As Dental Cone Beam systems become more common in dental practices, we are seeing an evolution of the requirements that regulatory bodies are mandating for installation and operation. While the company you purchase the unit from should be able to advise you on your local requirements, it’s helpful to have some visibility into where to look and what to be concerned about. The last thing anyone wants is an inspector telling the dental office that they are out of compliance after everything is installed.
Typically, the requirements for dental cone beam installation and operation are defined at the state level, so this is always a good place to start. However, be aware that larger cities (e.g. New York City) may have additional unique requirements on top of or independent from the state requirements. The AAOMR has helpful links to the regulatory sites of each state. You can find it here.
While each state may vary, these are some of the common requirements that many states will ask for:
The first item involves the certification of the installer and the operator. Most states require that the installer be registered with the state as a certified x-ray technician. Typically, this requirement would apply to the installation of any x-ray equipment (whether it be a dental cone beam, or an intraoral x-ray).
The second area covers the certification of the dental office layout. Some states have requirements to submit an office plan to the state for review and approval. Some states require evidence that a radiation physicist has reviewed the plan. Typically, whoever is reviewing the plan will be looking to see where the dental cone beam will be located in the office relative to other activity in the office. For instance, the reviewer may be concerned if there is a waiting room on the other side of the wall. In addition, they will typically be evaluating what shielding exists between the CBCT and adjacent rooms. While some states look for (or require) lead shielding, many states find traditional dry wall sufficient.
The third area involves ongoing maintenance and quality assurance. It is common that a state will ask that the office simply follow the recommendations of the manufacturer (which are typically outlined in their manual). However, some states may have additional requirements.
All of these items are typically not difficult to perform and follow. However, it is important to be aware of them. Of course if you have any questions yourself, please don’t hesitate to give us a call, and we can do our best to assist you.