Proposed Changes to Colorado Radiation Regulations: Dentist Edition

First, the good news – the CDPHE will now defer to the Colorado State Board of Dental Examiners with regards to how Registered Dental Hygienists (RDH) can operate independently in ordering and interpreting x-rays. This is a hurdle that has been tough for a lot of RDHs operating their own facilities especially in more remote areas.

The rest of the proposed changes to Part 6 of the CDPHE regulations will add work to most dental offices. These changes are fairly significant, and I will l briefly review them for you. The CDPHE has created it’s own document regarding how the changes will affect dental offices in more detail, and it can be found here: https://environmentalrecords.colorado.gov/HPRMWebDrawerHM/RecordView/413307

All x-ray operators will need to have documented annual evaluations for their competency in using the machines. There are 7 categories. Records of these annual competencies and any training the staff receives will need to be kept and shown to inspectors during x-ray inspections. Atom Physics will come up with forms for our customers and provide the training and evaluations for those who want it should these changes take place.

Cone Beam CTs (volumetric scanners) have become very popular in a lot of offices. The CDPHE views these machines as Cat Scan machines just like you would find in a hospital imaging department. Consequently the level of detail for the inspection and operation of these machines is unlike other x-ray machine sin a dental office, and the staff needs to be prepared for this. This may require more ongoing Quality Control and Assurance testing.