"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

According to Dental Group, lead aprons are not any longer required during x-rays

November 3, 2023 – Wearing a heavy lead apron isn’t any longer vital during routine dental X-rays, an expert dental radiology group has concluded.

Potential exposure to other parts of the body from what scientists call “external radiation scatter” now not poses a health threat because modern dental X-ray technology is safer. The Recommendation from the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology was recently published in The Journal of the American Dental Association.

Dental x-rays have been standard practice for around 70 years. They may help dentists detect tooth decay, bone and gum disease, infections and tumors. The authors of the brand new guidelines examined the danger of thyroid cancer after exposure to dental X-rays, in addition to the possible effects on pregnant people and their unborn babies.

“There is ample evidence in the scientific literature that the apron and thyroid collar provide no additional benefit,” said co-author Aruna Ramesh, DMD, professor and associate dean for educational affairs at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine A Press release.

The radiation dose to which pregnant persons are exposed would should be 10,000 to 30,000 times higher to potentially harm an unborn child, the authors advised.

Wearing the apron is predicted to proceed for now because it offers dental patients a way of protection.

“The lead apron plays a very important role in the psychology of our patients,” Hugo Campos, DMD, DDS, associate professor and director of oral and maxillofacial radiology at Tufts, said in an announcement.

Another reason lead aprons aren't prone to go away soon is that state laws typically require them, and the technique of changing those requirements to reflect the brand new suggestion is predicted to be slow.

Eliminating the lead apron could actually reduce an individual's radiation exposure. This is since the collar of the apron can sometimes obstruct a transparent image, requiring a second image, thus doubling the radiation exposure.

“Maintaining the quality of the images is the best way for us to protect our patients,” Campos said.