The aim of this study was to quantify the levels of transmitted radiation arising from the use of intra-oral dental x-ray equipment and scattered radiation arising from the use of both intra-oral and panoramic x-ray equipment. Levels of scattered radiation were measured at 1 m from a phantom, using an ion chamber with a volume of 1800 cm3. Transmitted radiation was measured using both (i) a phantom and dose-area product (DAP) meter and (ii) a patient and a 1800 cm3 ion chamber. For intra-oral radiography the patient study gave a maximum transmission of 1.80% (range 0.04-1.80%, mean 0.26%) and the phantom study gave a maximum transmission of 6% (range 2-6%, mean 5%). The maximum scattered radiation, per unit DAP, was 5.5 nGy (mGy cm2)-1 at 70 kVp and a distance of 1 m. For panoramic radiography the maximum scattered radiation was 9.3 nGy (mGy cm2)-1 at 80 kVp and a distance of 1 m. Dose values are presented to enable the calculation of adequate protective measures for dental radiography rooms. Previous studies have used a phantom and measured radiation doses at 1 m from the phantom to determine the radiation dose transmitted through a patient, whereas this study uses both patient and phantom measurements together with a large-area dosemeter, positioned to capture the entire x-ray beam, to ensure that more realistic dose measurements can be made.
- dental x-ray
- occupational exposure