Guidance notes for dental practitioners on the safe use of x-ray equipment – 17 February 2022

Thursday 17 February 2022, 7pm, live webinar

To register for this event, please visit: https://www.prodentalcpd.com/webinars/-p124-talking-standards-guidance-notes-for-dental-practitioners-on-the-safe-use-of-x-ray-equipment-

This webinar is part of our ‘Talking Standards’ series which sets out to examine areas covered by our evidence-based standards and guidance. The webinar explores the content of the Guidance Notes for Dental Practitioners on the Safe Use of X-ray Equipment – 2nd Edition (published October 2020) and will draw attention to areas where the guidance differs from that in the first edition, or where new guidance has been introduced.

The first edition of the Guidance Notes for Dental Practitioners on the Safe Use of X-ray Equipment (the Dental GNs) was published in June 2001 following the establishment of a working party by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) and copies of the guidance were distributed to every dental practice in the UK by the Department of Health.

In the 20-plus years since then there have been significant changes requiring further guidance to be developed. These include:

  • a move from film-based dental radiography towards digital imaging techniques,
  • the appearance of dental cone-beam CT and hand-held dental X-ray equipment in general dental practice,
  • revised radiation protection legislation.

Good practice guidelines for the dental profession have also moved with the times, with, for instance, evidence-based selection criteria and national diagnostic reference levels now available for all imaging modalities. A substantial amount of experience has also been accrued by those organisations and individuals providing radiation protection advice and services to dental practices.

The webinar aims to refresh and update viewers on:

  • the means of restricting the exposure of staff and patients as far as is reasonably practicable,
  • the principal requirements of relevant legislation, namely –   The Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017,  The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017and the associated guidance: Guidance Notes for Dental Practitioners on the Safe Use of X-Ray Equipment – 2nd Edition.
  • how to apply the basic principles of practical radiation protection in a dental practice.

Speaker:

  • Andrew Gulson, Specialist Radiation Protection Scientist and Certificated Radiation Protection Adviser

This webinar is part of the new partnership between the College of General Dentistry (CGDent) and ProDental CPD.

It will be free to view live for all members of the dental professions. CGDent members and ProDental subscribers can claim CPD hours for free and have access to the recording after the event.  A £20 fee will apply for non-members/non-subscribers who wish to claim CPD.

Membership of the College of General Dentistry is open to all registered dental professionals. Membership for dentists is available from £94, and for other registered dental professionals from £33. The full list of CGDent membership rates is at https://cgdent.uk/membership-fees/

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College of General Dentistry endorses FGDP(UK) and PHE revised guidance on radiation protection

The second edition of Guidance Notes for Dental Practitioners on the Safe use of X-ray Equipment sets standards of good practice for the safe use of X-ray equipment in dental practice.

The guidance is freely available on the FGDP website, where hard copies are also available to purchase from the online shop, and FGDP members based in the UK will shortly be receiving a complimentary hard copy.

Presenting definitive, detailed and comprehensive recommendations in a logically ordered and intelligible format, Guidance Notes for Dental Practitioners on the Safe use of X-ray Equipment, 2nd Edition is designed as a reference for the whole primary care dental team.

The guidance covers both administrative and practical matters, taking into account developments in dental X-ray equipment, imaging technology and legislation since the first edition, which was published in 2001 by the National Radiological Protection Board (now part of PHE’s Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards).

It was produced by a working party led by Public Health England and consisting of regulatory bodies, professional bodies representing dentistry and radiation protection, consultant dental radiologists and general dental practitioners.

The new publication includes:

  • Existing guidance on dental cone-beam CT (CBCT), hand-held dental X-ray equipment and digital imaging systems
  • Updated guidance on:
    • Radiation controlled areas
    • The training of referrers, practitioners and operators with respect to dental CBCT
    • Acceptance, commissioning and routine radiation safety tests for all dental X-ray equipment and the recommended intervals (extended to every three years for most dental CBCT equipment) between routine tests
    • A simplified system for image quality rating and analysis
    • A simplified approach to quality assurance of digital imaging systems and viewing screens
  • New guidance with respect to the requirements:
    • For dental practices to register with the HSE (or HSENI)
    • To investigate the circumstances when contingency plans are activated, and on the need to rehearse contingency plans
    • To monitor radiation levels at the boundaries of controlled areas
    • To assess doses to persons who need to enter controlled areas
    • For employers to co-operate when employees work with dental X-ray equipment on another employer’s premises, including arrangements for the formal handover of responsibility
    • Regarding what should be expected of service engineers who undertake the installation, testing and servicing of dental X-ray equipment
    • When disposing of or selling-on X-ray equipment
    • For record retention
  • Detailed practical guidance on how to achieve the optimisation of patient dose
  • Template documents, including a radiation risk assessment and the employer’s procedures relevant to dentistry

The guidance supports compliance with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17) and the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017 (IRMER17), but does not impose any requirements on employers beyond those required by legislation.

Ian Mills, Dean of FGDP(UK) and Trustee of the College of General Dentistry, said:

“The core function of the FGDP is to raise the standards of care delivered to patients through education of the dental profession and the provision of evidence-based guidance, and we have been delighted to work with Public Health England to publish a second edition of the Guidance Notes for Dental Practitioners on the Safe Use of X-ray Equipment. For almost two decades, this has been an important text in setting standards for the safe use of X-ray equipment in dental practices, and this updated edition will undoubtedly continue to be a key reference document for the whole primary care dental team.

“We are grateful to PHE and the many contributors who have spent considerable time and effort ensuring that it is informative, accessible and highly relevant, and are indebted in particular to Dr Keith Horner FFGDP(UK)(Hon.), whose analysis of the revised regulations three years ago was the catalyst for this project, and who has been involved throughout as the Faculty’s representative on the working group.”