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CA Regulations Still Require X-ray Shielding in Dental Facilities

X-ray shielding using leaded covers is a common practice that is used to reduce radiation exposure to sensitive tissue. Specifically, shielding of reproductive organs is a long-standing practice that aims to reduce the risk of radiation-induced hereditary effects, and is required by law in many U.S. states.

In September 2023, the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) published a Position Statement by the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (AAOMR) for the application of patient contact shielding during dental imaging. According to the Statement, following a review of peer-reviewed, evidence-based literature and reports, AAOMR no longer recommends patients’ thyroids, reproductive organs, and fetuses to be shielded during dental imaging.

In California

As it stands, Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) states that “each patient undergoing dental radiography shall be draped with a protective apron of not less than 0.25-millimeter lead-equivalent to cover the gonadal area.” Even with AAOMR’s updated stance, California dentists must continue to follow state regulations for radiation safety which includes providing patients with leaded aprons for gonadal shielding.

We will continue to provide new information on our blog if/when the Title 17 regulations are updated to reflect AAOMR’s new recommendations.

For our OSHA Review subscribers… the Title 17 regulations can be found in the back of your OSHA Review binder and can be downloaded from our website.

Since 1992, OSHA Review, Inc. has provided dental professionals with comprehensive programs to support regulatory compliance and infection control. We are a registered continuing education provider in the state of California, specializing in Dental Practice Act, infection control, and OSHA training.

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