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Question: How do you explain to a patient not wanting x-rays that the doctor will no longer see them...

 As a patient if they don’t get their BWs done every year?

ANSWER:  First and foremost, we need to help our patients understand that radiographs are a necessary part of providing the patient with the best care and most informed diagnosis and treatment plan possible. If we don’t have the necessary radiographs, we compromise care for the patient by not providing competent care.

The ADA publishes recommendations for patient selection and limiting radiation exposure and you can find those criteria on their website.

Too often we allow insurance to dictate treatment, including when we take radiographs. We need to use the guidelines suggested and good judgement with each patient individually to determine the best course of action. In turn, just because a patient’s insurance will cover it, that’s not reason to take the radiographs either. We should use common sense and let the patient’s history and needs determine what is best practice for that patient.

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