The Importance of X-rays for Children and Adults
1. “I’ve heard X-rays aren’t good for me, why do I (or my kids) need them?” This is an important question many of our new patients ask. As many people know, doing unnecessary dental treatments can have a negative effect on your health. We take time, at each visit, to make sure we are doing everything necessary for your health, while not overdoing anything.
We care a lot about educating our patients. We have compiled important information about X-rays, so you can have a balanced perspective based on both the holistic and “recommended standard of care” aspects of our dentistry.
2. My Holistic Dentist said I don’t need X-rays. It is misleading to believe a dentist is more holistic if they don’t require X-rays. Holistic is very much about treating the whole person. We believe in truly holistic dentistry which combines the health of the whole body/person, as well as the highest standards of care and technology. Research shows that the risks of not taking X-rays far outweigh the risks of the low-level dose of radiation our digital X-rays produce. You can be assured we won’t cross the line of trying to be so holistic that we sacrifice your, and your kids, long-term health. We strive to be the gold standard where holistic meets rigorously tested science, for the best of both worlds. When we use X-rays our hope is to find a cavity when it is small versus much larger. When we find them sooner it means the filling will be smaller and more of the natural tooth is preserved. We find it more holistic to follow the standard of care and find while cavities while they are small.
3. X-rays aren’t good for me. The concern with X-rays is the radiation, this is why we are mindful about following the principle of ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) for X-ray radiographs. Our advanced digital X-ray gives off ½ the amount of radiation over traditional film X-rays. A new patient bitewing series is so low in radiation, it’s only 1/2 of the radiation you receive from being on a flight from New York to LA. Read more about X-rays and radiation here
4. Why do I (or my kids) need X-rays? I’d like to skip them. We understand your concern about the radiation. We don’t want anyone getting more X-rays or radiation that needed, especially kids. You will be required to have a basic set of X-rays when you start as a new patient. Why? Because, even if teeth look amazing on the surface, there can be hidden problems underneath the gum line which could lead to serious health problems. This is why the American Dental Association, ADA, requires dentists to perform X-rays on each new patient as their “standard of care.”
5. What is the ADA “Standard Of Care?” Through comprehensive analysis, the ADA sets out baseline standards for dentists to follow. Their research outlines what practices are vital for oral health and the prevention of serious dental problems. Any dentist who doesn’t require X-rays for new patients 7 or older, is practicing outside the baseline standards of care by the ADA. X-rays aren’t just for cavities. Anyone, kids and adults, can have hidden disturbances that can seriously affect the teeth, to the point of losing a normally healthy tooth. Additionally, X-rays will show abnormal growths and tumors, possibly prevent serious health problems.
To chat with us about questions on signing up as a new patient, please call 303-802-4313. We look forward to seeing you.