New tool limits dental radiation


FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH)– There’s a new tool to limiting radiation exposure at the dentist office. Over time, dentistry has made big advancements to decreasing the risk of possible harmful effects during x-rays.

The American Dental Association says dental x-rays are safe but do require very low levels of radiation exposure.

Still, dentists like Dr. Jennifer Diederich take a more proactive approach to radiation safety.

The safety of her patients and staff is what led Dentist Dr. Jennifer Diederich to do something about it.

“There is no known safe dose for radiation in medical and dental radiation,” said Dr. Jennifer Diederich of ComPassion Dental.

She created her own x-ray shield for patients like 9-year-old Maddox Malario.

“Your teeth are going to close gently on the blue plastic,” said Diederich. “I was concerned because there really was no practical means of shielding patients for access radiation.”

“All of her gadgets are pretty easy to use and they’re safe,” said Maddox Malario, a patient.

Low levels of radiation that over time Dr. Diederich says could have an accumulative effect.

“Research from my colleagues at SUNY, Stoneybrook in NY, have measure that this decreases the dose by 50 percent,” said Diederich.

The device is in almost 80 percent of dental offices.

“The problem is the ring is twice as large as the size of the film, so that over exposes the patient,” said Diederich.

She replaced the ring with a rectangular cut out shield, ensuring are more targeted exposure.

“Uses 3 O2 stainless steel over 1 mm thick to absorb that amount of radiation that’s unnecessary,” said Diederich.

It has less radiation which can cause cancer.

“It’s really safe,” said Malario.

An added plus a clearer picture of those pearly whites.

A clearer picture of those pearly whites.

“The dentist gets a better quality film, not only is it better placed but also the shield itself decreases the fogging or noise radiation and a clear image is the result,” said Diederich.

The shield is also more comfortable for the patient. It has handles which the patient can use, rather than their teeth to hold the x-ray.

For more information, please visit the Compassion Dental websiter.

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