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. Susan Mazzei is committed to delivering compassionate and effective care to patients of all ages and backgrounds in Naperville, Illinois. She is a highly skilled dentist who earned her Certification in Prosthodontics after graduating from Northwestern University Dental School.

After finishing her studies, she enrolled in the Northwestern University Dental School faculty as a full-time Clinical Assistant Professor. Dr. Mazzei believes that optimal dental health begins with education and preventative care and educates patients at West Suburban Oral Healthcare on how to take more control of their oral health, which promotes optimal systemic health.

Dr. Mazzei is dedicated to upgrading her education and being up to date on the newest breakthroughs in oral health and dentistry, ensuring that her patients receive the finest care possible.

Dr. Kelsey Esposito, West Suburban Oral Health Care

Dr. Kelsey Esposito joined West Suburban Oral Health Care as an Associate General Dentist in 2017 after meeting Dr. Mazzei, with whom she shared a belief in providing comprehensive, personalized dental care.

She holds a BA in Economics and Fine Art from Kalamazoo College and a Premedicine Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from Northwestern University. Before entering dentistry, she worked in healthcare advertising and communications for a large ad company and a small non-profit cancer research organization. She earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine from The University of Illinois, Chicago.

Dr. Esposito is a member of several leading professional associations, like the American Dental Association and Academy of General Dentistry. Paying attention to detail and offering quality care that makes patients satisfied with their oral health and smiles are her goals.