I need some advice. I have four children and I take them to the pediatric dentist religiously every six months. My insurance only covers x-rays once a year, yet the dentist insists on doing them every six months. Not only does this cost me a fortune, it seems like double the radiation for no good reason. Doesn’t this seem like a massive overtreatment for children?
While most pediatric dentists only do x-rays once a year. However, there are some good reasons to do them twice a year. The first is if there are cavities that need to be watched. The second is if your family has a genetic predisposition to decay.
If those aren’t your children’s situation, then I’d talk to the dentist about what it’s doing to you financially. He or she should understand.
I wouldn’t worry about the radiation. These days, we use digital x-rays. They have only a fraction of the radiation which traditional x-rays have. They are safe. Plus, the dentist should provide them with lead aprons and a thyroid collar if you request one for extra protection.
If Your Pediatric Dentist Won’t Cooperate
As long as doing x-rays only once a year won’t harm your children’s dental health, the pediatric dentist is very likely to understand and abide by your wishes on the limited x-rays. However, each practice is different and this may be a hard and fast policy with them.
If that happens you have two choices: comply with the policy or find another dentist to treat your children.
If you decide to find another dentist, it doesn’t have to be a pediatric specialist, there are many general dentists who enjoy treating children. They’re perfectly qualified and had to do a pediatric rotation in dental school.
There are two specifics I’d check first. One is that they start treating children at an early age. If the first time they want to see children is in their toddler years, then yes, they are likely good with children. However, if they’re talking about waiting until they’re around seven or eight year’s old then I’d find someone else.
The second thing to look for is that they’re experienced putting mercury-free (composite) fillings on children. Some dentists will place them on adults but say children can’t have them. That’s not true, but it does take some experience.
I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. Ashley Price.