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Radiographic Selection Criteria

Course Number: 584

Adolescent with Permanent Dentition prior to the Eruption of Third Molars

There are a variety of factors that can influence the incidence of caries in the adolescent new patient that may result in increased risk. Among these are variations in dietary habits and inattention to daily oral hygiene practices. These same factors may impact periodontal health. Posterior bitewings and selected periapical images may be useful in these instances. If the patient presents with clinical evidence of generalized oral disease or with a history of extensive prior dental treatment, a full mouth survey is preferred.

Panoramic imaging can be utilized to assess tooth development, particularly the third molar teeth, to determine their presence, position and degree of development (Figure 2). Occlusal and/or periapical images can be used to determine the position of an unerupted or supernumerary tooth.

ce584 Panoramic xray image evaluation the 3rd molar

Figure 2. Panoramic Image Third Molar Evaluation.

Depending on the patient’s clinical presentation or situation, an individualized radiographic examination comprised of posterior bitewings and selected periapical images or posterior bitewings and a panoramic image is indicated. As previously mentioned, when generalized oral disease or extensive prior dental treatment is observed, a full mouth survey is recommended.