Medical imaging using radiation is an important diagnostic and treatment tool. However, the use of radiation carries some risks, and children are especially at risk. The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging has developed a campaign called Image Gently to promote safe and effective imaging of children worldwide. Dr. Dale A. Miles explains how radiation imaging can be done in a way to protect children in this report.
Dr. Miles explains that the objective is to reduce CT emissions to children. Dentists use a technique called cone beam computed tomography that uses a lower energy level, but it still uses radiation, and dentists need to be concerned about it.
The Image Gently campaign is directed at the public, but the objectives of the campaign have been adopted by a number of dental organizations. The campaign includes six tenets that are important in safe imaging of children and that can guide dentists and hygienists in using radiation when children are involved.
Select x-rays for individual’s needs, not merely as a routine. Radiation should be used only as needed based on a child’s medical history.
Use the fastest image receptor possible. Cone beam CT should be used only when necessary.
Collimate the beam. Limit the beam to the area of interest.
Use a thyroid shield. New guidelines coming out in 2017 will require this. The guideline will apply to almost all procedures.
Child size the exposure time. The exposure time should be reset every time the beam is used so that a child is not subjected to adult level radiation.
Use the cone beam CT only when necessary.
Dental schools teach "selection criteria" to help future dentists and hygienists decide when x-rays are needed. Dr. Miles explains that a patient should be examined before there is a decision to use x-rays of any kind as a diagnostic tool.
Dr. Dale A. Miles, D.D.S., M.S., F.R., is an Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist in Fountain Hills, Arizona and president of EasyRiter, LLC. Formerly, he was a professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ASDOH). Dentist News Network is a featured network of Sequence Media Group