Some Current Legal Issues that May Affect Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology: Part 1. Basic Principles in Digital Dental Radiology
• David S. MacDonald-Jankowski, BDS, BSc (Hons), LLB (Hons), MSc, FDSRCPS, DDRRCR •
• Elaine C. Orpe, DMD, BSc, MSc, Dip Oral Maxillofac Radiol •
A b s t r a c t
Developments in oral and maxillofacial radiology affect almost every aspect of dentistry: some change the legal framework in which Canadian dentists practise; some re-emphasize established standards of care, such as the dental radiologist's mantra, ALARA (using a dose that is as low as reasonably achievable) and viewing images in reduced ambient lighting. Developments in the legislation that regulates the use of radiology, such as Health Canada's Safety Code 30 for radiation safety in dentistry and the Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act, also affect the practice of dental radiology. Some technical developments, such as charge-coupled devices and photostimulatable phosphors, are already well-known to the profession. Teleradiology, currently used in hospitals, but unfamiliar to most dentists (especially those working in urban communities), may soon have an impact on dentistry when it is used for Canada's electronic health record, now under development. In this first of 2 articles about dental digital technology, we discuss the legal impact of developments in oral and maxillofacial radiology on dental practice and patient care.
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