NOMAD – Safety

X-ray systems typically generate stray radiation when fired. Backscatter radiation from a patient’s jaw can reflect back at the operator or to other parts of the patient. Because of this, lead aprons and/or thyroid shields are usually used to protect the patient, and conventional x-ray generators are operated remotely, in order to protect the operator.

However, NOMAD is designed with safety in mind. A unique, external backscatter shield and internal radiation shielding protect the operator from radiation exposure. In fact, the exposure from using NOMAD is orders of magnitude less than allowed by the FDA. NOMAD radiation exposure is less than 1% of the allowed occupational doses. NOMAD is safe!

NOMAD exposure


  1. Standards for Protection Against Radiation, 10 CFR 20 (US Federal Standards), 1994 (see also NCRP Report No. 116)
  2. NCRP Report No. 145 (National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements), p7-9
  3. “Estimated Cosmic Radiation Doses for Flight Personnel”, Feng YJ et al, Space Medicine and Medical Engineering, 15(4) 2002, p265-9
  4. Normalized average assumes 7,200 exposures per year, and the average length of exposure for D-speed=0.50 seconds, F-speed=0.25 seconds, digital sensor=0.20 seconds
  5. Additional references: Occupational Dose Limit: Suggested State Regulations for Control of Radiation (SSRCR), Section D.1201; Occupational Dose Limit Requiring Dosimetry: SSRCR, Section D.1502; General Public Dose Limit: SSRCR, Section D.1301

How does it work?

BackscatterAs mentioned, NOMAD employs an external backscatter shield to protect the operator from reflected radiation. This shield produces a cone-shaped protection zone extending behind it. At the position where the operator stands, the zone has a diameter of over 6 feet, enough to protect the operator’s entire body.In addition, radiation shielding inside NOMAD ensures that leakage from the X-ray source itself is virtually eliminated, protecting the operator’s hands and other areas close to the device.

Studies and Reports

NOMAD Safety Flier
To download a copy of the NOMAD Safety Flier , please click here.
NOMAD – Dosimetry Study
To download a copy of Image Quality and Radiation Dose Comparison for Intraoral Radiography: Hand-held, Battery Powered versus Conventional X-ray Systems, please click here.

A Second Opinion The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has conducted independent testing of the NOMAD’s safety and quality compared to traditional wall-mounted machines. In January, Dr. Robert Langlais, diplomate of the American Board of Oral Medicine and the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology presented their findings at the Southwest Dental Conference in Dallas, Texas. Click on the image to watch an excerpt of this presentation, where Dr. Langlais explains just how safe the NOMAD is.

Commentary: ‘Not all handheld x-ray systems are created equal’

Dr. Joel Gray

Joel E. Gray, Ph.D., is the founder of DIQUAD, an organization dedicated to improving image quality and film processing in dentistry while lowering patient dose. Dr. Gray is a medical physicist with 20-years experience in clinical medical imaging at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota). Click on his picture to read his commentary regarding NOMAD devices vs. foreign-made devices.

How much exposure is too much?

Radiation is all around us, all the time. It varies with your lifestyle and where you live. Click here to find out how much exposure you receive in everyday living.

The average dose per person from all sources is about 360 mrems per year. International Standards allow exposure to as much as 5,000 mrems a year for those who work with and around radioactive material. You can see how NOMAD, even with heavy use, results in minimal exposure for the operator.

Contact Aribex to learn more about how NOMAD Handheld X-ray Systems can advance your level of patient care.