1. A patient who is scheduled for an x-ray expresses concerns about being exposed to radiation because he witnessed the effects of radiation on his father, who died of cancer.
a. How should the dental assistant respond to this patient’s concerns?
b. What can you tell the patient about x-ray film and other radiation safety measures?
2. As you prepare a young teenager for a cephalometric image, his father, an engineer, asks about the content of the film cassette. As you explain the contents of the cassette to be a large sheet of x-ray film tightly held against an intensifying screen, he interrupts asking, “What? An intensifying screen?”
a. What factors should you consider before responding?
b. How would you explain safety measures used during exposure?
3. A new assistant has just been hired and has been instructed to help the dental assistant prepare a full set of x-rays on two new patients. The dental assistant decides to take the x-rays herself and instructs the new assistant to develop the first set of x-rays while the dental assistant continues with the second patient. After developing the x-rays, the new assistant presents the x-rays to the dental assistant. The x-rays are cloudy, chalky, and unreadable.
a. How should this situation be handled?
b. Should the x-rays be retaken?
4. Nathan Sawyer, a patient in your office, calls and states that he is moving out of state and needs his dental radiographs before he moves next week.
a. What precautions does the dental radiographer need to take prior to releasing Nathan’s x-rays?
b. What is the correct protocol to release radiographs to a patient?
5. Discuss the five basic sizes of intraoral dental film. Discuss the difference between periapical, bite-wing, and occlusal film.
a. What are the sizes of intraoral film?
b. What are the differences between periapical, bite-wings, and occlusal radiographs?
Expert Solution Preview
As a medical professor responsible for creating college assignments and evaluating student performance, addressing various scenarios related to radiation safety is crucial. In this content, we will provide answers to questions related to patients’ concerns about radiation exposure, explanations of safety measures during exposure, handling unacceptable x-ray results, releasing radiographs to patients, and discussing different types and sizes of intraoral dental film.
Answer to Question 1:
a. The dental assistant should respond empathetically to the patient’s concerns about radiation. They can assure the patient that radiation exposure during dental x-rays is kept to a minimal and controlled level. Additionally, the dental assistant can explain the necessary precautions taken to protect the patient from unnecessary exposure.
b. The dental assistant can inform the patient that modern dental x-ray films are designed to be more sensitive, thereby reducing exposure to radiation. Furthermore, lead aprons and thyroid collars are used to shield sensitive areas from radiation. The dental assistant should emphasize that these safety measures are in place to minimize any potential risks.
Answer to Question 2:
a. Before responding, the dental professional should consider the patient’s father’s background as an engineer. They can explain that an intensifying screen is a device that amplifies the effect of x-rays on the photographic film, allowing for lower radiation exposure during image capture. The dentist can emphasize the safety benefits of using an intensifying screen to address any concerns or misconceptions the patient’s father may have.
b. When explaining the safety measures during exposure, the dental professional can highlight that both the x-ray cassette and intensifying screen effectively reduce the amount of radiation required to obtain diagnostic images. Additionally, lead aprons and thyroid collars may be used to further protect the patient from unnecessary radiation exposure.
Answer to Question 3:
a. The situation should be handled calmly and professionally. The dental assistant should approach the new assistant with understanding and compassion, recognizing that mistakes can happen. The dental professional should focus on providing constructive feedback and guidance on how to improve the radiograph development process.
b. In this case, since the x-rays are unreadable, it is necessary to retake them. Ensuring clear and accurate radiographs is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment planning.
Answer to Question 4:
a. Prior to releasing Nathan’s x-rays, the dental radiographer should verify Nathan’s identity to ensure the radiographs are being given to the correct person. They should also obtain consent from Nathan, either in person or through a signed release form, indicating his authorization to receive the x-rays.
b. The correct protocol to release radiographs to a patient involves documenting the release in the patient’s records and providing the patient with a copy of the radiographs upon their request. It is important to maintain patient confidentiality and handle the radiographs in a secure manner.
Answer to Question 5:
a. The five basic sizes of intraoral dental film are:
– Size 0: Pediatric film for small children.
– Size 1: Adult anterior film for narrow anterior regions.
– Size 2: Standard adult film for posterior regions.
– Size 3: Long film for extended anterior and posterior regions.
– Size 4: Occlusal film for full-mouth imaging or larger anatomical areas.
b. Periapical radiographs capture the entire tooth from crown to apex, helping in diagnosing tooth abnormalities and root canal treatments. Bite-wing radiographs display the crowns of the upper and lower teeth, primarily used for detecting interproximal decay. Occlusal radiographs show a larger area of the maxilla or mandible, capturing the entire arch and providing an overview of dental development, impacted teeth, or pathologies.
Note: The content provided is a generic answer and may need to be tailored or expanded based on specific academic guidelines or medical college requirements.