Use of Ionising Radiation for Dental Purposes
The Dental Council was given statutory duties and responsibility with regard to the use of ionising radiation for dental purposes under Statutory Instrument 478 of 2002 “The European Communities (Medical Ionising Radiation Protection) Regulations”. The Council has agreed the following policy in relation to the use of ionising radiation for dental purposes:
- The Dental Council supports the maintenance of high radiographic standards in dental practice.
- A Prescriber is a registered dental practitioner under Section 26 of the Dentists Act 1985.
- A Prescriber may request a radiographic examination for dental purposes and shall indicate in writing on the patients’ record his/her reason for requesting that particular exposure.
- A Practitioner as defined in these regulations shall be the person who can determine that exposure to radiation for dental purposes is justified and that the procedures followed are such that the dose of ionising radiation to the patient is as low as reasonably achievable in order to achieve the required effect.
- In dental practice in Ireland a Practitioner and a Prescriber will in all likelihood be one and the same person.
- The dental exposure shall show a sufficient net benefit compared with any detriment that exposure might cause. The radiation dose shall be as low as is reasonably achievable for the aims of the radiographic examination being undertaken.
- The Dental Council recognises that the practical aspects of a radiological procedure for dental purposes may be delegated by the Practitioner to an individual who has successfully completed a course in radiation safety and technique approved by Council. In Dental practice this person must be either a registered dental nurse or dental hygienist and work under the supervision of the Practitioner.
Under Statutory Instrument 478 of 2002 the Dental Council has established the following:
Clinical Audit Criteria
Protocols for Standard Radiological Practice (amended)
Dose Constraints for Helpers
Diagnostic Reference Levels
Prohibition of Vertex Occlusal Projections
Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) Guidelines