Protection Measures for Staff

As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA)

  • Aimed at limiting radiation exposure to radiation workers
    • Does not include Background (3.1 mSv) or Man-made (3.1 mSv) doses
  • Dental workers’ occupational exposure is very low vs. other radiation workers
    • Reported doses are 0.04 mSv
    • Personal dosimeters not required (verify with state regulations)

    ALARA Principles

    • Time
      • Dose decreases linearly – decrease time by ½, decrease dose by ½
    • Distance
      • Dose governed by “Inverse Square Law”
        • Increase distance by a factor of 2, decrease dose by factor of 4
    • Shielding
      • Stand behind walls, leaded barriers, backscatter shields, etc.
      • If not available, staff should:
        • Wear lead apron
        • Stand at 45 degrees from the primary beam exiting patient’s head

      Handheld X-ray Devices

        • Hold the device at mid-torso height
        • Ensure backscatter shielding ring is:
          • Oriented parallel to operator
          • Positioned at end of Position Indicating Device (PID)
        • If operated without a backscatter shielding ring, the operator should wear a lead apron!
        • Examples of devices:
          • KaVo NOMAD
          • Vatech EzRay