Background Information (patients and public)

Background information

The purpose of this website is to provide up-to-date information to dentists and dental specialists about recommended choices of X-ray imaging techniques required for a correct diagnosis and successful treatment.  If you are a patient having dental treatment, before deciding whether or not to request an X-ray examination of teeth or jaw, your dentist will assess whether such an examination is justified, that is, whether the benefit from exposure to ionising radiation will be greater than the potential detriment that such radiation may cause, after talking to you about any problems or after examining you. The dentist needs to think about which type of X-ray examination is appropriate and whether now is the right time to do it.

Why referral guidelines?

Referral guidelines can help the dentist to decide about the justifiability of an X-ray examination of your teeth or jaw, as well as to select the appropriate type of X-ray image/modality. Referral guidelines of good quality are developed in a systematic way using the available research evidence. It is very important, however, to understand that referral guidelines are not rules that must always be followed.  They will probably be right for most patients, but sometimes your unique clinical findings and needs may mean the dentist makes a different choice.

How were these guidelines developed?

The referral guidelines on this website were developed in two stages. First, existing referral guideline documents of good quality developed by different international, European and national professional associations in the field of dental medicine were reviewed, along with up-to-date systematic reviews (a very careful review of research publications which assesses their quality). After the first draft of the referral guidelines was developed, it was reviewed by specialist groups within the Croatian Dental Society of Croatian Medical Association, with their suggestions considered and consensus agreement achieved.

The referral guidelines were developed with the support of the TC project of the International Atomic Energy Agency RER/9/135 Strengthening Radiation Protection of Patients and Medical Exposure Control