FDI participates in IAEA’s Consultancy Meeting on Radiation Protection in Dental Radiology

27 March 2017 Radiology

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held a consultancy meeting at its headquarters in Vienna on 20-24 February to discuss a draft Safety Report on Radiation Protection in Dental Radiology. FDI attended this meeting and was represented by Prof. Ralf Schulze, Administrative Director of the Section of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology at the Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz in Germany. He was joined by representatives from the International Association of Dento-Maxillofacial Radiology (IADMFR), the International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP), and the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging (the Image Gently Alliance) - the World Health Organization (WHO) participated through teleconferencing.

IAEA’s Consultancy Meeting on Radiation Protection in Dental Radiology

Given the increasing use of Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) by dentists in recent years and its associated higher radiation risk, there is a need to improve education on the safe use of X-rays in dental practice.

"The introduction of CBCT in dental radiography and its ever-increasing use in all dental disciplines give rise to controversial discussions regarding both the education of dentists and radiation protection issues. It is essential to enhance education in dental radiography to keep up with the demands, due to the drastically increased complexity of the available techniques."
Prof. Ralf Schulze, Administrative Director, Section of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz

The Consultancy Meeting aimed to finalize training material (consisting of 12 modules) developed by the IAEA for radiation protection in dental radiology and prepare an advanced draft of the Safety Report. The training material will be made available online in the IAEA-RPop-Web pages later this spring, and the Safety Report will undergo final review and be made available later in 2017.

"A justified and optimized use of CBCT-scans helps reduce the radiation burden to the patient. These aspects are thoroughly addressed in the IAEA initiative: the training material for personnel and the general dentist will soon be freely available and the safety report will provide general guidance on radiation protection aspects involved with dental radiography."
Prof. Ralf Schulze, Administrative Director, Section of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz

The meeting in Vienna is the second of its kind, with the first consultancy on Radiation Protection in Dental Uses of Ionizing Radiation taking place in February 2016. Both Consultancy Meetings are a result of the ‘Bonn Call-for-Action’ – an outcome of the 2012 ‘International Conference on Radiation Protection in Medicine’ organized by the IAEA and co-sponsored by WHO in Bonn, Germany, with the specific purpose of identifying and addressing issues arising in radiation protection in medicine.