Why are Lead Aprons Not Worn Anymore?

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Now an outdated practice, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine have put an end to the long-used exercise of lead aprons during X-rays and CT Scans. This change continues to reverberate throughout the country as people discover, in disbelief. We say, rightfully so. We felt a “kind of way”, if you will, about the news ourselves and sought to make better sense of the big update.

The American Dental Association of Council on Scientific Affairs has also endorsed the doing away with thyroid collars and lead aprons during dental X-rays explaining that it’s actually enhancing the exposure of radiation. Too often, images are not captured well, on the first try, due to the densities and challenges the collar and/or aprons cause, thus exposing the patient to even more radiation than was ever inititally needed.

One of the lesser known facts about imaging machines is that they automatically determine the dose of radiation needed to produce a successful image. When the machines detect a shield, such as the lead apron, they begin to ratchet up the amount of radiation needed to reach a successful image which causes undue amounts of radiation to emit. Continued mounting evidence just like this has paved the way for the sunset of lead aprons and why they are not worn anymore, or at least, as often as before.

Making sense of this long-used practice, now cast out, can be a bit overwhelming. The notion we’ve been taught for decades may be a hard thing to part with and here at Wilmette Dental, we understand how this change can be challenging to adopt. To make things easier to process, you’ll find that we will ask your preference, while providing a brief explanation of the updates both the ADA and the American Associations of Physicists in Medicine now advocate for. Additionally, you will be provided with this article from our website, to research a bit more on your own to make an informed decision to use, or not to use an apron during your X-rays.

You’ll be presented with the option to choose whether you’d like to use an apron or not, and you’ll be provided with the new contextual evidence with risks involved on both sides. Radiation is a great invention when used in small, small ways. We strive to follow guidelines and requirements to protect and support our patients at every turn and are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the new implementations regarding lead aprons 

Call with questions today: 847-251-0085! 

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