Have you ever gone to a dental checkup and wondered, “Why are they asking me to take X-rays today when I don’t have any tooth pain?“
Have you ever wished that you knew how to read dental X-rays so you could remove that little doubt in your mind?
If so, you’re not alone.
In fact, most of us feel left in the dark about all kinds of dental X-ray topics, like how often they should be taken and how much radiation exposure we’re getting from them.
Although X-rays are designed to reveal what’s going on beneath the surface, there sure is a lot about them that isn’t clear!
Well, get ready to have the curtain pulled back on dental X-rays and increase your dental self-empowerment!
In this expert interview, OraWellness dives deep with a longtime friend who shares the fundamentals of reading dental X-rays and even walks us through how to read some X-ray examples.
Dr. Paul Rubin is a retired dentist, and if you’ve been with us for a while, you may remember him from our HealThy Mouth World Summit. He has recently added a new title to his resume: author of the eBook, Secrets Your Dentist Never Told You.
Today, Dr. Rubin shares empowering information about:
- when and why dental X-rays are necessary (and when they may not be necessary),
- the differences between various types of X-rays,
- an overview of basic things patients can spot on their dental X-rays,
- the answers to some X-ray FAQs,
- some info about what’s going on behind the scenes at dental offices,
- and more!
This video is packed with TONS of good info, and it’s a little longer than our typical interviews. So, we’ve provided detailed timestamps in the “Show Notes” section below and easy-to-navigate chapters in the video. That way, you can fast-forward to the topics that interest you or watch the whole interview in chunks and pick up where you left off each time.
Let’s dive in!
X-Ray Basics & Dental Office Insider Info:
- 4:00 – What does “demystifying dental X-rays” mean?
- 8:43 – Why do dentists take X-rays?
- 13:11 – Do dentists prefer to withhold some info from their patients?
- 14:50 – What are the different types of dental X-rays?
- 18:04 – How often are different types of dental X-rays necessary?
- 19:52 – How does dental insurance sometimes impact how often dental X-rays are taken?
- 24:45 – Why would one dentist think something is diagnostically appropriate while another dentist doesn’t?
- 27:31 – What does “standard of care” mean in the dental community?
- 33:09 – How else do dental insurance policies influence dentist and patient decisions?
- 42:48 – Radiation exposure from different types of dental X-rays
- 50:16 – The pressure that dental teams are under to maximize their per-hour revenues
- 57:15 – Overview of what the different types of dental X-rays look like
- 1:03:39 – How much training does a dental X-ray technician need?
- 1:06:39 – Is it normal for dental X-ray technicians to have to do retakes?
- 1:07:31 – Are digital X-rays better than film X-rays?
- 1:09:19 – Do my dental X-ray records belong to me or the office that took them?
- 1:12:33 – My new dentist recommended dental work that my previous dentist didn’t mention at last year’s checkup. Who can I trust?
- 1:16:30 – When is it really important to get X-rays?
- 1:20:09 – Can you spot active and inactive decay with the naked eye?
Walking through Some X-Ray Examples:
- 1:24:54 – What an X-ray shows
- 1:26:41 – Decay on Bitewing X-rays
- 1:30:06 – Remineralization caveats
- 1:31:34 – Decay under an existing filling on Bitewing X-rays
- 1:35:38 – Decay between teeth
- 1:36:24 – Large cavity & abscess on an X-ray
- 1:36:57 – Root canal & abscess on a Periapical X-ray
- 1:41:09 – Spotting bone loss on a Periapical X-ray
- 1:42:48 – Panoramic X-ray example
- 1:45:15 – Cone Beam X-ray tour & examples
- 1:55:09 – Cavitations on a Cone Beam X-ray
- 1:57:22 – Dental implants
- 2:00:09 – Dental implant error
- 2:01:03 – Examples of X-ray errors
- 2:06:48 – What should I do if the dental team wants to take a second digital dental X-ray because the first one was blank?
- 2:08:11 – More X-ray error examples
- 2:10:25 – The reason why Dr. Rubin wrote his eBook, Secrets Your Dentist Never Told You
- 2:13:31 – Some of the gems from Dr. Rubin’s eBook that caught Will’s attention
- 2:15:10 – What’s the whole-body impact of the metals in amalgam fillings?
- 2:17:29 – More gems that Will appreciated from Dr. Rubin’s eBook
- 2:20:53 – Where to buy Dr. Rubin’s eBook (on OraWellness.com 🙂 )
Dr. Rubin’s eBook, Secrets Your Dentist Never Told You:
Dr. Rubin’s eBook, Secrets Your Dentist Never Told You, shares 40 years of dental wisdom!
It’s available in the OraWellness online store for just $19.95 USD.
“I just finished Dr. Rubin’s eBook on Secrets Your Dentist Never Told You. I found it very informative … this information is desperately needed by all dental patients so they do realize that there is a choice, not just in dental products and procedures, but in dentists that are more interested in your health than their profitability.
It is important to understand each dentist’s motivation for your recommended treatment so you can make informed decisions like the book says. Asking questions should be encouraged, not discouraged or taken as an insult, as I have experienced …
Thank you, Dr. Rubin, for writing this book, and I do hope it gets into as many hands as possible so we can focus on being proactive about dental health instead of being reactive once issues have started.”
Lorri A. from CanadaOraWellness Customer Since 2021
Wow, Dr. Rubin shared a lot of solid and fascinating information!
We hope that you now feel empowered to ask your dental team questions, have meaningful dialogue with them, and feel comfortable saying, “Yes”, “No thanks”, or “Let me look into that more and I’ll get back to you.”
What about you? Did you learn anything new from the interview? Have you ever asked your dental team questions about X-rays, other diagnostic tools, or procedures? Were they open to your questions, and did they provide answers that helped you make decisions about what was best for you? Please share your experiences in the comments below so we can all learn from each other.
PS. Please let us know in the comments below if you like this level of educational material from us. Our team worked really hard to produce this excellent educational resource for our growing community. So, hearing that you appreciate this level of deep dive will inspire us to produce more empowering resources like this.
Helpful, Related Resources:
- Secrets Your Dentist Never Told You [Dr. Rubin’s eBook]
- Are dental X-rays safe? [article]
- How to nutritionally protect yourself from X-ray damage [article]
- Helpful resources to find a qualified dentist to assist you [article]
- 7 Key Components of a ‘Dream Dentist’ [article]
- What’s the difference between biological, functional and holistic dentistry? [article]
- Guide to Safe Dentistry [OraWellness eBook]
- How to safely remove ‘silver’ mercury fillings (without damaging your brain) [article]
- Another Expert Interview with Dr. Paul Rubin: Is Your Dentist Mercury Safe? [video]
- Expert Interview with Dr. Hal Huggins: What Dentistry Can Look Like in the Future [video]
- How to Stop Tooth Decay and Remineralize Your Teeth [OraWellness eBook]
- Step One of Upgrading Your Oral Health: (Re)Defining Roles [article]
- Understanding the issues with root canals [article]
- Options If You Have Missing Teeth [article]
- Debunking the 3 most common oral health myths (that undermine our oral health) [article]
- The Common, Unknown Risk of Having Wisdom Teeth Removed: Cavitations [article]