On November 22, The New York Times published an article called "Radiation Worries for Children in Dentists’ Chairs."The article questioned the use and promotion of cone beam CT (CBCT)scanners by dental specialists, including orthodontists. One passagestated:

Cone-beam CT scans can help dentists dealwith complex cases involvingimplants, impacted teeth and otherserious problems. But many experts indental radiation have raisedalarms about what they see as theirindiscriminate use.

The article also comments on the oversight of the imgaging equipment used in dental practices:

“Some states have in effect no inspectionsof dental X-ray units,” saidDr. G. Donald Frey, professor ofradiology at the Medical University ofSouth Carolina and a pastpresident of the American Association ofPhysicists in Medicine. Whileinspectors generally evaluate machineperformance, few attempt tomeasure the overall radiation risk to thepatient’s organs.

In response to this article, Imaging Sciences International, Hatfield, Pa, which was mentioned by name, has posted a letter to its customers on its Web site.

The letter, signed by company president Henrik Roos, says that the Times article offers "an incomplete view of CBCT technology," and goes on to state Imaging Sciences’ support for oversight of CBCT:

We support the AAOMR’s initiative todevelop guidelines for the use of CBCT based on fact and within aprofessional, scientific framework. In addition, the FDA/CDRH hasannounced its intention to develop guidance regarding these matters for2011.

The letter also contains an FAQ regarding how and by whom CBCTmachines should be used, as well as charts comparing the radiation dosefrom a CBCT scan to other sources of radiation including dental imaging,medical imaging, and daily exposure to natural radiation.

To further respond to orthodontists’ concerns, Imaging Sciences hasset up a dedicated phone number, (800) 205-3570, and e-mail address, [email protected].

For more information on this and other orthodontic companies, visit our Buyer’s Guide.