The AAOMR turns 60

Editor's note: Allan Farman's column, Talking Pictures, appears regularly on the advice and opinion page, Second Opinion.

The American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (AAOMR) celebrated the 60th anniversary of its annual congress at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel in Louisville, KY, October 21-24, 2009. This year is also the 10th anniversary of the ADA's recognition of oral and maxillofacial radiology as the ninth specialty of dentistry.

While the AAOMR is the organization that sponsors the specialty of oral and maxillofacial radiology, the organization is one of RADIOLOGY, not just radiologists. A category of membership available for nonspecialists provides access to unbiased and noncommercial information on maxillofacial diagnostic imaging and image guidance. With ever more sophisticated imaging equipment entering all aspects of dentistry, membership in AAOMR and attendance at its continuing education sessions is worth considering. Details can be found at

As it enters its seventh decade of service and second decade as representing a dental specialty, the AAOMR is embarking upon outward-looking initiatives. We are in the process of updating and adding new position papers to act as guidelines for the profession in general. One of these initiatives is the development of a joint position paper with the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) on orthodontic imaging, with special reference to cone-beam computed tomography. Other position paper initiatives include updates on existing papers on TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome) and implant planning imaging and a new paper on informatic standards for imaging interoperability and communication.

The AAOMR will also be working with the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology to investigate impediments to the transfer of diagnostic information across state lines and the associated issue of access to care. This activity will be undertaken as an existing work item of the ADA Standards Committee on Dental Informatics (item TR 1060). It is hoped that this initiative will also help in providing information on secure e-mail of DICOM images, as requested in an ADA House of Delegates resolution passed at the ADA meeting in Honolulu earlier this year.

Additional initiatives are in process and will be reported as they are formalized.

Allan Farman, B.D.S., M.B.A., Ph.D., D.Sc., is a professor of radiology at the University of Louisville in Kentucky and current president of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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