Preparing for your x-ray inspection

Author: Dr. Aisling Whitaker

Picture this, it’s a busy Wednesday morning. Your lead assistant is out sick, but you’ve got it covered, and you are just about to take your first sip of coffee. And then the x-ray inspector shows up unannounced…


It is required to have a dedicated Radiation Protection Officer (RPO) at your office. This is usually the owner. You would have written this name on your original approval documentation (XRIS form 2 in Ontario). If that person has changed, you may need to update this information. Make sure that your entire team know who the RPO is, as this is the person they will likely ask to lead the audit. The RPO maintains the protocols, quality tests, and ensures the team are up to date / qualified, (see HARP Act Section 9, and Regulation 543 Section 8).


Prepare your radiographic documentation in a binder that is easy to find and everyone in the office knows where it is kept. Key sections of this binder include:

  • Radiography safety manual
  • HARP certification and membership documents of every hygienist and assistant
  • Radiographic floor plan that was originally approved way back when (form 1)
  • Original acceptance and quality testing when new equipment was installed (kept for 6 years)
  • Radiographic safety log of daily radiographs taken
  • Daily testing documentation (step wedge, including for PAN)
  • Annual calibration/testing documentation (required every 12 months and upon alternation or servicing of the machine)
  • Personal radiation monitors if used


It is recommended to have signage on every room where radiographs are taken (ops, PAN room etc.). This “x-ray radiation” sign can be obtained online, printed and laminated. Key words include “hazardous radiation”, “unauthorized use prohibited”.

Keep calm and treatment plan on.

About the Author: Dr. Aisling Whitaker, BA (Hons) MSc PhD BDS (Hons)
Dr. Aisling Whitaker is a general dentist, owner of multiple dental clinics Bitehaus Dental in Toronto and CEO of Dental Hive. Dr. Whitaker is experienced in starting a dental clinic from scratch, developing marketing campaigns, office systems and building a strong team culture.

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