Regulation & Compliance

Explanation and remarks on Dental Imaging regulation

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Is a (dental and maxillofacial) radiologist report mandatory for x-ray scans?

Note: This article is based only on Italian legislation. For other countries check the local regulations.

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Radiologist reports are required for all radiological exams in Italy

The SIRM (Italian Society of Medical and Interventional Radiology) states:
The Radiological Report is the mandatory written document with which the specialist of the Radiological Area declares the results of the Diagnostic Imaging exams obtained, together with the clinical interpretation of the results themselves, in relation to the patient’s clinical picture and medical history “.

Therefore, unlike other countries (e.g. – England, where the radiology report is not mandatory), in Italy, in order for any radiological exam to be “disclosed” (meaning – to exit the door of the clinic in which it was performed), it must necessarily be provided together with a radiology report.

In order to have legal dignity and obtain legal and evidential value, the radiology report must be signed by a radiologist (on paper, or through a qualified electronic signature) according to the current regulations.

Furthermore, it is emphasized that all radiological exams’ reports, of any field, must cite the method used, the technical execution parameters of the procedure itself and the radiation doses administered.


Creation of radiological exams

According to Legislative Decree 187/2000, Italian dentists and surgeons are allowed to directly use complex radiological equipment (defined by law as “Complementary Radiological Activities”), provided that the equipment is properly set-up and the intervention is of immediate aid to the result and meets the following requirements:

  • Contextual : Performed on the same day of the specific professional service or the next.
  • Integrated: Aimed at improving specific professional performance.
  • Unpostponable patient:  For the performance of the overall health service to the benefit of the     and with respect to the performance of instrumental interventions that are specific to the specialty.

Many dental practices, therefore, are equipping themselves with complex machinery (Panoramic, CBCT or Combined) for carrying out diagnostic tests. In this regard, however, a lot of attention is required to the bureaucratic aspects involved.

The goal is not to dissuade specialists from purchasing these state-of-the-art systems, but rather to establish a constructive collaboration that follows precise guidelines for carrying out procedures with ionizing radiation for the health of citizens (patients and others) and with respect for privacy.


Radiology Reports protect dentist

Dentists or doctors in Italy, as already mentioned, are authorized to perform the radiological service itself, but NOT to write, nor issue, a radiological report. If they want to carry out the complete radiological service independently, in theory, but only in theory, the exam they did can remain without a report.

The clinic will be obliged to hold, in accordance with the law, the exam documents in paper or electronic form for at least 5 years, on special registers (including digital) of all the exams performed, complete with informed patient consent correctly filled in (dated and signed). Should the patient request a copy, it may be released only after a radiological report is issued.

This legislative gap becomes important, for example, in the event of a legal dispute, in which having a report written by a radiologist constitutes an undoubted protection for the dentist from a legal point of view and relief from liability.


What we do at DentQ

At DentQ, as a multiservice provider of dental radiology, we work with and for the dentist to ensure that there is maximum transparency in radiological interpretation to limit long-standing errors of assessment, especially in the most complex cases.

For this purpose we use and make available the following to the dental practice:

  • Secure and chronological archiving system
  • Advanced processing (reconstruction) software
  • Sophisticated AI-based technologies for radiological analysis
  • Radiological reports by expert dental radiologists via Tele-Radiology
  • Secured cloud based storage system for patients’ records, including images and reports

With DentQ, everything is adequately managed and documented thanks to the work of a dedicated team specialized in dental radiology, including radiologists, radiology technicians, IT technicians, consultants and others.

Those who rely on us, therefore, already know that they will be getting a rapid and complete radiological interpretation, an extremely attentive and competent eye for the evaluation of tests performed at one of our diagnostic centers or elsewhere, with the purpose of consolidating the diagnosis or identifying pathologies, even rare, of the oral cavity and not only.

Elaborated by Dr. Enrico Cammarella – Lead Radiographer DentQ Italy

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