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Why does my dentist give me so many X-rays?

Q: My new dentist gave me 22 X-rays yesterday (bitewing and full mouth) plus a panoramic. He says he does this to all patients. This seemed ridiculously unnecessary and dangerous. Could you give me info on this?

A: It sounds as if your dentist’s plan was “overkill,” especially since ordering this many X-rays appears to be routine for him, said Dr. Sarah Dirks, a dentist in private practice in San Antonio, Texas, who cares for many older patients.

Dentists should not rely on a blanket policy on X-rays for all patients, according to guidelines set out by the American Dental Association. Instead they are supposed to inspect each mouth for cavities or gum disease and then recommend specific X-rays for specific reasons.

Full story can be found on The Bulletin.

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