X-rays pediatric radiation performed responsively
The Image Gently campaign was designed for both dentists and parents as it tries to raise awareness regarding imaging. Most parents know that children need smaller portions in everything. They need to be treated with greater care and more attention in order to develop naturally. This also applies when we take our children to the dentist. As parents we have the obligation to ask the dentist to treat our children as, well, children. We have to ask about radiation safety if it comes to imaging and the dentist must take this into consideration.
Adults react different to radiation, they have a stronger immune system and the body is fully developed. Children are a special case when it comes to radiations. There are more associated risks related to organ development and radiosensitivity.
According to specialists supporting this campaign, pediatric dental procedures should be improved when talking about children safety during imaging. Specialists (and of course parents) consider that “one size does not fit all” and they strongly recommend that children should be imaged gently.
They even proposed a six step plan to improve safety regulations on pediatric dentistry. This plan includes the following:
- Select the x-ray quantity for the patient’s individual needs. You always should consider what the patient needs and not what the book says as a general rule of thumb. Each patient is special and you must take this into consideration as a specialist;
- You should use the fastest image receptor possible like E- or F-speed film. Also you can use digital sensors. Reducing the time a patient needs to be under radiation is always a good thing. This is very important if we talk about children. Less time they spend under the radiation the less exposure they’ll get;
- Expose only the area of interest and never more – all dentists and technicians should apply this rule. Never do a full area radiation if you don’t have to. You have to take care of your patients and children must be treated with special care;
- Use thyroid collars. Very effective in protecting the thyroid, a gland very sensitive to radiations and external influences of all types. A faulty functioning thyroid can affect an adult’s life pretty ugly; can you image what it will do to a child?
- Always adapt exposure to your patient size. As we were saying one size does not fit all and you have to be extremely carefully when it comes to children;
- Use cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) only when necessary.
The Image Gently campaign offers to both parents and Medical Professionals information and educational materials.
For parents they offer information on:
- different types of radiology exams that could be more appropriate for a child;
- what types of exams should a dentist perform on your child;
- How to be prepared for the first visits to the dentist.
For Medical Professionals there are educational materials that you can share with your patients, opportunities to continue your education with modules in Fluoroscopy and Computed Tomography (CT), information about meetings with topics on pediatric radiation protection and other causes
Image Gently is an amazing response to worries parents expressed all over the world. It is also an amazing resource of information and materials for dentists all over the world who are preoccupied on their patient’s safety and well being. Even as an adult you have to be preoccupied about your safety when stepping into a dentist’s office but when it comes to children our worries and safety concern multiply and it is amazing that someone thought at offering answers. Once again it was proven that knowledge means power and from now on when a parent gets his child to the dentist it will know what to expect.