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Oral Health Topics


Key Points

  • The ADA encourages dentists and patients to discuss dental treatment recommendations, including the need for X-rays, to make informed decisions together.
  • 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.
  • Radiation exposure associated with dentistry represents a minor contribution to the total exposure from all sources, including natural and man-made.
  • The ADA has joined with more than 80 other health care organizations to promote Image Gently, an initiative to “child size” radiographic examination of children in medicine and dentistry.
  • State laws and regulations set specific requirements for the use of ionizing radiation (which includes X-rays).
  • Introduction
  • ADA/FDA Guide to Patient Selection for Dental Radiographic Examinations
  • Dental Radiation in Context
  • Radiation Exposure in Dentistry
  • Image Gently Campaign
  • Radiation Safety Requirements
  • Dental Radiography and Pregnancy
  • Dental Radiographic Technology
  • ADA Policies Related to Radiography
  • References
  • ADA Resources
  • Other Resources
Last Updated: August 13, 2019

Prepared by:

Department of Scientific Information, Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research, ADA Science & Research Institute, LLC.


Content on the Oral Health Topics section of is for informational purposes only.  Content is neither intended to nor does it establish a standard of care or the official policy or position of the ADA; and is not a substitute for professional judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  ADA is not responsible for information on external websites linked to this website.