“Why X-rays Are Important in Dentistry… [And No I Don’t Want to Give You Cancer.]

by Dr. Max Zaslavsky

So we had to dismiss 2 patients this week from our office. It stunk. The economy is bad, but I had to do it. As much as I do not like to lose patients, we had 2 patients refuse x-rays as part of their standard of care. Why? Because they believed that the level of radiation from an x-ray unit could cause cancer. They heard this from “a friend.” It’s always a “friend,” and the friend is never  a dentist.  As much as we tried (and pleaded) to Dental Xray 1explain to them the reasons on why they needed to get x-rays, and the minimal risk involved they still refused. So we did what we had to do- abide by our standard of care and dismiss them from our office with our sincerest regrets.

So let’s break down the myths from the truth. In my Fort Lauderdale dental office, we have digital radiography. So we take the x-ray, and it comes up on the computer screen within seconds. This in of itself serves a few purposes;


    1. By the radiograph coming up on the screen instantaneously, we know if the x-ray is good or bad, and we know whether we need to retake it or not. Conventional film radiographs take upwards to 5 minutes to develop in a darkroom. In this day and age, c’mon, who uses a darkroom? And do you want to wait 5 minutes to see if an x-ray is good or bad? In a world of instant gratifications, dentistry is no exception.
    2. We also are using a system in these times where it takes seventy (yes 70) of my x-rays to equal one x-ray from the conventional film system. Less radiation means you are less prone to a cancer risk. Just the opposite of what my patients who left the practice were thinking.
    3. X-rays come up on our 17 inch computer screens (which is a huge regret because I wish I had gone to 20 inch screens). That way it allows me to show our patients the undeniable decay or source of their dental problems. We can even contrast it and enlarge the area even more for verifications.
    4. Old school dental film is small. Although I am a young 35 year old as I write this, as I get older, it’s a lot easier to see a cavity on a 17-inch monitor than a small 1-inch by 1.5-inch dental film.
Dental Xray 2So for all these reasons, and for some I forget, x-rays are NOT your enemy! They are here to help your Fort Lauderdale dentist create a better diagnosis of needed treatment. It’s also more than just cavities. X-rays can be the beginning of diagnosis infections, and even cancer itself. So next time you think getting radiographs is an inconvenience, think of it more as a necessary evil to make sure your oral health is safe and secure.

Dr. Max Zaslavsky is a dentist in Fort Lauderdale. His office accepts emergencies and is equipped with the latest technology to provide a better patient experience. When Dr. Max is not working with patients, or continuing his professional development, he enjoys watching a Marlins game, going to the gym and attending live music events in the South Florida area.

Dr. Max Zaslavsky – who has written posts on Dentist Fort Lauderdale FL – Dr. Max Zaslavsky, DMD.

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Max Zaslavsky DMD

Dentist in Fort Lauderdale
6451 N. Federal Highway, Ste. 129 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
Latitude: 26.2075996 Longitude: -80.10801679999997
Phone: (954) 491-3544