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New radiation resource for dental patients

2 September 2021

Dental imaging methods such as X-rays are routinely used as part of general dental examinations and for diagnostic purposes. Each dental imaging procedure involves exposure to a small amount of ionising radiation. 

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and the Australian Dental Association (ADA) have joined together to produce a factsheet for patients to explain different types of dental imaging and the associated levels of radiation exposure. 

‘The 2-page resource has been designed with the patient in mind, especially those who might be concerned about the level of radiation exposure from dental X-rays’ said Dr Peter Thomas, Director Medical Imaging at ARPANSA. 

‘Radiation exposure from dental imaging is typically very low level, and the risk of negative health effects is minimal.’ 

The factsheet focuses on the different types of X-rays commonly used in dental treatments, including bitewing, periapical and panoramic X-rays.  

It also provides an infographic comparing the radiation exposure from dental X-rays to other sources of exposure in everyday life, such as the radiation you would be exposed to during a flight from Darwin to Perth.  

‘By comparing the level of exposure from dental X-rays to everyday exposure situations, patients will be able to better understand the low level of radiation exposure from dental imaging,’ said Dr Thomas. 

‘The factsheet is now online and we encourage dental professionals in Australia to make it available to their patients.’ 

The PDF icon Dental Imaging brochure (Australian Dental Association / ARPANSA) is available for download here. 

Further dental information is available from the ADA website.