As reported on the Today Show, a new study was released stating a possible tie between dental x-rays and the occurrence of brain tumors. As your dentist in Muncie, I will tell you, first of all, not to panic! In order to calm any concerns you might have, I would like to provide you with information and my perspective on this issue.
The radiographs in question are the type taken prior to the introduction of digital radiography. These machines are still in use in practices today, but here at University Avenue Dental, we’ve been using digital x-rays for over 10 years! Digital radiography has been shown to decrease the amount of x-ray exposure by up to 90%!
X-rays are a necessity for proper diagnosis and in our practice, they are taken on an individualized basis. At an initial new patient examination, I determine the need for and prescribe only the necessary films to identify current dental disease or a patient’s “at-risk” for developing dental problems including dental caries, periodontal disease, and oral cancer. At subsequent visits, throughout a lifetime of care, the radiographic (x-ray) needs are reassessed. A patient does have the right to refuse any treatment, but they can’t sign away their right to a proper diagnosis by the doctor. Doctors are held to a standard of care that includes utilizing the proper diagnostic tools. If a diagnosis is missed or incorrect treatment is rendered as a result of not having x-rays, the dentist will be held liable, regardless of any signed “waiver.” A patient cannot legally consent to negligence.
My suggestion is to have an open dialogue regarding any concerns you might have with either me or one of my team members. We have your best interests at heart. Getting medical or dental advice from TV or the internet can be dangerous to your health as this information is often too generalized, could be inaccurate or misleading, and is certainly not individualized to your personal circumstances. If you’re not one of our patients, you are still welcome to call our office or email us with your questions or concerns. We will be happy to respond. On the other hand, hopefully, your dentist is one whom you trust, so we would encourage you to contact your own dental office. Trust and communication are the foundation of the doctor-patient relationship and every dentist in Muncie should live up to that standard.
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