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Xrays - How do I know when enough is enough?
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Anon_138320 posted:
Hi,
Recently I went back to a dentist after a long absence due to a lengthy absence after the death of my regular oral caregiver. I had the whole panorama of xrays and it was determined several things needed done or 're' doing.

Most recently I had the upper back tooth which had a root canal in the past, 're' done because it was suspect for a lesion on the gum in same area, (between the back two upper teeth #13 & #14). It was determined to work initially on #13 but decided after several xrays prior to that taking place to go ahead to 're' do #14. A week later, the bump is still there, no pain, it goes up and down at times but no real painful abcess at this time. So, I am thinking they might suggest a 're' do of #13, don't know yet, I go back to finish #14 in about a week.

My question, since I had the 'panorama' & required xrays initially, shouldn't that have told them enough about my teeth? I must have had at least 5 xrays of that one place (#13 & #14) last visit to determine they would 'try' #14 first.

Should I speak up about having so many xrays? I am concerned about this yet I do not want to make anyone upset or think I'm accusing them of not knowing their job.

The person taking the first 4 was an assistant who was then guided at the final xray by someone else who I could tell positioned the film at a different angle which finally apparently got what they wanted, I think! It really wasn't clear if that in fact will solve the problem and I'm wondering what if any kinds of questions should I be asking next visit?

What about these xrays? Should I say no?

Thanks for any helpful advice!
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Zev Kaufman, DDS responded:
Dear Anon_138320:

Unless you were exposed to severe doses of radiation, such as cancer treatment or a nuclear accident you have nothing to worry about. Today's X-rays systems, especially when digital (on a computer) are given with such a low dose that they are essentially insignificant. You receive more radiation taking a flight or walking down the street on a sunny day.

The damage from neglecting your teeth and not getting proper care is FAR worse than any radiation you are getting.

Calm down, go for the proper treatment, get the care that you need, and Yes, you can and should express your concerns to your dentist/hygienist. It is their job to answer your questions and reassure you. They should not take offense to that. It is YOUR health care and you should understand everything that is being done.

Best of luck,
Dr. Zev Kaufman
 
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Sabine48 replied to Zev Kaufman, DDS's response:
Thank you Dr. Kaufman, I have replied to the previous post concerning this matter. Your time is much appreciated.


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