HYGIENIST: Patient Refusing X-Rays


Remember – each office is different! Our documents are intended as suggestions and guidelines only and can be used as a starting point for conversation and your own system development.

Below we have a list of important ‘frequently asked questions’ about X-Rays, as stated from the attached video. We hope you can utilize this to learn more about X-Rays within the office and how to explain the necessity of X-Rays to patients.

  1. ) Why are X-Rays important? X-Rays are vital because they allow us to see into the tooth. One can only see so much with the
    naked eye and X-Rays can show us so much more. This can include interproximal decay or the root of the tooth and any deep cavities. If a patient is having any sort of pain, X-Rays can give the dentist a much bigger insight into what is going on. X-Rays also serve as a diagnostic tool for dentists. Past the clinical side, offices also use the X-Rays to send to insurance to make sure that the insurance company pays their share of any treatment needed.

  2. ) When can we compromise with our patients’ requests? In some scenarios we can compromise with our patients and allow them to not get X-Rays in the appointment. However, as explained thoroughly in the video, it is on a patient to patient basis. For instance, the doctor should not compromise with a patient who is having pain but doesn’t want XRays. However, if someone is very afraid of exposure to radiation due to past experience, or family history, and they have recent X-Rays, and a history of good oral health, then this would be a good time to compromise, and allow the patient to wait until their next appointment.

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