Dental staff doses with handheld dental intraoral x-ray units.

Health Phys. 2012 Feb;102(2):137-42.


A handheld portable dental intraoral x-ray system is available in the United States and elsewhere. The system is designed to minimize the user's radiation dose. It includes specially designed shielding of the x-ray tube housing and an integral radiation shield to minimize backscatter. Personnel radiation dose records were obtained from 18 dental facilities using both the handheld system and a wall mounted dental x-ray system, providing 661 individual dose measurements. Dental staff doses were also compared for the handheld and conventional systems using both film and digital imaging for the same facilities and staff members. The results indicate that the doses for the handheld systems are significantly less than for wall-mounted systems. The average monthly dose for the handheld systems was 0.28 μSv vs. 7.86 μSv (deep dose equivalent) for the wall-mounted systems, a difference that is statistically significant at the p = 0.01 level. Consequently, there should be no concern about the use of this handheld dental intraoral x-ray system. Additional shielding efforts, (e.g., wearing a lead apron) will not provide significant benefit nor reduce staff radiation dose.


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