The Image Gently in Dentistry campaign is designed to create awareness among dentists, dental specialists and the public-at-large, especially parents, concerning safety in the use of ionizing radiation with children. The frequency for the use of x-rays, as well as employing the appropriate radiation-producing diagnostic techniques in pediatric dentistry is of particular concern. Pediatric patients are much more susceptible to the potential effects of radiation, as compared to adults, and additionally, children are more likely to see their dentist frequently during the younger ages. Imaging in dentistry is a valuable tool, but dental professionals must use these tools wisely, so it is important to adhere to evidence-based guidelines when deciding on the correct radiographic options. Image Gently advocates for radiation safety in pediatric dentistry and provides resources for the dental professional, as well as the lay public.
The Image Gently campaign has positively impacted pediatric imaging in medicine, but it is also just as important that the dental profession do its part to lower pediatric radiation doses. Unnecessary exposure to x-rays in the dental office may have no obvious short term effects, but potential effects from needless exposures may become evident many years later. Guidance as to best practices for the use of radiation-emitting dental diagnostic techniques can be found at www.imagegently.org. Image Gently recommends six steps to safe and efficacious imaging for children. These six steps include:
Select x-rays for a patient’s individual needs, not as a routine.
Use the fastest image receptor possible.
Collimate the x-ray beam to only expose the area of interest.
Use thyroid collars.
Child-size the exposure.
Use cone-beam CT only when necessary.
Please log into the Image Gently website (www.imagegently.org) to learn more about these six steps and how they can be incorporated into imaging practices for children. Take the Image Gently pledge, follow the 6–point plan, and be part of the movement to provide imaging for children that is both safe and effective. Dental Professionals want to do the right thing, so let’s all ‘Image Gently’.