Since our office delivers almost any service related to all dental treatment, a call to one of our doctors can answer most of your questions! We also offer a free “look-see” consultation to help you understand all your options, alternatives, and all fee-related information. Give our office a call if we can help in any way!
Our Response to X-Ray Study
In response to the recent ADA article regarding a Yale Study on radiographs, the doctors at Rockside Family Dental Care would like to discuss our thoughts.
As people of science, we respect the scientific method and constant quest for knowledge and improvement. In this particular study, approximately 1300 people ranging in age from young adults to 70+ year olds, were asked to recall their dental X-ray history from memory! Really? How many of us could accurately do that? We do not question the intent of this study, just the research and accuracy of these results, especially as the basis for a published study.
For our purposes, we feel the question for the majority of our patients is one of frequency and cost. Regarding frequency, the ADA standard and our office standard, has been bitewings (you know from the article, “the ones with the sharp corners”) generally 1 time per year, but may be less for those with lower caries risk, and panorex (full head) 1 time every 3 years. Some insurance companies have recommended a panorex only every 5 years. We feel a lot can change in 5 years. There is no question that we make a profit on films taken and that this cost is passed down to you, especially if insurance companies change their benefits schedule. There is also no question that there are risks associated with radiographs. Please remember our goal is to deliver the finest quality dentistry we can to you and this requires using X-rays to help with diagnoses and treatment planning. Ultimately, you can help with these decisions. For those of you who are regularly seen for check ups and rarely have caries (cavities) diagnosed, we could consider bitewings every 18-24 months. We still believe a panorex every 3 years is a better schedule than one every 5 years. Remember these recommendations would change in emergency situations! Any of our doctors or hygienists would be happy to discuss these protocols with you at your next appointment or over the phone. And remember, at this time of year, use plenty of sunscreen and “turn so you won’t burn” to protect yourself from the big X-ray in the sky!