Dental Informatics: Standards, Technical Specifications and Technical Reports

The following is a list of current standards and technical reports from the ADA Standards Committee on Dental Informatics (SCDI). To purchase any document below, please visit the ADA Store.

List of Dental Informatics Standards, Technical Specifications and Technical Reports

ANSI/ADA Standard No. 1000—Standard Clinical Data Architecture: 2010 (Reaffirmed 2020)

The purpose of this standard is to present a standard logical data model and documentation for a clinical data architecture capable of supporting healthcare information systems and the interoperability of health information. This standard is independent of the constraints of healthcare profession and specialty, the modality of healthcare processes, and the location and environment in which care is delivered. This standard is also independent of data management approach, and the data structures presented in the data model are culture and language neutral.

This document describes the modeling method and conventions employed, and presents the logical data model by subject area for the standard, along with its design rationale and explanatory scenarios.

The scope of this document identifies and describes those data structures needed to support the delivery of healthcare services to individuals and populations, for human and other living beings, and the management of those resources needed to enable these care delivery processes, along with the relationships among those data structures.

This standard continues to be a dynamic, living document that is maintained current with advances in the arts and sciences of the health professions and the changing environment of health care delivery.


ADA Technical Report No. 1006—Infection Control for Dental Information Systems: 2013 (Reaffirmed 2020)

This Technical Report is intended as a working document to assist in developing standards for infection control guidelines for dental informatics devices and equipment. Dental informatics equipment and devices consist of the computerized clinical information systems used in dentistry. Devices are those items intended for intraoral use and include digital radiographic equipment, intraoral camera and microscope systems, periodontal probing devices, occlusal force analysis systems, pulp testers, apex locators, and intraoral printers. Equipment is used to support these devices and includes foot controls, headsets, keyboards, pointing devices, and computers and other peripheral hardware such as printers, scanners, CD players, and monitors. This report addresses infection control issues related to the devices and equipment used in dental informatics and is based on the existing infection control protocols related to dental patient care. Devices and equipment used in patient treatment areas should be designed or be able to be adapted to allow appropriate infection control protocols which prevent patient cross-contamination as well as the introduction of environmental infectious agents into the operative site.

ADA Technical Report No. 1018 — Technical Security Mechanisms: 2005 (Reaffirmed 2020)

Practitioners need to understand exactly the specific requirements that may be indicated to provide security and how to address each requirement. This report discusses requirements for small practices to ensure transmission security to protect the integrity of data sent over the Internet and to authenticate the data received.

ADA Technical Report No. 1021—Data Integrity, Redundancy, Storage and Accessibility: 2005 (Reaffirmed 2016)

This report presents options available to prevent data loss and corruption, maintain data integrity and maintain and restore access to data. It also discusses appropriate contingency plans in emergency situations for recovery and authentication of the data as well as accessing the information.

ADA Technical Report No. 1023 — Implementation Requirements for DICOM in Dentistry: 2005 (Reaffirmed 2020)

This report provides a technical standard based on the DICOM version 3 Standard as it applies to dentistry with the goal of increasing interoperability between digital radiographic systems. It lists the components required for intraoral and extra-oral digital radiography.

ANSI/ADA Standard No. 1027 — Implementation Guide for ADA Standard No. 1000: 2010 (Reaffirmed 2020)

With this implementation guide vendors, developers and other users can efficiently and economically build clinical databases and data systems from the ANSI/ADA 1000 Standard. This implementation guide shows how to migrate the data model components in the standard to a functioning data system, including how to optimize these models.

ADA Technical Report No. 1029—Digital Photography: 2004 (Reaffirmed 2020)

The focus of this Technical Report is to provide basic information on the use of digital photography in dentistry and to help facilitate: 1). The appropriate selection of the necessary equipment; 2). Consistent communication between concerned parties with and interoperability of digital images and the information the contained therein. The information provided will address the digital imaging needs of the various dental specialties, the general dental practitioner, other health care providers, the patient and any interested third parties such as insurance carriers, prosthetic and pathology laboratories. These discussions take into consideration the interoperability requirements to insure proper identification, exporting and importing of the image and database management of the image. To capture a quality digital image is not enough- the image has to have proper and standardized labeling of what it contains (the structures that are visible in the image) and the necessary DICOM descriptors of what, how and when it was captured.

ADA Technical Report No. 1030 — Dental Provider’s Guide to the Electronic Dental Record: 2015 (Reaffirmed 2020)

This technical report is intended to increase the awareness and knowledge of dentists and dental healthcare providers about key concepts of the Electronic Dental Record (EDR) and the standards development process. The document can serve as a primer on the subject and as a tool to help dental offices implement an EDR. This report is useful because the application of computer-based systems in the management of dental practices, both private and institutional, have proven to be a significant and necessary resource.

ANSI/ADA Standard No. 1039—Clinical Concept Data Model: 2006 (Reaffirmed 2019)

The purpose of this document is to develop and present a shared understanding of the structure and content of data needed to support healthcare processes. This conceptual model forms the foundation for more detailed data representations in clinical information and the structure and content of data presented in the various types of electronic health and patient records.

ADA Technical Report No. 1041 — Content of Electronic Laboratory Prescriptions: 2019

The scope of this technical report is to present the types of data and electronic format necessary to create an electronic dental laboratory prescription. Another goal of this report is to create security awareness and education for the dental practitioner associated with electronic dissemination of patient information offsite to the outsourced dental laboratory.

ADA Technical Report No. 1048—Attachment of DICOM Dataset Using Email: 2011 (Reaffirmed 2015)

This report provides a technical standard based on the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) version 3 Standard as it applies to dentistry with the goal of increasing interoperability between practitioners. In particular, this report highlights the benefits of the ZIP File over Email Interchange Profiles of the DICOM Standard for dentists or specialists who don't share the same image data repository, but need to exchange patient data in a fast and secure manner.

ADA Technical Report No. 1051 — DICOM Requirements for Digital Imaging in Institutional Dentistry: 2019

This report provides a technical standard based on the DICOM Standard as it applies to dentistry with the goal of increasing interoperability within and between institutional digital radiographic systems. This report will illustrate through high-level interaction use cases how to achieve interoperability for typical dental imaging tasks. They are: (1) view images on removable media; (2) create interoperable removable media images; (3) share images among various networked multi-vendor storage and acquisition systems; (4) ability to exchange visible light photographic and endoscopic images within a dental image acquisition context; (5) create and exchange DICOM structured display objects; (6) perform scheduled workflow to integrate digital images with an electronic dental records system; (7) import and reconcile Images from outside the institution into the electronic dental records system; (8) securely transfer DICOM images via email, and; (9) access DICOM images via the Internet. These use cases show the DICOM requirements in context, describing them in clear relationship to the clinical tasks of the dental provider.

ADA Technical Report No. 1054 — Electronic Dental Laboratory Prescriptions: 2019

This technical report presents the types of data and electronic format necessary to be included on an electronic dental laboratory prescription. The goal of this report is to address the need for electronic transmission of patient information from the dental practitioner to the outsourced dental laboratory with the necessary security and interoperability.

ADA Technical Report No. 1055 — Guidelines for Hardware and Software in Dental Practice: 2019

The purpose of this technical report is to outline the features of hardware and software for dental practice management systems and propose guidelines for selection for their optimal utilization in dental offices.

ADA Technical Report No. 1057 — Interoperability of Imaging Technologies in Today's Dental Practice: 2010 (Reaffirmed 2020)

This report discusses the issues involving interoperability that arise when digital radiography and photography are integrated into a dental practice. The report describes the features of DICOM that facilitate resolution of these issues and allows a dental practice to achieve interoperability within their imaging and practice management systems and with outside healthcare data systems and networks. Descriptions of the components of a digital radiography system and guidelines on what to look for when choosing digital radiography components also are included.

ANSI/ADA Standard No. 1058—Forensic Dental Data Set: 2010 (Reaffirmed 2020)

The purpose of this standard is to develop uniform nomenclature for the description of forensic dental data and define a standardized set of uniform terms to convey this information. The goal of the standard is not to define the extent of information collected, only to be certain that common terms are used in order to aid in an identifying human remains or a living amnesiac.

ADA Technical Report No. 1059 — Guidelines for the Application of the DICOM Standard to Radiographic Cephalometric Data: 2010 (Reaffirmed 2020)

In the current DICOM documentation, cephalograms are not addressed directly. This technical report (TR) was developed to fill the gap in such a way as to provide imaging equipment vendors an approved way of storing cephalograms, along with their clinically relevant data, in an interoperable way.

In addition, this TR shall serve as a part of the foundation for the definition of ADA SCDI approved guidelines for the storage and transfer of orthodontic electronic patient records through the utilization of existing popular informatics standards. This TR shall be included in the definition of an ADA SCDI document to specify the integration of DICOM and HL7 standards for orthodontic data.

This document was initially designed for scanned film-based cephalograms, but is intended to be used for digitally created cephalograms as well.

ADA Technical Report No. 1060 — The Secure Exchange and Utilization of Digital Images in Dentistry: 2011 (Reaffirmed 2015)

This report outlines methods for the secure electronic exchange and utilization of electronic digital image files, including those requiring diagnostic quality. Such images may include diagnostic radiographs, intraoral and extra-oral photographs, video, optical impressions and oral pathology photomicrographs. Caution is advised against the utilization of unsecure exchange transmission modes, such as unencrypted email attachments sent over the Internet or any other unsecured electronic exchange not conforming to accepted security transmission standards. Currently available practices and existing constraints to diagnostic image exchange are reviewed and potential solutions offered.

ADA Technical Report No. 1065 — Use Cases of the Orthodontic Electronic Health Record: 2019

The purpose of this technical report is to create a list of approved use-cases that define the most common usage scenarios of the electronic health record within the scope of orthodontics.

ANSI/ADA Standard No. 1067 — Electronic Dental Record System Standard Functional Requirements: 2013 (Reaffirmed 2018)

The purpose of this document is to identify the minimum functionality required of an electronic dental system to perform effectively in an interoperable and coordinated care environment.

ADA White Paper No. 1070 — Implementation of the Electronic Prescription Standard for Dentistry: 2019

The scope of this white paper is to present and establish the guidelines for standard electronic prescriptions in dentistry. The NCPDP/SCRIPT standard addresses prescription transactions between provider/office practice and retail pharmacy and currently has the broadest acceptance in the ambulatory setting.

ADA Technical Report No. 1075 — Electronic Orthodontic Dental Laboratory Prescriptions: 2019

The scope of this technical report is to present the types of data and electronic format necessary to be included on an electronic orthodontic dental laboratory prescription. The goal of this report is to address the need for electronic transmission of patient information from the orthodontic provider to the outsourced dental laboratory with the necessary security and interoperability. This technical report provides additional guidelines for the format, content and security of patient data disseminated offsite to the outsourced dental laboratory. The recommendations provided herein are designed to be technology-neutral and to be scalable to address the needs of both large and small facilities.

ADA Technical Report No. 1077 — Human Age Assessment by Dental Analysis: 2020

Forensic dental age assessment produces an estimate of chronologic age through dental analysis. The intent of this technical report is to describe current best practices for the process of human dental age assessment; however, it is not intended to supersede local, state, or federal regulations. As a resource, this document could assist in the development of regulations for those agencies. This document describes the methodologies and best practices for estimating the chronologic age of a living or deceased individual by analysis of the human dentition and associated maxillofacial structures.

ANSI/ADA Standard No. 1079 — Standard Content of Electronic Attachments for Dental Claims: 2015 (Reaffirmed 2020)

Third-party payers may require submission of supporting documentation (e.g., radiographs, narratives, measurements, periodontal charts) before claims can be adjudicated. Increased application of information technology standards and electronic transactions reduces the time required for claims processing and the costs associated with it by providing a seamless information exchange. A great deal of information is gathered during a comprehensive evaluation of the patient so that the dentist can formulate a diagnosis and treatment plan. Much of the information sent by dentists to third-party payers may not aid in claims adjudication. This standard describes content for electronic claims attachments submitted to third-party payers.

ADA Technical Report No. 1081 — FDA’s Unique Device Identification Program for Dental Devices and Biologics Regulated as Medical Devices: 2019

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a rule to establish a system to adequately identify devices through distribution. This rule requires the label of medical devices to include a unique device identifier (UDI), except where the rule provides for an exception or alternative placement. The labeler must submit product information to the FDA's Global Unique Device Identification Database (GUDID), unless subject to an exception or alternative. The rule further requires the label and package of each medical device to include a UDI and requires the UDI to be directly marked on the device itself if the device is intended to be used more than once. Practitioners need to have an understanding of this rule and what it will entail as it is required to go into practice, from a clinician side. The manufacture chain and responsibilities have been clearly identified by the FDA, but the clinical use has not; and thus that was determined to be the main focus of this paper.

ADA Technical Report No. 1083 — Utilization of EDR to Support Clinical Quality Improvement: 2021

This technical report provides an overview of the technical relationship of the EDR (electronic dental record) to quality improvement and patient data analysis, and examples of how it can be applied.

ANSI/ADA Standard No. 1084 — Core Set of Reference Data for Communication Among Dental Information Systems: 2019

The Reference Core Data Set (RCDS) provides for the structured electronic data elements to support key information exchange among and between dental and other health care settings. This includes the electronic sharing of essential patients’ demographic and dental encounter/clinical data in a structured, computable format between dental or other health care venues. The standard provides a technical specification to extract, format and transmit essential patients’ demographic and dental and medical encounter and clinical data between one dental information system to another dental or medical health information system to support key syntactic and semantic information exchange.

ADA Technical Report No. 1085—Implementation Guidelines for the Secure Transmission of Protected Health Information for Dentistry: 2015

This report provides a technical specification based on the Direct Secure Messaging Protocol for the secure electronic transmission of all protected health information (PHI) in dentistry.

ADA Technical Report No. 1087 — Essential Characteristics of Digital Oral Health Risk Assessment Resources: 2021

This Technical Report will describe the essential characteristics of digital tools that collect clinician- or patient-entered  information including consideration of systemic co-morbidities for the purposes of creating individual or population estimates of risk for specific oral diseases and associated medical co-morbidities.  These characteristics include the input and output elements, usability, security and privacy features, and interoperability.   Various potential use-cases for risk assessment software are described.

ADA Technical Report No. 1088 — Identification of Human Remains by Dental Analysis: 2020

The goal of this technical report is to provide the best available current information to forensic odontologists, forensic pathologists, medical examiners and coroners, law enforcement personnel, dental schools, emergency planners and others on the best practices recommended by the forensic odontology community. It includes guidelines on how to obtain comparative forensic dental data as well as the recommended methodologies to reconcile that data in order to establish an identification by comparative dental analysis.

ADA Technical Report No. 1089 — Track and Trace for Human Cells, Tissues and Cellular and Tissue-based Products: 2019

This technical report defines inventory management requirements in dental practices for HCT/Ps to ensure traceability from the donor to the recipient and the recipient to the donor. Its intent is also to facilitate reporting of potential adverse reactions, including disease transmission, to all parties involved in processing the HCT/P.

ADA Technical Report No. 1090 — Adoption and Augmentation of the Quality Matters (QM) Design Standards for Online and Blended Courses: 2016 (Reaffirmed 2020)

The purpose of this document is to describe the adoption of two Quality Matters Rubrics (Higher Education and Continuing & Professional Education) as an updated standard for online and blended dental education courses for students and professionals.

ADA Technical Report No. 1091 — Cloud Computing and Data Storage: Implications and Recommendations for Dental Practice: 2017 (Reaffirmed 2021)

The purpose of this document is to describe cloud computing and data storage, its use in dental practice, its benefits and risks, and recommendations for use by dental practitioners. The document covers four areas of cloud computing applied to dentistry: What cloud computing entails, how it benefits the dental practice, the risks and issues associated with cloud computing and cloud storage; and business aspects of cloud computing and data storage.

ADA Technical Report No. 1092 — Implementation Guide to Utilization of Diagnostic Codes in Dental Records: 2021

This technical report is a primer for dental providers to facilitate adoption and use of dental diagnostic codes. The report includes information on current diagnostic code sets pertinent to the practice of dentistry and mechanisms to incorporate them in dental records, with real world examples and recommendations for risk management.

ANSI/ADA Standard No. 1094 — Quality Assurance for Digital Intra-Oral Radiographic Systems: 2020

Quality assurance can be defined as the planned and systematic activities necessary to provide adequate confidence that a product or service will meet the given requirements. As this relates to digital intra-oral radiography, quality assurance entails the consistent production of x-ray images of high quality in order to provide the maximum amount of diagnostic information with minimal radiation exposure to the patient. Image optimization creates an optimal balance between these two factors: image quality and radiation dose. There are essentially three components involved with any digital intraoral imaging system: the image display device (computer, monitor, and display-software), the x-ray source, the digital image acquisition device (solid-state sensor or PSP imaging plate and scanner, and associated acquisition-software). Each of these components is addressed in this standard to improve their functions for image optimization.

ADA Technical Report No. 1095 — Electronic Resources for Access and Appraisal of Clinical Information: 2018

Locating and appraising dental research are essential to providing optimal patient care. This technical report provides information with concise notes on electronic resources that will in turn provide detailed guidance on searching for clinically relevant research and determining the quality of what is found to help in clinical decision making.

ADA Technical Report No. 1096 — Electronic Protected Health Information HIPAA Security Risk Analysis: 2018

The purpose of this document is to assist covered practitioners in fulfilling their legally mandated obligation to conduct a security risk analysis, develop a plan to protect patient data privacy and security and to train the dental team. In doing so, the document will help covered entities to understand and analyze the risk, and assist in choosing the appropriate partners in the fields (in terms of vendors of software and/or services) in order to help train and protect all the parties involved.

ANSI/ADA Standard No. 1097 — Digital Caries Risk Assessment Resources: 2020

The purpose of this document is to provide requirements for the essential characteristics for digital caries risk assessment resources, including: standardized definitions; clinical input elements; assessment methods for data collection; scoring methodology considerations; and reporting formats. Uses of digital caries risk assessment resources are: To provide clinical decision support for healthcare providers; provide anticipatory guidance for caregivers and patients; and to facilitate the interchange of caries risk assessment data among stakeholders, including individual healthcare providers, healthcare organizations, academic institutions, researchers, third-party payers and public health policy makers.

ISO/ANSI/ADA Standard No. 3950—Designation System for Teeth and Areas of the Oral Cavity: 2010 (Reaffirmed 2015)

This international standard provides a system for the designation of teeth and areas of the oral cavity using two digits.