A retrospective analysis of referral patterns for oral radiologic consultation over 3 years in Ontario, Canada
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OBJECTIVES: To determine the types of practitioners who most commonly refer and the film type and diagnostic entities that are most frequently submitted for oral radiologic consultation in Ontario, Canada. STUDY DESIGN: A total of 430 referral letters and responses from 2 Ontario oral radiologists from 2003 to 2005 were analyzed. Data collected included the specialty of the referring practitioner, the film type(s) submitted, the radiographic density of the entity of interest, and the interpretation by the radiologist. RESULTS: General practitioners (58.9%) and oral surgeons (21.5%) were the most frequently referring practitioner types, representing 1.2% and 17.1% respectively of each group practicing in Ontario. Also, 18.2% of oral pathologists referred. Panoramic radiographs (79.5%) were included in referrals more often than intraoral radiographs (46.0%). Of the entities, 37.0% were radiopacities, 27.4% were radiolucencies, and 13.5% had mixed radiopaque-radiolucent density. The radiologists interpreted normal features (55.6%) most often. CONCLUSION: Panoramic radiographs with normal findings were submitted to oral radiologists for consultation most frequently in Ontario.
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