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Dental Xrays
Old 09-04-2013, 05:59 AM   #1
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Dental Xrays

Are there any (unbiased ) dentists / hygienists out there to answer this question ?

Do you really NEED routine annual dental x-rays ? Also, what are some of the unnecessary or oversold dental procedures / products ?
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:03 AM   #2
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I called my dentist out when they told me I needed yet another crown and what do you know, I didn't need it after all. It just seemed like every visit, I needed a new crown. Made me wonder what new big vacation he was trying to finance.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:26 AM   #3
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I just changed dentists and my new one says 'no' to the x-rays...

But, they also now have x-ray machines that use very little x-ray... my DW went to a specialist and they took x-rays and stayed in the room without wearing anything!!! My thinking is that if they are willing to take it day in and day out, I am willing to take it once a year....


I am in the process of getting my first crown.... the doc showed me the crack in my tooth that went from one side to the other.... Kinda easy to see that I needed one... the question for me now is should I get a root canal before the crown.... the few people that I have asked have said yes....
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:08 AM   #4
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Over a decade ago when my former dentist wanted to do annual X-rays I asked her to wait till my next appointment so I could look up the research behind them. My literature search turned up no compelling evidence to justify annual X-rays. We agreed to compromise on X-rays every two years.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:29 AM   #5
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My dentist only does it every 2-3 yrs. My teeth have always been in pretty good shape. This works for me.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:45 AM   #6
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I only get a full set every couple of years. In between, I get what I think they call a "bitewing". A good dentist is worth every penny.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:57 AM   #7
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My dentist only does it every 2-3 yrs. My teeth have always been in pretty good shape. This works for me.
That is where I am at. Though I wouldn't go longer. My last one a year ago caught a cavity in my wisdom tooth, that was up tight against a root canal tooth. Could have been problems down the road if not caught. Got the worthless wisdom tooth pulled then. I am a big believer in dental cleanings twice a year and constant flossing and brushing. I bet I spend 10x the amount of preventive money on my teeth as I do my entire body. Don't want them things falling apart on me, and I do not ever want dentures!
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:13 PM   #8
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I have Megacorp paid dental insurance so I tell my dentist to go with the insurance schedule for routine examinations. The insurance company will pay for certain xrays at certain intervals.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:29 PM   #9
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Don't want them things falling apart on me, and I do not ever want dentures!
Smart move. Tooth pain can make you miserable, and bad teeth can affect the rest of your health too.

Talking of which, I'll be heading to the dental clinic tomorrow morning. I have a tooth that has had a hairline crack in it for a while now. It seems structurally OK, but now it is sore and I'm running a mild fever, so suspect an infection. There could be a crown in my future. Gotta take care of those teeth!
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:13 AM   #10
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I just changed dentists and my new one says 'no' to the x-rays...

But, they also now have x-ray machines that use very little x-ray... my DW went to a specialist and they took x-rays and stayed in the room without wearing anything!!! My thinking is that if they are willing to take it day in and day out, I am willing to take it once a year....


I am in the process of getting my first crown.... the doc showed me the crack in my tooth that went from one side to the other.... Kinda easy to see that I needed one... the question for me now is should I get a root canal before the crown.... the few people that I have asked have said yes....
This is the craziest thing I have ever heard. The only thing that can tell you if you need a root canal on a tooth that needs a crown IS AN X-RAY! How else can you access the health of the roots, fractures etc? Soliciting opinions from people randomly has a low probability of clinical success. Run to another dentist. One who will answer questions and will show you the pictures and explain what he/she plans to do and why.

Yikes. You get more radiation exposure flying around on airplanes.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:50 AM   #11
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I have been in the Dental profession over 40 years......if you have a tooth that hurts, get a digital x-ray. If you have no problems get a set of bitewings when they are suggested (I don't know you habits or what health they are in but 6 Months is a fair time. That's what I do.
You should ask when the Dr. thinks it would be a good time to take a digital panoramic x-ray because this will allow him/her for more opportunities to find small problems before they become big problems.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:30 AM   #12
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Here are the new American Dental Association recommendations:

http://www.ada.org/sections/professi...tions_2012.pdf

I am too lazy to read through this, but it looks quite readable. I had heard they recently scaled back recommendations due to over X-Raying in the industry.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:47 AM   #13
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This is the craziest thing I have ever heard. The only thing that can tell you if you need a root canal on a tooth that needs a crown IS AN X-RAY! How else can you access the health of the roots, fractures etc? Soliciting opinions from people randomly has a low probability of clinical success. Run to another dentist. One who will answer questions and will show you the pictures and explain what he/she plans to do and why.

Yikes. You get more radiation exposure flying around on airplanes.

Dentist took an X-ray of the tooth and did not think that it needed one.

Almost all of the people that I have talked to have said that if they did not get a root canal when they got a crown, they had one within two years...

However, he did say that he could not tell for sure... but that if I continued to have pain in the tooth he would need to do one.... I called and told them I am still having pain and am sensitive to cold.... I will be going in for an evaluation next week...

This dentist is good.... he has a number of other dentists as patients... we were only able to become patients because my DW is getting implants from one of them....
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:57 AM   #14
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Almost all of the people that I have talked to have said that if they did not get a root canal when they got a crown, they had one within two years...
That happened to me too, although it took about 3 years. As luck would have it I needed a root canal on another tooth about a month later. That was financially painful, but not really physically painful. Drilling through the crown was rather uncomfortable - a much different sensation than drilling through a natural tooth.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:43 AM   #15
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.......
Almost all of the people that I have talked to have said that if they did not get a root canal when they got a crown, they had one within two years...
..........
I've had better luck - 5 crowns and no root canals. Some of the crowns are 10 years old.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:28 AM   #16
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I used to get annual xrays, but about five years ago my dentist told me he was switching me to a 2-year schedule. I didn't ask why, just happy about the reduced cost and exposure.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:43 PM   #17
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I've had better luck - 5 crowns and no root canals. Some of the crowns are 10 years old.
Me too!

I haven't had a new cavity in over forty years. My crowns are the results from reworking old fillings. I have made the decision that if my dentist ever says that I need a root canal, I will tell him to skip that and gp directly to an implant. DW has 5 implants and she is pleased with them.. Our dentist splits the work between two insurance years. The implants are one one year and the associated crowns the next year. That makes the cost less painful.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:07 PM   #18
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My dentist I'd been seeing for decades retired. He was an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" guy. He'd mentioned there were some enamel line fractures on various of my teeth ten years ago and yep, they're still there. Now this new dentist (that bought-out the old dentist) came in and refurbished the office, bought computerized everything, including a digital camera that takes pictures of my teeth and a computer screen suspended above my head. He tells me that I need all these teeth with enamel line fractures crowned, stating that if the tooth is not capped, it will inevitably fracture, even though there is no evidence of any problems whatsoever on any of the many x-rays I've had taken, and no pain when I chew. The pitch continues... if I get a crown now, I won't need a root canal. As opposed to if I wait until it cracks, then it will be both a root canal and a crown. I don't really want to shop around for a new dentist, but I think the time has come.

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These lines (enamel line fractures) mostly result from rapid temperature changes applied to the crystalline structure of the enamel. If we did not drink hot coffee while eating cold ice cream or crack ice with our teeth, we might have fewer enamel fracture lines. As long as there is no actual fracture of a tooth, the best treatment is no treatment.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:46 PM   #19
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With 4 kids, dental costs meant a choice of food for the family or perfect teeth, so back in 1970, after tons of cavities in the back teeth, the dentist provided me with 6 caps, temporary stainless steel caps... no root canals, at $70 apiece. Forty three years later, I still have 5 of these shiny temporaries. A bit like Jaws" in a James Bond film.
Current dentist didn't seem to know what SS caps are.

P.S. no tatoos.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:55 PM   #20
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These dental threads are like a train wreck to me. I don't want to look, but I just have. And I am always learning something dreadful or expensive that could happen to me. The biggest won that concerns me the most was a past thread about dental fillings lasting 10-20 years. Hell I thought they were meant to last a lifetime. Three of my four fillings are almost 40 years. Now I have to worry about those falling out.
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