The amount of scattered radiation striking the patient’s abdomen during a properly conducted radiographic examination is negligible.98 The thyroid gland is more susceptible to radiation exposure during dental radiographic exams given its anatomic position, particularly in children.93,99,100 Protective thyroid collars and collimation substantially reduce radiation exposure to the thyroid during dental radiographic procedures.101,102 Because every precaution should be taken to minimize radiation exposure, protective thyroid collars should be used whenever possible. If all the recommendations for limiting radiation exposure are put into practice, the gonadal radiation dose will not be significantly affected by use of abdominal shielding.86 Therefore, use of abdominal shielding may not be necessary.
Protective aprons and thyroid shields should be hung or laid flat and never folded, and manufacturer’s instructions should be followed. All protective shields should be evaluated for damage (e.g. tears, folds, and cracks) monthly using visual and manual inspection. Source: ADA-FDA