Family Dentistry - Charlotte
2024 Lansing Road
Charlotte, MI 48813
Ph: 517-543-5230 Fax: 517-543-5011

 

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Posts for: April, 2011

By contactus
April 12, 2011
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Many of our patients have concerns about getting radiation from dental x-rays. When I was in dental school, our professors told us a full set of x-rays was comparable to exposing one's self to a day in the sun. As of two month's ago, our office switched to using digital x-rays. Not only are digital x-rays a time saver because of an instantaneous display of the teeth and oral cavity, but they also reduce the amount of radiation exposure to all of us. Today, maybe this would equal a few hours in the sun as opposed to a day in the sun.

I cannot emphasize enough of how important radiographic x-rays are to our ability to diagnose effectively. I recommend a full set of x-rays every five years to catch any pathology that may be hidden in the jaw bone and to help me have a comparison for changes that may occur intra-orally. I recommend bitewing x-rays every year to help me identify cavities in between teeth, under fillings or under crowns that are undetectable to the eye on exam. These types of x-rays also help the hygienists and I evaluate bone levels around the teeth to ensure you are not losing precious bone around your precious teeth.

Lastly, I know that some xrays are not taken in an attempt to save money (insurance companies as well) by not taking x-rays every year. To quote Benjamin Franklin, I think this is penny wise and pound foolish. I have seen so many cavities left undiagnosed due to a request to not take xrays. The x-rays are typically between $50-$75. A small filling costs around $100. A larger filling may cost up to $250. A very large filling may even warrant a crown, or worse, the nerve of the tooth may become infected and require root canal therapy. A crown is around $850-900 and root canal therapy is about the same or more. Therefore, I am always going to recommend getting the x-rays taken at least once per year and twice per year for someone who has active on-going decay. Prevention is my mantra! Hope this helps you as you contemplate x-rays!

PS. There are always exceptions to the one year x-ray recommendation rule. We have several people in our practice who have never had a cavity or demonstrate an extremely low decay rate. They may only have their x-rays taken once every two years.