Radiation Information

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low dose. LOW RISK.

Radiation dose is always a crucial consideration when conducting dental and medical diagnostic imaging examinations. The key to excellence is to ensure the examination is justified, and that the lowest possible doses are used.

At DMDI, we review every referral to ensure the referrer has provided clinical reasoning for the examination. Once the exam is approved, we ensure radiation dose is minimised by ensuring ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principles are maintained, and only the area requested by the referrer is irradiated.

As ionising radiation has the potential to damage cells and cause conditions like cancer, some patients are concerned about the safety of diagnostic imaging. Thankfully, DMDI's imaging involves very low doses compared to most medical imaging (which itself presents already very minimal risks). Not only are the areas exposed smaller, but most regions imaged are not very sensitive to radiation and the exposure factors required for such imaging are lower than for most medical examinations. 

It can also be noted that while it is clear that very high ionising radiation doses can cause cancer, there remains substantial scientific debate about whether doses at the level of diagnostic imaging may fall below a threshold and not increase cancer risk at all. However while uncertainty exists advisory bodies sensibly advocate the conservative approach of minimising all doses with ALARA, and this is supported and conducted by DMDI.

DMDI has fully digital and dedicated devices for both OPG / Ceph, and CBCT imaging.  Please note that DMDI does not conduct CBCT examinations to produce reconstructed OPG or Ceph images, as this exposes the patient to unnecessarily high doses.

There are many sources of information for radiation dose information. This includes ARPANSA, as well as various research papers and manufacturers. We have produced a graph (found below) compiling some common doses, as well as most of our own examinations for perspective. It should be noted that the higher medical imaging examination doses in this graph are based on research data, but protocols and equipment vary between institutions.

If you have any other radiation queries or concerns, our radiography staff will be happy to discuss this with you.

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