Answer to Question #9504 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Medical and Dental Equipment/Shielding

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:

I Just had a panoramic film made at the dental office. The technician forgot to have me remove my metal-framed glasses prior to the scan. The technician did not redo the scan without the glasses. Could having my metal eyeglass frames on during the scan have goofed up the scan or caused any unwanted radiation results?
I had to consult with one of our school of dentistry faculty members regarding how metal-framed eyeglasses might affect panoramic dental images. The faculty member indicated that although it is standard procedure to remove glasses prior to panoramic imaging, not doing so would not generally interfere with viewing the dental structures. The lack of removing the eyeglasses would be somewhat of a novice error.

With respect to whether or not the presence of the eyeglasses would have caused any unwanted radiation results (presumably meaning higher radiation exposure to the patient), while there might be some small amount of scattering of the x rays from the eyeglasses, it would be very low and not considered significant.

Mack L. Richard, MS, CHP
Answer posted on 7 March 2011. The information posted on this web page is intended as general reference information only. Specific facts and circumstances may affect the applicability of concepts, materials, and information described herein. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice. To the best of our knowledge, answers are correct at the time they are posted. Be advised that over time, requirements could change, new data could be made available, and Internet links could change, affecting the correctness of the answers. Answers are the professional opinions of the expert responding to each question; they do not necessarily represent the position of the Health Physics Society.