Facts: Radiation in Dental Medicine

Diagnostic radiology is an essential part of present day dental care medicine. While there are benefits to the patient being X-rayed, precautions must be taken to reduce the possible harmful effects of ionizing radiation to the operator.

The Risks

During a typical dental radiological examination, the radiation dose received by an operator is very low. However, in those cases where the operator is exposed to measurable doses of radiation, the body's defence mechanisms act upon exposed cells in an attempt to repair any damage. While an individual's immune system, age, or sex may dictate the speed and effectiveness of the body's ability to repair cells, exposure to ionizing radiation, even at low doses, may cause irreversible damage. Therefore, the effect of even low levels of ionizing radiation may accumulate and could represent a potential health hazard.

If you would like to learn more about radiation effects on the human body or to review recommended safety procedures, you can visit the following Web sites:

Safeguarding Your Health

Dental workers can minimize exposure risks by following documented safety procedures and using a dosimeter. Dosimeters are small devices that monitor an individual's exposure to X-rays. Dosimeters are worn for a specified period of time and then returned for processing and analysis. An exposure report is generated and identifies any radiation exposure incurred during the wearing period.

There are several reasons why a dental worker should wear a dosimeter:

The National Dosimetry Services - A Measure of Safety

The National Dosimetry Services (NDS) is Canada's leading dosimetry provider. NDS offers a full-line of dosimetry products and services that are tailored for the specific monitoring needs of the dental market. NDS is committed to providing accurate, high quality and reliable radiation exposure assessments; timely emergency response protection; and outstanding customer service.

If you would like to learn more about the products and services offered by NDS, please call our toll- free customer service line at: 1-800-261-6689 or visit us on the Web at: National Dosimetry Services.

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