Pending Changes to State X-Ray Regulations: How Do They Affect Dental Offices?

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Colorado’s public health agency, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), has proposed broad changes and updates to x-ray machine regulations for healthcare providers. The changes are intended to align state x-ray regulations with national standards that were updated in 2015. The biggest changes for dental offices are anticipated to include:

Operator Training

  • New requirements for detailed annual evaluations of each x-ray machine operator in a dental office, a requirement that does not exist for other healthcare professions (and, as proposed, might include dentists and dental hygienists)
  • Changes to definitions that could add new training requirements for licensed dental professionals, including dentists and dental hygienists

Equipment Requirements

  • New requirements to conduct annual evaluations of all protective garments (lead aprons) by either the x-ray machine inspector or through a visual and tactile test by office personnel

Machine Operation

  • Phase out of older x-ray machines (that operate at lower than 51 kvp) by 2021
  • New requirements to use a thyroid shield on all pediatric patients (exceptions are given where a thyroid shield would interfere with the image)

Access more detail on proposed changes or via the full Part 2 and Part 6 regulation markups. These files are most easily viewed when downloaded from the CDPHE website and opened directly on your computer.

CDPHE Stakeholder Meeting

CDPHE is holding a stakeholder meeting specific to the dental changes on Thursday, Aug. 16, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., in Room C1E (Building C at 710 S. Ash Street, Denver CO 80246) of the CDPHE Headquarters (you must first check in at Building A at 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, Denver, CO 80246). Please RSVP if you plan to attend this meeting.

General stakeholder meetings also will be held in Grand Junction June 28 (6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Airport) and Loveland July 10 (6 p.m. at the Fireside Café).

Access additional details on these meetings on the meeting timeline. Email comments by Aug. 29 to cdphe_CORadRegs@state.co.us. We encourage your participation and feedback throughout this process.