The Dental X-ray Protection Services group (DXPS) of the Health Protection Agency (now part of Public Health England) carried out equipment performance tests on all forms of dental radiography equipment in the UK and Republic of Ireland. In 2007, a review of data collected by DXPS between 2002 and 2004 was presented which provided information on dental radiography equipment and patient doses in the UK at that time. Since then, improved data collection methods have been used to obtain more detailed information about dental radiography in both the UK and Republic of Ireland.
This review presents a summary of the data collected by DXPS between 2008 and 2011 for intra-oral and panoramic radiography. The data is used to form a view on dental radiography practices in the UK and Ireland and to consider future developments. For the first time data is provided on the use of digital imaging systems and, for intra-oral radiography, the use of rectangular collimation which has long been recommended in preference to circular collimation due to the significant reduction in patient effective dose that is achievable.