Dental X-ray Protection Services

The benefits of postal test packs

PHE has used postal test packs to assess intra-oral and panoramic X-ray sets for many years and there are obvious benefits with this service:

  • The test exposures are quick and simple to carry out (if you can take a dental X-ray, you can expose our packs).
  • You can do it at a time of day convenient to you with no down time to the practice.
  • Test packs can be used with both film and digital systems.
  • A written report is provided for your records.
  • Reports are normally issued within 20 working days of receiving the test pack back from you.
  • On special request we can provide a faster turn around (e.g. for a practice inspection).

Intra-oral Test Pack (including hand held units)

The PHE intra-oral test pack contains several sealed packets which are exposed to the main X-ray beam for a series of pre-determined exposure settings. Full instructions are included. The image shows how a packet should be set up for the exposure.

A simple questionnaire is included for completion. Once a test pack has been exposed it is returned to PHE, along with the completed questionnaire, for evaluation. Following assessment of the test pack, a measurement report, including recommended exposure settings, is issued.

Please note that for the acceptance testing of hand-held units we may require the X-ray unit to be sent to us at Leeds. You will normally be able to carry out routine tests at your practice using the simple postal test pack.

Panoramic Test Pack

The panoramic test pack is fixed to the receiving slot in front of the film cassette or digital receptor. A complete panoramic exposure is taken, with a standard film in place in the cassette. The film is developed as normal and returned with the test pack, or for digital radiography, the image is printed or electronically saved and sent to PHE.

A processing check film may also be included with the packs to assess the film processing equipment (if any); this is processed as if it was a normal film and returned with the pack.

A simple questionnaire is included for completion. Once a test pack has been exposed it is returned to PHE, along with the completed questionnaire, any digital image and processing check film, for evaluation.

Following assessment of the test packs, a measurement report, including recommended exposure settings, is issued.

Cephalometric and cone-beam CT units

A visit is required for the testing of cephalometric equipment and cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) units. We contact the practice when an assessment is due to arrange a visit at a mutually convenient time.

Following the visit a measurement report, including exposure settings is issued.