"Great things start with a smile!" Dr Rosenblat

 

Why do I need an X-rays at the dentist?
Radiographic or X-ray examination is an essential tool used as part of an overall oral examination.  X-rays provide important information about the structures of your 
mouth that cannot be seen visually; inside your teeth, their roots and the bone that surrounds them.

Hidden problems under fillings and crowns such as cavities or within the jawbone such as abscesses, cysts, tumors, bone diseases, periodontal ( gum) disease or impacted teeth can be identified.  This is important because often theses problems are undetected and painless.  Catching them early can prevent them from growing larger, more difficult and costly to treat as well as prevent many from becoming painful.

 

Radiation

 

We are all constantly exposed to radiation as we go about our daily lives, whether it be from the sun (ultraviolet rays cause sunburns and can lead to skin cancer as we all know) or cosmic radiation from space.  Each day each of us receive a very low dose of radiation.  Two dental X-rays are about the same exposure as you normally get each day, a very low and safe dose.  The risks from untreated diseases far outweigh the risk from the very low safe dose you are exposed to in a dental x-ray.

Even so, all dentists are trained to follow the “ALARA” Principle:   “As Low As Reasonably Achievable”; which means ordering only the x-rays needed to treat a patient.

So lets compare radiation exposure for a dental and widely used medical test in the chart below:

So to put one of these tests into numbers, you would need to take 2000 dental x-rays to get the same radiation exposure as a mammogram!   Dental x-rays are also focused on a small area of the body so as you can see the exposure almost insignificant.

Dentists are legally and ethically responsible to diagnose and treat patients with a minimum standard of care and this involves the use of dental X-rays.  Treating patients without meeting these professional standards can constitute malpractice, so while it is your choice regarding what treatments you consent to, I need to uphold the approved standard of care and treat all my patients properly and thoroughly.  And it is not possible to just sign a waiver to be treated without appropriate and needed dental X-Rays.

 

Examples of Hidden Problems I've found...

Painless and silent until discovered with diagnostic dental X-Rays:

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

When you can't find a tooth in the mouth, a X-Ray will tell us if it's there, and if so where and why it isn't where it is supposed to be.