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NY Times looks at cone-beam computed tomography

In response to a New York Times article on cone-beam computed tomography, the ADA reaffirms its support for the judicious use of all diagnostic imaging techniques and procedures that emit radiation.

The article, “Radiation Worries Rise with 3-D Dental Images,” centers on cone-beam computed tomography in dentistry, and is consistent with the Association’s long-standing position that dentists should always apply the “As Low as Reasonably Achievable” principle to reduce radiation exposure to patients.

This approach works by determining the need for and type of radiographs to take; using best practices during imaging, including the application of quality control procedures; and interpreting the images completely and accurately.

The Times article also reinforced the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs 2006 report, “The Use of Dental Radiographs: Update and recommendations,” which discusses the implementation of proper radiographic practices, concluding, “Dentists should weigh the benefits of dental radiographs against the consequences of increasing a patient’s exposure to radiation, the effects of which accumulate from multiple sources over time.”

In 1989, the ADA began publishing recommendations for reduced radiation exposure on all patients, especially children, women of childbearing age and pregnant women. The Association also recommends the use of the fastest image receptor compatible with the diagnostic task. 

For more information about the ADA’s positions on radiation, visit www.ada.org/sections/professionalResources/pdfs/report_radiography.pdf.