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Dentistry/multiple X-rays question



hope you can help I'm a little worried I've recently had quite a few dental X-rays,
about a year ago i had a deep pre molar filling, and then i had pain sensitivity after when having hot/cold foods, my dentist took an X-ray, on the NHS he said he could not do a root canal do he referred me to another dentist they took a second X-ray , (but at this time i didn't know that it was a private dentist and i can't afford private, so i went to a third NHS dentist, and they took another X-ray but i didn't feel comfortable with this dentist after seeing all bad reviews.

so i plan to visit a fourth dentist this week, i assume they will do another X-ray, I've seen on the internet risks of dental X-rays and cancer, and dental X-rays and thyroid cancer,

so because  i would have had a total of four dental X-rays what are my risks low, medium or high?

also are root canals painful procedure its a premolar

Hi Kevin,

I am sorry you have had to go through all those X-rays.

Yes, I believe that the conventional wisdom is that it is wise to keep X-Rays to a minimum.  Plus, it can be quite expensive to get multiple X-rays or MRIs.

What I have been doing over the past few years is that whenever I get an X-Ray or MRI, I always ask for a COPY!  What that usually means is that they will burn a DVD for you to keep.  There will usually be a nominal charge, maybe about $25.00.

Once you have the copy, you can take that with you wherever you want to go next.  Many dental offices work sort of like an assembly line.  The nurse or Dental Hygienist will by rote, try to give you an X-Ray.  Very often, if you bring your own copy, and assuming it is relatively recent, like within the past 6 months or so, many dentists will accept that.

Bringing your own X-Ray to the doctor, will help you avoid repeated exposure to X-Rays and may save you a little bit of money in the process.

Another way of doing it, is to ask a dentist to electronically forward your X-Ray, to the next dental office.  Hopefully they will not mind forwarding X-Rays to other "competitors."  I view it as a professional courtesy.  And since it appears that several dentists have already X-ray'd you, I would call one of those offices, and ask them to electronically send it.

And by the way, asking for a copy of your X-Ray is good practice, even when going to other types of doctors or health professionals.  You never know when you will need it.

I would talk to your general doctor or dentist about X-ray risks.  I only know that in the general sense, that it is not a good idea.

Yes, root canals can be painful, but does not necessarily have to be.  Do your homework and find a dentist who currently does MANY root canals.  It 's not just about knowing how to do a root canal, but also being in practice.

Good luck Kevin!

Best regards,
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Jonathan at PatientBabble


My area of expertise from the patients point of view would be Dentistry/TMJ plus the speech challenges that these jaw and bite problems sometimes represent. Over the years I have seen a multitude of dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, speech therapists, neurologists and other health professionals who all had an opinion about my TMJ/bite problem. I AM NOT A DOCTOR...but would purely be a patients point of view type person. I "get it" when people say they tried to explain to their dentist what their TMJ/bite problem is and that they are misunderstood. I can listen to people's trials and tribulations and there is a good chance I have been down that road before. I can make suggestions as to what people can do at home, or what questions to ask their doctor or dentist when they visit. I will try and recall information or experiences that may be helpful to you.


About 25 years ago, I had my wisdom teeth out and since then my bite has never felt "normal." For whatever reason, the first sensation I remember was not that my bite was off.....but rather that my normal tongue and speech patterns had been impeded. I spent years going to different dentists, who lumped me into their generic version of what they knew about TMJ. The majority of dentists believe they can treat TMJ, but only those whose primary focus is TMJ treatment, are really any good at it. Any dentist, can take an impression of your teeth, send that impression off to the lab and have them make a night guard. That is the easy part. The tricky part is what the dentist does with the night guard, once receiving it from the lab. The dentist has to do a "fitting" where they tailor the night guard to be evenly balanced and comfortable in your mouth. Sometimes it can take a few visits, because further adjustments need to be made to the night guard appliance, to get it just right. I have found that dentists, who have had the most practice, do a better job at fitting your appliance. It's almost like an art form.

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