Factors influencing the frequency of bitewing radiography in general dental practice

Vivian Rushton, V. E. Rushton, K. Horner, H. V. Worthington

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The aim of this study was to determine the influence of a range of patient and dentist factors on the prescription of bitewing radiography. A postal questionnaire of general dental practitioners working in the Birmingham and Manchester areas of England was used. Dentists were requested to score the influence of 15 factors upon their decision whether or not to take bitewing radiographs. Some of these factors were chosen to represent accepted "high caries risk" factors, some "low risk" factors, while others were chosen as they should be irrelevant to prescription of bitewing radiographs. There was a questionnaire response of 70.8%. Dentists recognized accepted high caries risk factors as being an indicator for bitewing radiography but the influence of low caries risk factors was less clear. Only "good oral hygiene" and the presence of "few restorations" were perceived as relevant to bitewing prescription, while fissure sealants were seen as an influence in favour of radiography by almost one third of dentists. Dentists tended to be influenced in their radiographic practice by the opinions of patients and fears of medico-legal consequences. Pregnancy was seen as contra-indicatory for bitewings by almost all dentists. These results suggest that greater emphasis should be placed upon radiographic selection criteria in dental education. © Munksgaard, 1996.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)272-276
    Number of pages4
    JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 1996


    • Dental caries
    • Diagnosis
    • Radiography


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