Radiography Made Safer: How We’re Protecting Your Health During Dental Visits

At Downtown Franklin Family Dentistry, your safety and well-being are paramount in every aspect of your dental care. That’s why we’re dedicated to staying informed about the latest advancements and guidelines, especially when it comes to radiography safety. Recently, the American Dental Association (ADA) released updated recommendations to enhance radiography safety in dentistry, and we want to ensure our patients are fully informed about these important changes.

What the ADA’s Recommendations Entail:

The ADA’s expert panel, in collaboration with the Council on Scientific Affairs, has introduced several key recommendations to improve radiation protection in dental radiography and cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT). These recommendations, published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, aim to optimize diagnostic information while minimizing radiation exposure for patients.

Key Points from the ADA’s Recommendations:

  1. Discontinuation of Lead Abdominal Aprons and Thyroid Collars: The use of lead abdominal aprons or thyroid collars during dental X-rays is no longer recommended. Evidence suggests that modern digital X-ray equipment and techniques provide adequate radiation protection without the need for these protective measures. Additionally, lead aprons and thyroid collars can obstruct the primary X-ray beam, hindering the capture of necessary images.
  2. Optimized Use of Dental X-rays: Dentists should carefully consider the diagnostic information needed from X-rays to benefit patient care or improve clinical outcomes. Ordering radiographs in moderation helps minimize both patients’ and dental professionals’ exposure to ionizing radiation. Digital imaging, beam size restriction, and proper patient positioning are among the strategies recommended to optimize diagnostic information while reducing radiation exposure.
  3. Guidelines for Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT): CBCT should be used judiciously, with lower-exposure options explored first to provide necessary diagnostic information. Dentists should adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local regulations on radiation safety when incorporating CBCT into patient care.


Our Commitment to Your Safety

At Downtown Franklin Family Dentistry, we prioritize your safety and comfort above all else. While the ADA’s updated recommendations advise against the routine use of lead abdominal aprons or thyroid collars during dental X-rays, we understand that each patient’s needs are unique. Therefore, we assess every case individually and may still choose to utilize these protective measures when necessary.

In our practice, there’s no harm in continuing to use lead abdominal aprons or thyroid collars on a case-by-case basis. The X-ray beam we use is highly concentrated, minimizing the risk of radiation scatter. Additionally, our team is committed to educating our patients about the safety and benefits of dental X-rays during their visits.

Dr. Abrams emphasizes the importance of patient education and empowerment. We respect each patient’s preferences and concerns, and we will always prioritize your comfort and peace of mind.

Rest assured that when you visit Downtown Franklin Family Dentistry, you’re in capable hands. We’re here to provide you with personalized care, tailored to your unique needs and preferences.

Your Role in Radiography Safety

As a valued patient, you can contribute to your safety by staying informed and proactive about your dental care:

  • Discuss any questions or concerns you may have about radiography safety with our team.
  • Inform us of any previous dental X-rays or medical imaging you have undergone.
  • Follow our recommendations for regular dental check-ups and X-rays based on your individual needs.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our radiography protocols, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Together, we can ensure your dental experience is as safe and beneficial as possible.

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