Labelling of Intra-Oral Dental Radiographs

Labelling of Intra-Oral Dental Radiographs

This is just a reminder that the College of Veterinarians of Ontario Minimum Standards for Veterinary Facilities in Ontario (MinimumStandards.pdf) contains the following requirements for the labelling of all radiographs, including intra-oral dental radiographs.

Companion Animal Hospital Part 8 Diagnostic Imaging (page 9).

8.2.2. radiographs of all which are permanently identified with: the name of the veterinarian or the designation of the facility or both identification of the animal the date of the radiograph an indication of the left or right side of the animal an indication of time for sequential radiographic studies

The above requirements are the same for the following designations:
Remote Area Companion Animal Mobile Part 7 Diagnostic Imaging (page 52)
Companion Animal Emergency Clinic Part 8 Diagnostic Imaging (page 64)
Specialty Animal Hospital Referral Hospital Part 8 Diagnostic Imaging (page 171).

Whether this is a legal requirement where you practice or not, it should still absolutely be your hospital policy. Having unlabeled images is just asking for communication errors, in-hospital and when conferring with colleagues beyond your walls.

You will notice in the image at the top of this post that the patient is identified by a patient number and there is no owner information. This allows me to share images without the risk of breaching client confidentiality. Unless you have access to my database, you can have no idea who patient 9491 is or who its owners are. You will also see a date/time stamp, an indication of the anatomic region and the name of the facility. That is all that is required. The label is large enough to read but small enough to fit off in a corner where it is not covering any important parts of the image and I have selected black so it shows up against the white/gray background in that corner.

If you are using digital or computed radiography, the software you use to manage the images must have an option for you to have this information visible on each image. It should also allow you to select font size, colour and location of the text. Place the label in a location such that it does not cover any diagnostically important information on the image and select a size and colour that allows it to be clearly legible. If you have any questions about how to achieve this, contact your software vendor or support personnel for instructions.

If the software you have does not allow labelling of each image, get new software.

A shorter, pdf version of this bulletin can be found here –

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