Dentists told not to buy X-ray device

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DENTISTS have been warned not to buy a hand-held X-ray machine which exposes patients to ten times the recommended dose of radiation.

The cheap imported devices could also pose a significant risk to dentists and dental nurses, health officials said. The Tianjie Dental Falcon scanners can be purchased on eBay for as little as £205, compared with around £4,000 for a safe model.

Officials have confirmed that one UK-based dental practice purchased one of the dangerous machines, and “several” others have expressed interest in buying one.

Any dental practices that have purchased the machines have been urged to contact the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Bruce Petrie, of the MHRA’s medical devices enforcement team, said: “It’s vital that dentists and dental staff do not buy these dental X-ray machines from eBay or other websites because they are not approved and not safe for dentists or patients.

“We have seized 13 of these X-ray machines from the distributor and we are working with eBay and other governments to ensure dentists and patients are protected. We urge anyone who has bought one of these machines to contact us.”