Year : 2018  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-30

Radiation safety protocol in dentistry: A neglected practice

Department of Oral Medicine & Radiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anu Premkumar
Department of Oral Medicine & Radiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bangalore 560054, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jofs.jofs_77_17

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Aim: The ready availability of radiodiagnostic aids has led to its overuse in dental practice. In addition, failure to reinforce the radiation safety procedures has unknowingly resulted in the negligence of the as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) principles among many dentists. Apart from patients, the dentists and dental assistants are being exposed to radiation in the clinics during regular practice. The current survey was designed to assess the awareness, concern, and practice of radiation protection in general dental practice. Materials and Methods: The survey consisted of 86 dentists in Bangalore city. A cross-sectional self-administered questionnaire consisting of a total of 31 items was used. The obtained data were compiled and analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 20.0 software (IBM Corporation, New York, United States). Results: All the dentists responded in the study (100%); the participants had limited knowledge regarding the radiation equipment. Majority of the participants were using rounded collimator (96.5%) and short cone (61.6%). E-speed film was used by most of the dentists (90.7%). Bisecting angle technique was preferred by most of the practitioners (69.8%) for making periapical radiographs. Only 20.9% of the dentists made their patients wear lead apron during X-ray exposure. None of them were using thyroid collar. Most of the dentists practiced at a safe distance of 6 ft from the X-ray tube, whereas 10.5% of the dentists assisted holding the radiographic receptor beside the patient. Radiation monitoring was performed by only 20% of the practitioners. Conclusion: The knowledge and practice of radiation protection were not satisfactory. Repeated reinforcement in the form of continued dental education program is necessary, and, most importantly, change in the attitude of the dentist to follow ALARA should be advocated.

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