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By Stephen Lamb
Dental lead aprons are used in dentist offices, where x-rays of the oral region are frequently taken, to protect the body from harmful radiation exposure. Dental x-rays are valuable medical imaging tools for diagnosing and monitoring conditions of the mouth that may require treatment; dentists require regular x-ray examinations at set intervals. Among the conditions that can be detected by dental x-rays are periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay between teeth, oral tumors, and other oral abnormalities that may pose a threat to a patient’s health. Despite these obvious benefits of x-rays, they can also have harmful physical effects, if the proper patient protection from dental x-rays is not implemented. Highly repeated or extended exposure to x-ray radiation is known to lead to cancer and other dangerous health conditions. Lead dental x-ray aprons can help to reduce the risks of dental x-ray procedures and protect both patients and dental technicians from x-ray radiation exposure.
Dental technologist aprons and dental patient aprons are designed to absorb the majority of the electromagnetic radiation waves that are scattered after an x-ray wave is fired. Dental radiation safety products prevent harmful radiation from penetrating the patient’s or technician’s bodies and from causing unwanted side effects. When using dental x-ray ponchos, both patients and medical personnel alike can have the peace of mind knowing that quality, valuable dental medical images can be obtained while still maintaining a protected, safe medical environment.
Many different variations of dental radiation aprons exist in different sizes and styles to accommodate specific dental office needs. Standard features on x-ray dentist aprons include non-slip backing that ensures secure fit and sizes for both children and adults. No matter the patient size, a dental patient apron exists that can fit the patient comfortably and securely. Dental patient aprons and dental technologist aprons have Velcro closure straps, which allow for a quick and easy application, so that the apron wraps around the entire body for optimum protection during panoramic dental x-ray examinations. Custom colors and embroidery options are common features for x-ray dentist aprons. These features are offered as embellishments to dental x-ray ponchos to prevent loss and increase organization in the office. Often times pediatric dentists will order their aprons in ‘kid friendly’ patterns to attempt to reduce the anxiety of children visiting the dentist.
Some dental radiation safety aprons are applied easily over the head and do not need additional ties or straps to be held in place. The no-slip backing on this type of patient apron clings to the patient to help keep the apron firmly in position. A .3 millimeter lead thickness is provided in order to give maximum patient protection from harmful radiation.
In dental office settings, it is important for patients and technicians to utilize dental x-ray aprons to protect themselves from the harmful effects that electromagnetic radiation scatter waves can have on the body. Since x-rays in the dental setting are a frequent and regular occurrence, it is especially vital that technician and patient protection from dental x-rays is observed. Dental radiation safety products can greatly reduce the risk of negative effects of dental x-rays. Radio-opaque protective vests are utilized in dental offices around the country and should be a standard component to any dental office.
As far as the official stand of the American Dental Association, ‘the use of a lead apron is considered good practice regardless of the amount of x-rays used.’
About the Author: Stephen is a writer for Universal Medical Inc. Universal Medical is a premier provider of dental lead aprons for more information please visit their website.
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