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Topic: Radiation mistake at the dentist; how dangerous?

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Subject: Radiation mistake at the dentist; how dangerous?
Date Posted: 5/20/2009 8:09 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2007
Posts: 33
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My daughter was having one of those All the way around the head pictures of her teeth right after they removed her braces. It was a new girl doing the photos and she forgot to put the heavy apron on my daughter while she took the pics.

My daughter was wearing a metal medalion necklace and thinks that's why the pics didn't turn out and they had to redo them...the second time another person did the pics and they DID put on the heavy cover thing.

Is there anything we should be concerned over???

Date Posted: 5/20/2009 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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I did a quick google search for "children radiation exposure" and there was nothing specifically about xrays. Most links discuss using CT (aka CAT scans) in children, which is many times more radiation than xrays. So unless there's a chance your daughter is pregnant (please don't be offended: don't know how old she is, anything about her; just considering the possibilities) I wouldn't be terribly worried.

Date Posted: 5/21/2009 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2007
Posts: 33
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Thanks Sophia...makes me feel better! She has been complaining recently about a sharp pain in her chest, and I noticed (but didn't tell her) that it is the spot where her medallion rests when she wears it. The last time she wore it was when she had that x-ray, and I got a little worried =)

Date Posted: 5/21/2009 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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No worries. Hope all is well.

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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I refuse those x-rays unless it's an orthodontist.  My dentist recently bought one and I feel like he "requests" that you take one because he needs me to pay off the cost of the machine.  They're twice the amount of bite-wing xrays and are uneccesary in a routine check-up.  I'm far more concerned about the additional exposure to radiation than I am about the cost. 

I'm sure your daughter is at no risk, but maybe you should alert the dentist to what happened so that it's on record.  He needs to be aware that his staff is not properly trained and patients shouldn't be the guinea pigs while they learn their job.

Meanwhile, in the future refuse them. 

Date Posted: 5/26/2009 3:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2007
Posts: 33
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Thanks for your input; I will let the dentist know what happened. She had just gotten her braces off, but I don't know why they needed the xrays. From now on, I WILL refuse unless convinced it is important.

Date Posted: 6/6/2009 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2005
Posts: 377
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I'm an x-ray/CT tech.  The amount of radiation for a Panorex film is pretty minimal.  It would not cause any type of burn on her chest where her medallion would be laying.  The concern would be if she were to be exposed to the same type of x-ray day after day for a long period of time or repetitive CT scans.  

Big no no for the new girl forgetting the lead apron AND not checking for a necklace!!  The medallion would leave a very fancy artifact on the film making it difficult to read.  I'm sure she learned a big lesson from your daughter that day.