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 passage stated:
Cone-beam CT scans can help dentists deal with complex cases involvingimplants, impacted teeth and other serious problems. But many experts indental radiation have raised alarms about what they see as theirindiscriminate use.
The article also comments on the oversight of the imaging equipment used in dental practices:
“Some states have in effect no inspections of dental X-ray units,” saidDr. G. Donald Frey, professor of radiology at the Medical University ofSouth Carolina and a past president of the American Association ofPhysicists in Medicine. While inspectors generally evaluate machineperformance, few attempt to measure 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 to develop guidelines for the use of CBCT based on fact and within a professional, scientific framework. In addition, the FDA/CDRH has announced its intention to develop guidance regarding these matters for 2011.
The letter also contains an FAQ regarding how and by whom CBCT machines should be used, as well as charts comparing the radiation dose from 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 has set 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.