According to a recent release, the ADA, in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration, has released updated recommendations for the prescription of dental radiographic examinations.

"Dental Radiographic Examinations: Recommendations for Patient Selection and Limiting Raditation Exposure," which was last updated in 2004, should serve in conjunction with dentists' professional judgment on when it's appropriate to use diagnostic imaging.

The dentist is in the best position to make this call since he or she knows the patient's health history and their vulnerability to oral disease.

"We are encouraging dentists to look at the issue of selecting radiographic examinations for their patients on an individual basis, not as a one-size-fits-all," said Dr. Sharon Brooks, professor emeritus at the University of Michigan, who worked as a consultant with the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs to develop the new set of recommendations. "The guidelines are to help them make the decisions on the appropriate use."