How dental radiology has changed in association with radiation protection in dentistry for dental X-rays

When taking X-rays with dental imaging systems, many medical professionals use a lead apron or lead-type coverages to shield other body parts from radiation exposure. At West Suburban Oral Health Care, P.C. of Naperville, Illinois, our dentists have decided to no longer utilize these types of coverages as directed and recommended by the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. Radiation protection in dentistry continues to change with changes in dental radiology. Continue reading to learn more!

When did we start using lead shielding for X-rays, and why?

The use of lead shielding for X-rays started back in the 1950s primarily to protect the gonadal tissues and reduce heritable effects. However, we have learned over time that radiation exposure isn’t connected to either of these concerns. Along with the ability to minimize radiation exposure by up to 90% with new radiology technologies, we have found that lead shielding doesn’t provide much protection against radiation exposure to pregnant women and children. In fact, it was discovered through continued testing and evaluation that very little radiation is absorbed by certain areas of the body, such as the thyroid and breast tissue, that we once worried so much about.

What recommendation has been made?

The American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology published information in the Journal of the American Dental Association that specifically recommends avoiding using lead shields for dental X-rays. This is recommended at all levels, including federal, state, and local regulations and specific guidance.

Schedule an appointment with our dedicated team today to learn more about our dental X-ray protocols!

If you are concerned about radiation exposure the lead aprons are still available upon request.  We ask that anyone with questions to connect with the team at West Suburban Oral Health Care, P.C. Drs. Susan Mazzei, Kelsey Esposito, and Ashley Nguyen of Naperville, Illinois, will work directly with you to educate you on the benefits of working with a practice that is dedicated to ensuring it offers you and your family the care you need for healthy smiles!

Call our office today at 630-393-3045 to request a visit at 380 West Diehl Road.

Dr. Susan Mazzei, West Suburban Oral Health Care
Dr. Kelsey Esposito, West Suburban Oral Health Care
Dr. Marco Fajardo, West Suburban Oral Health Care
Dr. Ashley Nguyen, West Suburban Oral Health Care

Dr. Susan Mazzei is a skilled dentist specializing in prosthodontics. A graduate of Northwestern University Dental School, she completed a Certification in Prosthodontics before joining the faculty of Northwestern University Dental School as a Clinical Assistant Professor, where she served for 12 years and became Assistant Professor Emeritus. Dr. Mazzei believes that excellent oral health begins with education and prevention and is committed to continuing her education. She is a Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach, a Charter Fellow in the American Academy of Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), and has completed the Bale and Doneen Method Preceptorship Program.

Dr. Kelsey Esposito worked in healthcare advertising and communications before realizing that her passions were dentistry and patient care. She holds a BA in Economics and Fine Art from Kalamazoo College, a Premedicine Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from Northwestern University, and a Doctor of Dental Medicine from The University of Illinois in Chicago. She is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), Chicago Dental Society (CDS), Illinois Dental Society (IDS), Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and AAOSH.

Dr. Marco Fajardo is a graduate of Northwestern University Dental School, where he also served as a part-time Assistant Clinical Instructor. He was a member of the University Dental Associates of the University of Chicago too. In 1994, he formed the basis of West Suburban Oral Healthcare with Dr. Mazzei. He is now its Team Leader.

Dr. Ashley Nguyen studied at the University of Buffalo and Midwestern University in Downers Grove, IL (dental school). She is a member of the ADA, CDS, IDS, and other local organizations. She continues her education by attending dental conferences and seminars.