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Shall we talk x-rays?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Just got back from routine check-up/cleaning for 8 yo dd. Last year I allowed x-rays as she had a pretty big cavity and I thought it might enable the best tx of that. This year I didn't allow x-rays. They laid the pressure on rather thick. All about how it's all digitized now and much lower dose than used to be (which was of course at the time said to be completely safe).

Somewhere along the way I read an article about how routine dental x-rays had been found to be more hazardous than they'd previously been thought to be (oh, really? what a surprise). I don't know where I saw the article. Anybody have any good, well-researched links about this?


post #2 of 14

I did recently read something in mainstream media that dental x-rays are believed to contribute to brain tumors.


Here's something:


post #3 of 14

Each of my children have had one set of x-rays. I actually just gave in with our 4 year old recently to let them do her first x-rays because she does have a cavity that they wanted to look at. My other DD had hers about 3 years ago, and they want to do it again, but we've held off. I'm not sure how often we will allow it, but certainly, not nearly as much as they'd like us to.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks, that article is exactly what I was looking for. It surprised me when I read about that a few months ago how unequivocal they were in making the connection.


I know next time we go in they are going to push me on this, and they'll tell me how much lower the radiation dose is than it was in the past. But it irks the heck out of me that 30 years ago I was told, these x-rays are so perfectly wonderfully safe, nothing to worry about at all, silly girl, when obviously the research hadn't even been done. My parents didn't go with me to the dentist anymore, they didn't even know they were x-raying my head, so it took me deciding on my own to decline them.


So I think I'll copy this article and give it to the DDS office and tell them that we won't be taking routine x-rays, and I prefer not to discuss it, until they have some long-term research showing that the current protocol is as safe as they are telling me it is.

post #5 of 14

Yeah.  I'm not so sure about xrays.  For me, I will get them because i neglected my teeth for a long time and want to catch the problems asap.  But they want to give my 5 year old xrays and I am leaning towards no, not until he has permanent teeth.  He gets regular cleanings/checkups and we take care of his baby teeth with fillings if need be.  But I'm leaning towards no for xrays right now.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 


So it's that time again. I found this article, pretty much the same as the link above, but it has a print option. I printed it and highlighted the last sentence,

"A 2006 statement by the American Dental Association highlights the need for dentists to examine the risks and benefits of dental x-rays and confirms that there is little evidence to support the use of dental x-rays of all teeth in patients who do not experience any symptoms."

Adding a letter saying that we decline routine x-rays until they can show us long-term research showing that the current protocol is safe. (which obviously they don't have, since this is a newer protocol.)

We'll see how that goes at our appointment today . . .

post #7 of 14
I stand my ground & minimize exposure for our whole family when I can. DS1 had two for an extraction of a dead tooth (from impact). I didn't want them but that sorta made sense to me. They were checking for decay on the Adult tooth & also making sure the extraction was complete.

I was so OD'ed on dental XRays as a child: it will NOT happen to my children.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Sounds like the people here are pretty similar in that we accept x-rays in some circumstances, but not as a routine practice. The more I think about it and read, the more I suspect a profit motive. don't want to see my DDS that way, because I like him. I suppose it's also possible that he just hasn't thought much about it, is just following the standard practices.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Update. I took the article and a letter to the DDS. His response was that he isn't able to provide the best care in the way he is trained w/o x-rays, though he is willing to space them 2 yrs apart, which means they both need them in Jan.


So I have to choose between x rays and this DDS.


Dh doesn't think there's a problem. Not worried about x rays.


Welcome any thoughts.

post #10 of 14
I would switch. A full mouth series is a LOT of XRays. IDK I am just not into any type of CRays schedule for a child. CPS only requires that a child receive cleanings & checkups, not XRays. I would stop asking professionals to change their position tho, just look for someone who will accept your. They have too much @ stake to just change their mind on this issue, the ADA would probably kick them out! Does this DDS place Mercury Amalgum fillings? If so: another reason to switch.
post #11 of 14
One issue tho is that 95% of dentists demand XRays upon new patient intake, so unless you can find one that truly respects informed consent you may be looking @ them anyway.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

We live in a rural area, have to call around in town to see who would take us w/o x-rays.


DD1 had a filling last year, it was I think a polymer? not mercury. Not sure plastic is better . . .

post #13 of 14

I'm shocked that he would take that position. At our Pediatric dental office, they had tried to talk us into it by saying there may be cavities between teeth that can't be seen with the naked eye, but when we said no, they respected it. I hate bullying by medical/dental professionals. Grrr....

My dental office is totally open minded about x-rays, fluoride, and they don't use mercury in their office. I plan to take my kids there when they get older. I like that I can voice my concerns and not feel pressured in any way. At the ped office, when DD1 got her first cavity, they tried to talk me into an amalgam filling because they're stronger. Really annoyed me.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

That's interesting about mercury/amalgam. This dentist doesn't even use it.

I think I know of another DDS I can call. Should I do it now or later . . . so much other stuff going on right now . . .

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