Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 27, 2012 6:30 AM

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Wrong on dental X-rays

"Taking the bite out of X-rays" (DI, April 19) contains inaccurate information.

The recommendation attributed to Dr. Howard Gamble (president, Academy of General Dentistry) as to bitewing radiographs for children is not the present recommendation of the leading health authorities. The Food and Drug Administration, the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry all recommend that a child patient under 5-6 years of age should first have a risk assessment performed, followed by a dental examination and then determine whether radiographs are indicated. 

Where it is not possible to visualize or probe the surfaces between back teeth and depending on the child's risk factors, radiographs may be ordered and most likely would be bitewings.

Follow-up X-rays are recommended every six to 12 months in patients with history of decay or are at increased risk. Failure to follow evidence based recommendations could lead to missed decay and delayed treatment.

Arthur J. Nowak, D.M.D.
Professor Emeritus
UI College of Dentistry

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