Radiographic Examination of the New Patient

For new patients being evaluated for oral diseases, the recommendations for radiographic imaging are organized by age and the type of dentition. The radiographic examination, if indicated, should be individualized for each patient taking into consideration the previously discussed parameters and the patient’s clinical presentation. Table 2 outlines the recommendations at a glance. Subsequent discussion of each category follows the table.

Table 2. Radiographic Examination of the New Patient.1
New Patient Recommendations
Child with Primary Dentition Child with Mixed Dentition Adolescent with Permanent Dentition Adult Dentate Partially Dentate Adult Edentulous
Individualized exam: selected periapicals or occlusals if indicated

Bitewings if contacts are closed
Individualized exam: bitewings & panoramic

Or bitewings & selected periapicals
Individualized exam: bitewings & panoramic

Or bitewings & selected periapicals

Full mouth survey if indicated
Individualized exam: bitewings & panoramic

Or bitewings & selected periapicals

Full mouth survey if indicated
Individualized exam based on clinical signs & symptoms