SC 4-5: Radiation Protection in Dentistry Supplement: Cone Beam Computed Tomography, Digital Imaging, and Handheld Dental Imaging


This report is urgently needed as there are no formal guidelines on the safe and effective use of these modalities in the United States. In addition, every dental practitioner acts as an independent radiologist. CBCT units are generally installed as plug-and-play devices and they are not perceived by most in dentistry as computed tomography (CT) units, but rather as exotic panoramic units. Many states consider these the same as simple, intraoral x-ray equipment for regulatory purposes. Hand-held dental x-ray units face a barrier with state regulators since long-term training emphasized to never hold the x-ray tube. (Hand-held units are specifically designed with sufficient shielding to eliminate significant radiation exposure to the operator—although this is not true of all units available for sale in the United States).


In the second quarter of 2013, the NCRP Board approved a proposal to establish SC 4-5 to write a revision of NCRP Report No. 145, Radiation Protection in Dentistry. The revision will address imaging modalities that have evolved over the past 10 y and update existing material as needed. New imaging modalities include, but are not limited to, cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), digital radiography, and hand-held dental x-ray units. Other topics include the use of high-speed film (80 % of U.S. dental facilities continue to use film which requires twice the radiation dose to the patient compared to high-speed dental film) and new data from the Nationwide Evaluation of X-Ray Trends (NEXT) survey.

Published NCRP Report No. 177, Radiation Protection in Dentistry and Oral & Maxillofacial Imaging (December 19, 2019)




Mel L. Kantor

Kantor_is a professor in the Department of Oral Health Practice in the College of Dentistry with a joint appointment as professor in the Department of Epidemiology in the College of Public Health.

Dr. Kantor served on the faculties of University of North Carolina and University of Connecticut before moving in 1993 to University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey where he was Professor of Diagnostic Science, New Jersey Dental School, and Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health prior to moving to the University of Kentucky in August 2011. He is a Diplomate and past-president of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology and a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Dental Research. Dr. Kantor serves on several editorial boards and recently completed his term as a member of the Commission on Dental Accreditation. His research interests involve population-based and survey research, specifically radiology practice behaviors and use of selection criteria guidelines, quality and level of evidence in the radiology literature, and screening for medical conditions in a dental setting.

Mel L. Kantor , Co-Chair

Alan G. Lurie


Alan G. Lurie is professor and chair of the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Diagnostic Sciences and chair of the Section of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Department of Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences, at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. He has John Dempsey Hospital appointments in the Departments of Dentistry and Diagnostic Imaging and Therapeutics. He has been a full-time member of the dental school faculty since 1973, during which time he has done R0-1 research on radiation carcinogenesis, administered predoctoral and graduate educational programs, performed clinical research, and performed imaging care on patients in both dental and medical radiology settings.

He is past president and a current member of the School of Dental Medicine Council, co-founder of the University of Connecticut Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Clinic, and a member of numerous dental school and institutional committees. He is also an active member of his specialty nationally, having served as Councilor for Public Policy and Scientific Affairs of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, and Past President of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. Dr. Lurie has more than 100 publications in the refereed literature, and numerous presentations to local, state, national and international organizations.

Alan G. Lurie , Co-Chair
 AhmadMMansur Ahmad

Veeratrishul Allareddy

AllareddyVis an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa (UI). He joined UI College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics in 2008 as a faculty member after completing his residency there and having spent a little more than a year as a consultant to a private imaging company.

He is currently the Program Director for the Advanced Education Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (AAOMR) and the Director of Radiology at the College of Dentistry. He serves on several collegiate, university, national and international committees and is currently the American Dental Association and American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology representative to the Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine (DICOM) standards committee. Dr. Allareddy is the co-chair for Working Group 22 (Dentistry) of the DICOM Standards committee, where he also serves on the Leadership, Outreach, and Educations Committee, and is the co-chair of the Standards and Codes Committee for the AAOMR.

Dr. Allareddy is a reviewer for nine peer-reviewed dentistry and radiology journals. His main expertise and interest is in the use of technology in dentistry. His research areas are related to reduction of the radiation dose to the patient, healthcare outcomes, dental education, big data sharing, and the role of advanced imaging in the oral and maxillofacial regions as it applies to dentistry.

Veeratrishul Allareddy

John B. Ludlow

Ludlow_is an Adjunct Professor at the University of North Carolina-Adams School of Dentistry. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Michigan in 1978 and Master of Science in Oral Diagnosis and Radiology in 1983.

Dr. Ludlow’s academic career spanned 10 y at the University of Michigan and 25 y at University of North Carolina until his retirement from full-time academics in 2014. He is a past president of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, and past secretary of the American Board of Oral Medicine. He is a current member of the State of North Carolina Radiation Protection Commission.

Dr. Ludlow has published over 100 scientific manuscripts and was an American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology Weurhmann Prize winner for the best radiology research paper in 2006 to 2007 and 2010 to 2011.

John B. Ludlow

Edwin T. Parks

Parksreceived his DMD from the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry and his MS degree in Dental Diagnostic Sciences from Indiana University School of Dentistry. He is currently a Professor Emeritus of Diagnostic Sciences in the Department of Oral Pathology, Medicine, and Radiology at Indiana University School of Dentistry.

He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology and the American Board of Oral Medicine. Dr. Parks has presented over 100 continuing education courses and authored numerous journal articles and book chapters. He currently serves as a director of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology.

Edwin T. Parks
 Paunovich EEleonore D. Paunovich

Robert J. Pizzutiello

PizzutielloRbegan practicing medical physics in the Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center in 1977. In 1979 he became Director of Medical Physics at Rochester General Hospital, where his areas of interest and expertise broadened to include diagnostic imaging physics and teaching medical physics to physicians.

Mr. Pizzutiello formed Upstate Medical Physics (UMP), Inc. in 1983, to provide medical physics services to facilities that could not support their own full-time medical physicist. In 1989, he became the full-time president of UMP, which has grown to become one of the largest regional private practice diagnostic medical physics groups in the Northeast serving well over 150 facilities across New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

Mr. Pizzutiello also founded the Imaging Physics Residency Program at UMP, which became the first accredited imaging physics residency program not affiliated with a hospital or university. He has also served as consultant to many major imaging manufacturers, contributing his knowledge of imaging and broad practical experience to the manufacturing sector.

After serving 6 y as Senior Vice President for Imaging at Landauer Medical Physics, he retired from full-time clinical practice in 2015 and formed Instrument for Change, Inc., a consulting practice focused on dental imaging and other specialty areas.

Mr. Pizzutiello is active with numerous key committees of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, and the American College of Radiology. He serves on several boards including The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs and the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission.

Robert J. Pizzutiello

Robert Sauer

Sauer_is currently a Regulatory Physicist in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health. As a Regulatory Physicist, Mr. Sauer conducts premarket reviews of diagnostic x-ray systems, accessories, and post-processing software; develops regulatory and scientific guidance for FDA staff and industry; performs medical device and electronic product recall classifications; and serves as FDA point of contact for dental radiological safety outreach activities with industry and professional organizations. He holds a BS in Physics from the University of Delaware and an MS in Physics from the University of Arizona. Past research experience includes atomic and molecular ionization in ultrastrong fields and photoelectron dynamics in relativistic laser fields.

Robert Sauer
Spelic D

David C. Spelic

Spelic Dis a physicist with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health. On his arrival at the FDA in 1994, Dr. Spelic became involved with the Agency’s implementation of the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA), particularly focusing on mammography physics testing and the training of MQSA inspectors.

Presently Dr. Spelic conducts premarket reviews of diagnostic x-ray devices, and directs most technical aspects of the Nationwide Evaluation of X-Ray Trends (NEXT) program, an FDA collaboration with the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors to document trends in patient dose and image quality for selected diagnostic x-ray exams and procedures.

David C. Spelic



is currently the Director of the National Health Physics Program, Veterans Health Administration (VHA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). His areas of interest include technical quality assurance and radiation dose management in medical imaging. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Radiology in Medical Nuclear Physics and Diagnostic Radiological Physics and is a Fellow of the American College of Radiology. He received a PhD in Nuclear Engineering, a Master of Applied Mathematics, a Master of Engineering in Nuclear Engineering, and a BS in Nuclear Engineering, all from the University of Virginia. He has served as a Radiation Safety Officer at two VA medical centers, as technical director of nuclear medicine at one, as the Radiation Safety Program Manager for the former VHA Western Region, and as Program Manager for the VHA National Health Physics Program. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Radiology at the University of California, Davis. He is a co-author of several scientific papers and abstracts, one textbook chapter, and one textbook, in its third edition. He has been a Council member since 2006. He served on the scientific committee that wrote NCRP Report No. 165, Responding to a Radiological or Nuclear Terrorism Incident: A Guide for Decision Makers, and on the committee that prepared NCRP Statement No. 11. Dr. Leidholdt served as a surface line officer in the U.S. Navy from 1971 until 1975.

edwin m. leidholdt, jr. , Consultant
No Image W. Doss McDavid, Consultant
Miller D


is the Chief Medical Officer for the Office of Radiological Health at the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health. He earned a BA from Yale University and an MD from New York University, and completed a residency in diagnostic radiology and a fellowship in interventional radiology at New York University Medical Center. He is board certified in Diagnostic Radiology and Vascular and Interventional Radiology. Prior to joining FDA, he practiced interventional radiology for three decades at the National Institutes of Health and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Dr. Miller was elected to NCRP in 2006. He currently serves on the Board of Directors and as Chair of Program Area Committee 4 (Radiation Protection in Medicine). He is an author of NCRP Reports Nos. 168, 172, 177, 180, 184, and 185, and Statements Nos. 11 and 13. He served on the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) Committee 3 (Protection in Medicine) as a member from 2010 to 2013, and as Vice-Chair from 2013 to 2017. He is an author of ICRP Publications 117, 120, 135, and 139. He was Vice-Chair for the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration’s Federal Guidance Report No. 14, is a consultant to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and is a member of the World Health Organization’s Core Group of Experts on radiation protection of patients and staff.

Dr. Miller was Professor of Radiology at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland from 1993 to 2012. He has served as Associate Editor of Radiology and the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology and is an author of more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals and more than 40 book chapters and reports. He is a Fellow of the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) and the American College of Radiology (ACR), and an Honorary Member of both the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and the International Organization for Medical Physics. He chaired SIR’s Safety and Health Committee from 1999 to 2011 and the ACR Guidelines Interventional Committee from 2008 to 2012. His research interests have centered on radiation protection in medicine.

donald l. miller , Consultant
Gray J


Gray J

is Professor Emeritus, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and President of DIQUAD, LLC (Dental Image Quality and Dose), a firm that evaluates dental image quality and dose through the mail. Dr. Gray received his BS in Photographic Science and Instrumentation in 1970, an MS in Optical Sciences in 1974, and a PhD in Radiological Sciences from the Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto in 1977.

He served as a Diagnostic Medical Physicist at Mayo Clinic Rochester for 20 y, helped develop and obtain U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Lorad's (now Hologic) first digital mammography system, and assisted in the development of the microStar patient dosimetry system using optically stimulated dosimetry material while at Landauer, Inc. After leaving Landauer, Dr. Gray founded DIQUAD and continues to operate that business today.

Dr. Gray published the first two books on quality control in medical imaging in 1976 under contract to FDA while in graduate school. Dr. Gray is the primary author of the first quality control text (Quality Control in Diagnostic Imaging—A Quality Control Cookbook) which is in use worldwide and has been translated into Chinese.

His primary areas of interest include image quality in medical and dental imaging, and optimization of image quality and radiation dose. He serves as a consultant to healthcare organizations and industry. Dr. Gray has served on many national and international advisory committees, including the International Commission Radiological Protection (Committee 3, Radiation Protection in Medicine) and is active in projects with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organization. He has co-authored eight publications for the IAEA including educational programs and taught courses for the IAEA in several countries. He has over 170 publications in refereed journals and numerous book chapters, and presented lectures and refresher courses in the United States and overseas. He has visited over 40 countries for both business and pleasure.

Dr. Gray was responsible for starting the first Medical Physics Residency Program at Mayo Clinic in 1990. He has mentored masters and doctoral students, and Medical Physics residents.

He was elected to NCRP in 1986 and has served on numerous committees producing NCRP Report No. 99, Quality Assurance for Diagnostic Imaging; Report No. 147, Structural Shielding Design for Medical Imaging Facilities; and Report No. 160, Ionizing Radiation Exposure of the Population of the United States. He has served as a Technical Consultant for NCRP Commentary No. 20, Radiation Protection and Measurement Issues Related to Cargo Scanning with Accelerator-Produced High-Energy X Rays; NCRP Report No. 172, Reference Levels and Achievable Doses in Medical and Dental Imaging: Recommendations for the United States; and NCRP Report 177, Radiation Protection in Dentistry and Oral & Maxillofacial Imaging. After serving 18 y on the Council he was named a Distinguished Emeritus Member in 2005.

Dr. Gray is a Fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the American College of Medical Physics. In 2010 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Upstate New York Association of Medical Physicists and in 2011 the Edith Quimby Lifetime Achievement Award from the AAPM.

joel e. gray , Staff Consultant
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Last modified: June 3, 2015