“Do you HAVE to take x-rays?”

It’s one of the most common questions we get from new patients, concerned about radiation exposure. It’s understandable. Each of us is exposed to countless toxins every day. It only makes sense to control the exposures we can.

And as a holistic, biological dental practice, we do our part to help with that. It’s one of the big reasons why we shifted from conventional to digital x-rays many years ago. This imaging requires just a fraction of the radiation that x-rays on film demand.

Digital imaging is also much easier on patients, too. Instead of those hard, sharp-edged film packets you might remember jabbing into your gums, an intraoral sensor is used. The smooth edges and rounded corners of the sensor for our Gendex Visualix eHD unit mean a comfortable experience for you.

The high resolution images are delivered within a few seconds, and you can see the images right along with us as you view the images on a monitor above the dental chair. The level of detail is stunning, giving us a full, clear view of the tooth, root, bone, and gum tissue.

Because digital x-rays are stored electronically, it makes it easier to track changes over time. It also makes sharing easier for insurance or referral purposes much quicker and easier. Digital x-rays also require no chemicals, making them far more environmentally friendly.

“But do you HAVE to take x-rays?” In certain situations, yes.

This is because x-rays let us view aspects of your teeth that can’t be seen with the naked eye. We can see their roots, along with the bone and other tissues that support them. We can spot otherwise hidden decay between your teeth and underneath restorations.

But while your typical dental office may take x-rays “routinely,” we only take them when they’re needed to provide you with proper treatment.

That starts with taking a full mouth series when you first come in as a patient. These x-rays, along with the visual exam results, give us a baseline for tracking your oral health over time. If you happen to have a good quality set of x-rays that are less than 12 months old, though, we may be able to use those instead of taking a brand new set. This is at Dr. Parsi’s discretion once he views them.

After that, we take x-rays only as needed, such as when we spot potential decay, when tooth mobility suggests that you may be experiencing bone loss, or when you come in due to pain. They help us diagnose problems and develop sensible treatment plans for solving them.

And this is the bottom line: X-rays are a critical diagnostic tool.

So yes, we do need x-rays to provide you with the quality holistic, biological dental care we specialize in – and so take every measure we can to make sure that your exposure to radiation is kept to the absolute minimum.