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ADA Recommendations

ADA Recommendations

The very real possibility of dental practitioners being held medico-legally responsible for failure to detect or correctly interpret non-odontogenic pathology within the extensive volumetric data set of a CBCT has been considered by the Australian Dental Association.

In 2018 the Australian Dental Association reviewed its policy on the responsibilities of those dentists prescribing or performing CBCT. The Australian Dental Association Policy Statement 6.22, Dento-Maxillofacial Cone Beam Volumetric Tomography section 2.7 states:

“Dentists must be responsible for ensuring that the entire data in any CBVT that they prescribe is reviewed and interpreted.”

Medico-legal implications for dentists

Practitioners are responsible for reporting on the whole volume of data that has been taken and incidentals findings are not uncommon.

Dentists may be exposed to significant medico-legal risks by not appreciating odontogenic and non-odontogenic pathology contained within the CBCT volume. Such pathology may arise within facial structures and be the cause of symptoms presenting to the dentist.

The volume of data obtained will also include non-dental structures which may be unfamiliar to a dentist, including the soft tissues of the neck, upper cervical spine, airways, sinuses, and base of skull.