Bitewing examination to detect caries in children and adolescents--when and how often?
ABSTRACT It is generally agreed that the decision to take bitewing radiographs for detecting caries should be based on the benefit to the individual patient in relation to the risks associated with low dose radiation exposure and the costs. There is incomplete knowledge about the effectiveness of various methods for selecting individuals who will benefit from bitewing examination. Available knowledge suggests, however, that our ability to identify correctly those who will benefit is limited. It may, therefore, be more effective to combine population- and individual-based selection criteria. For this purpose, four key ages and individual-based criteria between the key ages are suggested. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The purpose of the presented selection criteria are to improve the dental practioner's effectiveness in selecting patients who will benefit from bitewing examination, thereby reducing the number of arbitrary and 'just in case' radiographs and the radiation dose.