Last week, the American Dental Association announced updated recommendations for dental X-ray examinations. The ADA's Council on Scientific Affairs collaborated with the FDA on developing the recommendations. The recommendations were then peer reviewed by the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine.
The ADA’s “Dental Radiograph Examinations: Recommendations for Patient Selection and Limiting Radiation Exposure” are intended to be used in conjunction with dentists’ professional judgment to determine whether and when dental X-rays are needed. Dental X-rays help dentists evaluate and diagnose oral diseases and conditions, but the ADA recommends that dentists weigh the benefits of taking dental X-rays against the possible risk of exposing patients to the radiation from X-rays, the effects of which can accumulate from multiple sources over time.
“As doctors of oral health, dentists are in the best position to make decisions on whether to prescribe dental X-rays after an oral examination and with consideration of the patient’s health history. Prescribing dental X-rays should be an individualized process,” said ADA President Robert A. Faiella, D.M.D., M.M.Sc. Since 1989, the ADA has recommended the ALARA principle in relation to dental X-rays—that radiation exposure to patients is “as low as reasonably achievable.”
Additional information about dental x-rays can be found online at ada.org.