People often come in to my office and tell me they have a problem and want me to take an X-Ray to see what's wrong. Then they ask one of the most frequent questions a patient asks any dentist: "What's the X-Ray say doc?" While there is lots of information on an X-Ray, often it tells me nothing about the problem a patient wants me to help them with. I need to be a detective! And like any TV detective I need to ask a lot of questions and really listen to what patients say. It's amazing how much you can learn about a dental problem by asking questions. Often I can figure out the problem from just the answers I hear. BUT I cannot diagnose without evidence ( just like CSI if they want to make an arrest) and that is where a thorough examination comes in. One of the tools I may use is a dental X-Ray image of the problem area, IF, I think it will add useful information. It is only one tool and by itself it ususally does not provide enough evidence to diagnose the problem.
Once I have evidence I can make a diagnosis and only then can I offer treatment to resolve the problem.
So when a patient comes in, points to a tooth and says it hurts and needs a filling, I say "tell me more!"