before pressing the exposure button, it is important to warn those in the vicinity to protect co-workers and patients. The American Dental Association (ADA) has established guidelines for effective radiation doses for dental radiographic exams.
Depending on the type of exam and the number of images captured, the effective radiation dose can range from 0.005 to 0.171 mSv. In addition to using rectangular collimation and positioning yourself away from the X-ray source, it is important to use lead aprons and thyroid collars when taking radiographs. Lead aprons protect the patient from radiation exposure, while thyroid collars protect the patient's thyroid gland from radiation exposure. It is also important to use a timer when taking radiographs, as this will help ensure that the exposure time is kept to a minimum. By following these safety protocols, you can help ensure that everyone in the dental office remains safe and healthy. Taking the time to understand and follow these protocols can help protect both patients and staff from unnecessary radiation exposure.