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Dental Hygiene

X-Rays

11/04/2010

Question:

I had a complete set of xrays taken a few days ago at a new dental place. My experience there wasn`t good and I do not plan on returning. The xrays were free. I am going to soon return to my old dentist. What do I do about the situation that I need xrays from his office? I hate to tip my hand and say that I had gone elsewhere but I need to know if I have more xrays if that`ll be harmful to me. I doubt they would send them to my dentist. HELP!!

Answer:

You are entitled to a copy of the dental radiographs. The office may decide to charge you for the x-rays or for the cost of copying. The office does not need to know why you are requesting a copy. It is your right as a patient.

Perhaps you had a good experience but just want a second opinion. Copies of radiographs do not always turn out as good as originals, sometimes making diagnosing difficult to impossible. Your next dentist may need to take his or her own x-rays if this is the case.

The radiation exposure from dental x-rays is minimal in comparison to other types of medical x-rays, however, it is the cumulative exposure to x-radiation that we need to keep to a minimum over one's lifetime. A full set of dental x-rays would be approximately equivalent to approximately 5 days of background radiation exposure.

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Response by:

Constance R Kuntupis, RDH, MA Constance R Kuntupis, RDH, MA
Clinical Associate Professor of Dental Radiology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University