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Thursday, July 25, 2019, Issue 180

Latest dental radiography dose report

Public Health England’s (PHE) latest dental radiography report proposes new National Diagnostic Reference Levels (NDRLs) and includes Cone Beam CT (CBCT) for the first time.

Dose to patients from dental radiographic X-ray imaging procedures in the UK is the latest in a series of reports from the PHE Centre for Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards (CRCE). The report  reviews data between 2014 and 2017 on patient doses from all types of dental X-ray imaging procedures including intra oral, panoramic, cephalometric and cone beam CT (CBCT).

The last review of radiographic and fluoroscopic imaging procedures in 2010 formed the basis of the current UK National Diagnostic Reference Levels (NDRLs) for these applications. PHE intended this new review to either confirm that the existing NDRLs are still suitable or to set new values.

Recommendations include the establishment of new NDRLs for child intra-oral radiography, lateral cephalometric radiography and dental CBCT imaging, and updates to the existing NDRLs for adult intra-oral and adult and child panoramic imaging.

The publication also reports that the NDRL for adult intra-oral radiography has decreased significantly when compared to the previous value; and the NDRLs for panoramic radiography are slightly reduced. When compared with NDRLS established in other countries, the UK NDRLs are generally lower and PHE believes that this may be in part due to the long-established process in the UK of periodically reviewing patient doses and regularly updating NDRLs.

To download the report visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dental-radiographic-x-ray-imaging-dose-to-patients and to view the full series visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/radiation-phe-crce-report-series.

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