Using Selection Criteria to Determine Need for Dental X-Rays, With Dr. Dale Miles, Fountain Hills, Arizona

by Editorial Staff

Selection criteria is a concept where the patient is examined to determine the need for a radiographic procedure before ordering it.  Although the process has been taught for years, most dentists don't pay attention to it and Dr. Dale Miles, an oral and maxillofacial radiologist in Fountain Hills, Arizona says that x-rays are a delegated procedure.  This "out of sight, out of mind" mentality is unfortunate, he says, because if a patient's need is not determined before proceeding with a radiograph, it could lead to all sorts of problems, some of which legal.  "Dentists must be examining their patients prior to doing any x-ray procedure" and then telling their assistant to perform only those x-rays that are necessary, emphasizes Dr. Miles.

 Dr. Dale Miles

Dr. Dale Miles

There are certain factors that go into whether an x-ray is necessary, such as number type and frequency.  Dr. Miles says there should be no shortage for radiographs, as they're needed for diagnosis but it's more about determining the need.  As every situation is different, using selection criteria, a dentist can determine if a radiograph is necessary to support any suspicions to help in making a clinical decision.  

Dr. Dale Miles is an oral and maxillofacial radiologist in Fountain Hills, Arizona and is featured on Interactive Imaging TV.  Go to  for more information on Dr. Miles and programs about CBCT.  Interactive Imaging TV is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.