If you’ve ever had a surgical procedure, you know that one of the preliminary questions asked by the medical team is how much you weigh. The reason for this is that various medications used for anesthesia and your general care are dosed based on the size of the person. Age can be a factor as well, but it stands to reason that a smaller body requires a different set of rules when it comes to any form of medical care. The Riverside pediatric dentists at Riverside Dental Group know that this extends to the preventive dental care of children, particularly when talking about x-rays.

Image Gently

The Image Gently campaign was mounted to raise awareness about the amounts of radiation and other special considerations necessary for pediatric dental patients. Dental radiology is a huge part of dental care, but must be administered in safe amounts so as not to cause more harm than good. Professor and director of Radiology and Imaging Science, Department of Surgical and Hospital Dentistry, University of Louisville School of Dentistry, William C. Scarfe, BDS, FRACDS, MS, concurs with an international team of radiologists specializing in both the medical and dental fields. They worked together to publish an article in Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology proposing the Image Gently campaign.

Awareness for Child Safety

Protecting children from an unsafe amount of radiation exposure is a basic safety concern of all dental professionals. Because of the size and fragility of growing children, radiation-associated risk is higher than with adult patients. Not only is size a concern, but the fact that today’s children have a longer life expectancy means many more years of radiation exposure if they keep up with the recommended biannual checkups. Says Scarfe, “This campaign is designed to change practice by increasing awareness of opportunities to improve radiation protection when imaging children in dental practices.”

Six Step Plan

The campaign recommends a six step plan:

  • Schedule x-rays on an as needed basis instead of as a routine aspect of dental checkups for healthy children.
  • Utilize fast equipment. The quicker the image receptor, the less radiation exposure.
  • Take careful aim with the beam of the x-ray for lower exposure to surrounding tissues.
  • Adapt the amount of exposure to the size of the child.
  • Only utilize cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) when absolutely necessary.

Visit your Riverside Dentists

Is anyone in your family overdue for a dental checkup? Preventive dentistry is the best way to avoid cavities and gum disease. Call our 92504 dentist office at (951) 689-5031 for all of your dental care needs.