Monday, November 16, 2009

How much (dental) radiation do u need to have before it starts 2 affect u?

i work in a pediatric dental office %26amp; i have been getting in the habit of holding the film in the children's mouths with no pesonal pertection to get my picture.

i'm 19

How much (dental) radiation do u need to have before it starts 2 affect u?
Allme, I wouldn't do that... I can understand the need to hold films in place to avoid retakes in children, but you have to be worried about your own future children. Consider wearing one of those vest jacket things made for patients getting a panoramic x-ray if you MUST continue this practice.

In the olden days, doctors actually got cancer on their hands from hand holding films. I'm not sure if this is still a problem as film speeds have improved greatly.

At a MINIMUM, please try to use the highest speed film available, such as Kodak Insight or get your doc to buy a digital set-up.


One dental x-ray exposes the patient (and one would presume anyone who is in the room holding the film) to about 0.01 mSV or a little less. The average radition exposure from background sources in the US is about 3.0 mSV. So, one film doesn't seem like that much on top of what we get anyhow. In epidemiological studies of humans, no actual increase in cancer incidence has ever been found in groups of humans who have received EDs below 100 mSv. Since radiation accumulates, it is monitored over quarterly periods. 100 mSV would be 10,000 films. It is unlikely that any dental practice would ever reach those levels.

However... If you are doing this, I would HIGHLY recommend subscribing to a dosimetry service. If your boss is making you do this, insist upon it. I used a dosimetry service for about 2 years until we got a new x-ray machine in the office. My state requires an inspection from an independent radiation physicist to certify new units for operation. The inspector, a Ph.D. in radiation physics, asked if we ever got a reading on the dosimetry badge. I said that we had not. He said that he had been "in the business" for some ungodly long time (which I have forgotten) and he never saw a dental office that really needed to monitor.

So, I am going to partially retract my answer and add this information. Having said ALL THAT, I will confess that I personally hold 2 or 3 films per week when I am taking an endo length film for the same reason that you do. It's a waste of time if you have to retake the film. I'm 55 years old, though.

I will stick my my suggestion that YOU wear some protection if you are doing this more than once or twice a day.
Reply:about 20 thousand
Reply:The radiation used for dental purposes is in such small doses, I wouldn't really worry about it.
Reply:by putting a lead apron on will help you but you should be standing at least 6 feet away to be fully proctected i would advise you to wear a dosemeter to monitor the radiation that passes on to you. but the radiation is very little, by wearing a dosemeter it will tell you if you are being exposed to too much radiation.
Reply:It takes 10 seconds to toss on an apron. Just do it.
Reply:there is very little exposure and having the xray equipment regularly checked is important.

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