Are Dental X Rays Absolutely Necessary?

Many patients are concerned about the radiation from dental X-rays. They want to know how many dental X-rays we take, how much radiation they are exposed to, and if X-rays are really necessary.

Recently, a new patient came to see me and brought with him a set of x rays from several years ago. He stated that he didn’t not want any x-rays as his wife had cancer and he did not want the “risk” of being exposed to dental radiation. After discussing the low amount of radiation from digital dental x rays (less than a day at the beach) and agreeing to take a limited set of bite wing x rays, the new patient was shocked to find that several of the new restorations that he had placed had decay. Without taking x rays, the crown margins that were not sealed and cavities present would not be able to be detected until the problem was much worse. We were able to treat the decay before treatment became much more involved and expensive, much to the patient’s delight.
So please…. when your dentist truly feels X-rays are needed, allow them to be taken.

There are often things brewing below the surface that we can not see with naked eye clinical examination – until it may be too late.

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William Britton Jr, DDS

William Britton Jr. DDS Dr. Britton is a graduate of USC Ostrow School of Dentistry. 9292 Mira Mesa Boulevard, San Diego, California 92126 (858) 566-4200