New ADA GUIDELINES for Xrays – 2012

The ADA’s position on Dental Radiographic Exam Recomendations have been finally updated. The last update in was in 2004. In essence, the recommendations state that Dentists should use their professional judgement on when it is appropriate to use diagnostic imaging as opposed to a standard for all patients. Patients should understand that most dental pathology can not be diagnosed without some form of current xray and that today’s digital xray compared to film in 2004 have significantly lower radiation and are much safer to use if pathology is suspected. Our office is fully digital and we can take small intra-oral digital xrays as well as Panographic digital xrays.

The ADA, in collaboration with the FDA, developed recommendations for dental radiographic examinations to serve as an adjunct to the dentist’s professional judgment of how to best use diagnostic imaging. Radiographs can help the dental practitioner evaluate and definitively diagnose many oral diseases and conditions. However, the dentist must weigh the benefits of taking dental radiographs against the risk of exposing a patient to X-rays, the effects of which accumulate from multiple sources over time. The dentist, knowing the patient’s health history and vulnerability to oral disease, is in the best position to make this judgment. For this reason, the recommendations are intended to serve as a resource for the practitioner and are not intended to be standards of care, nor requirements or regulations.

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I believe topical fluoride is beneficial but I don’t believe that we should forcibly mandate all people to ingest it.