When a new patient calls to schedule a cleaning I often have to explain to them that I won’t treat them without a full set of radiographs taken first. They often question why this is necessary and sometimes they actually get upset before I can even explain my rationale for this rule. The simple reason I won’t treat them without radiographs is that there is only so much that can be seen by simply looking in their mouth. Just imagine the consequences if I scaled their teeth and a piece of tooth breaks off because there was a crack or significant cavity present. If a dentist agrees to meet you for the first time and decides to clean your teeth without radiographs you should think twice about your choice of dentist. This is not acceptable care! Before I treat a new patient I spend at least twenty minutes reviewing with them their past medical and dental history form. Often patients don’t even understand the questions on the medical form. They are often embarrassed to ask you what something means. Not everyone goes to medical school. I go over each item on the sheet and thoroughly note the medications they are currently taking. I have been practicing dentistry for forty two years and will never break the rules of fine dentistry simply because I might lose a patient.
Please feel free to email me any questions or comments on what I have written. Gellerdds@aol.com