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Safety guide launched for new 3-D dental scans

05 February 2009 Manchester University

Important new guidelines for dentists using the latest three-dimensional imaging system in their surgeries have been established for UK and European practitioners.

Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), which gives a similar kind of image as a medical CT scan, is now available in high-street dental practices to give high-definition, three-dimensional scans of patients’ jaws and teeth.

However, CBCT carries an increased risk associated with greater radiation dose than traditional dental X-rays, so the European Academy of Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology (EADMFR) has developed 20 ‘Basic Principles’ for use of CBCT in dentistry.

The guidelines, which establish the safe and ethical use of CBCT, have been drawn up by the EADMFR in collaboration with the EU-funded SEDENTEXCT project, which was set up to conduct research into the use of CBCT in dentistry.

“In many European countries, dentists can purchase and use CBCT without any additional training and so there was a pressing need to establish some guidelines,” explained SEDENTEXCT coordinator Professor Keith Horner, who is based at The University of Manchester.

“The 20 Basic Principles are aimed at protecting the patient and guiding the dentist towards good practice covering important areas such as justification and optimisation of CBCT examinations and training of users.”

Among the Basic Principles are guidelines about when CBCT examinations may be justified, as well information about training, equipment and safety measures.

Dr Lennart Flygare, EADMFR President, said: “We hope that this document will be a core standard within Europe for dentists, dental specialists and equipment manufacturers.”

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