Digital Radiography

I currently use Schick technologies as my digital sensors and Instrumentarium as my digital Panorex to help aid in for a clear diagnosis.

There is a great deal in the health community today about digital x-rays and radiation. The American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology recently published some facts on radiation. This is based on data from the University of Michigan and the UCLA department of radiology:

  • Panoramic Average 10-15uSv
  • Digital Panorex 4.7-14.9uSv
  • Highest film Panorex 26uSv
  • Full Mouth series (10-18 individual films) 150uSv

The largest contribution to our daily exposure of radiation is our natural world. The major form of this is from Radon gas. Radon 222 is naturally occurring, odorless, colorless, tasteless, and chemically nonreactive decay product of Uranium 238 which is found in soil and rocks.

On average, Americans receive a radiation dose of approximately .62 REM (620 millirem) annually according to the US Nuclear Regulatory Emission. Half of this dose comes from the natural background of radiation, which is primarily Radon. When compared to conventional dental x-rays, digital exposure is about 1/8 the amount of radiation. In many instances, the radiation dose in a digital dental x-ray is about the same as what you get from the sun daily.

New units for dose equivalents have been introduced into the metric system. The new unit of dose equivalent is the Sievert (sv) (1sv = 100 rem). Dental radiology doses are usually expressed in:

  • millirads       1 mrad = .001 rad
  • microgray       1uGy= .000001 Gy
  • 1mrad= 10 uGy
  • 1mrem= 10 uSv

Natural radiation background is about 3mSv or 300 mrem per year.

Radiation that strikes only part of the body such as medical/dental x-rays are not as hazardous as the same amount of radiation to the whole body. Same Background Equivalent Radiation Times of ionizing radiation from medical x-rays are a dental bitewing, about 1 week, a chest x-ray about 10 days, a mammogram about 3 months.

Cameron, J.R. American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology Newsletter; Volume 24 No 3.Summer 1997, Pg 17.

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Ala Dean Attar, DMD

712 Florsheim Drive, Suite #12,
Libertyville, IL 60048

1500 Waukegan Road, Suite 280,
Glenview, IL 60025

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