Radiographic examinations are typically delegated to qualified (as mandated by state law) auxiliary personnel; dental assistants and dental hygienists. Qualified dental radiation workers are to comply with annual occupational whole-body radiation dose limits (Table 8). Occupational radiation dosimeters should be utilized by radiation workers who may receive an annual dose greater than 1 mSv and pregnant personnel operating x-ray equipment regardless of anticipated occupational exposure.1,29
|Occupational Whole-Body Dose Limits|
|Type||International Units||Traditional Units|
|Annual||50 mSv||5 rems|
|Embryo-fetus (term)||50 mSv||5 rems|
|Embryo-fetus (term)||5 mSv||0.5 rems|
Other methods to limit occupational exposure are listed in Table 9. Dental personnel should stand behind a protective barrier that permits observation of the patient during exposure. If a barrier is not present, the clinician should stand at a 6 feet/2 meters distance from the x-ray source and at a position greater than a right angle (90-135° angle) to the primary beam. If a handheld x-ray unit is used for intraoral imaging, the device must be used according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. The parameters of usage include:1
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