Berkeley Parents Network >
Advice about Health >
My 4-year-old is due for dental x-rays and I'm wondering if
any pediatric dentists in Berkeley (or nearby) use digital
x-rays? Ours does not.
concerned about radiation
I just took my daughter to the dentist last week and they
did digital x-rays. She sees Dr. Leticia Mendoza-Sobel at
her practice Piedmont Pediatric Dentistry.
She has a partner, Dr. Negron, who shares the practice.
The office staff is great, always really friendly, and we've
been very happy that we found her.
Good luck in your search.
It is easy to find dentists on the Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO
network. It is easy to find dentists who take digital x-rays.
However, finding a dentist that offers BOTH takes a lot of calling!
Does anyone have a suggestion?
Try Dr. Melinda Chan
on College Ave--A wonderful dentist. She
has all the state-of-the-art equipment and only does digital x-rays.
The office number is: 654-2226
in Berkeley uses digital x-rays and she's a very nice,
friendly dentist, too.
My dentist is pressuring me to get dental x-rays according to a
schedule, and I don't want to be pressured. I was told I might
have to go elsewhere for dental care if I wouldn't follow the
schedule. My teeth are in good health, and I would get x-rays
if there was a problem and sometimes just to have a look, but
not as often as the dentist would like. It seems to me, as an
analogy, that if you don't get a mamogram on schedule, your
ob/gyn will still take care of you and do pap smears, etc. I
feel I have the right to choose to get diagnostic x-rays or
not, and still get dental care. Does anyone have experience
with this, and know what options there are?
You have the right to refuse the X-rays. The dentist has the
right to ask you to leave the practice if you refuse his/her
recommendations. In your example, the OB-gyn could in fact ask
you to leave the practice if you didn't get a mammogram, but they
don't. I'm not sure if there are any laws around this for remote
rural locations where there are no alternatives, but here in the
Bay Area there's no shortage of dentists. So if the dentist is
serious about requiring you to get the X-rays, then your choice
is to adhere to his/her schedule or switch dentists. I'd think
you might want to anyway so that you're with someone whose
approach suits your preferences better.
doctor who doesn't fire patients, but could
I also refuse X-rays based on my dentist's preferred schedule (and for
my kids as well)
- my dentist and my children's dentist is okay with it and have only
so I would suggest finding a dentist that respects your medical choices
if your current
X-ray - no thanks!
How do you know that your teeth are in perfect health? No pain
is certanly not an indicator of that! Even a dentist needs a
panoramic film (almost no radiation compared to regular X-rays)
to detect cavities in odd-to-see places. I am an assertive
patient. I know my teeth by numbers and know where I have
crowns or 1 to 3-surface fillings. I prefer the pro-active over
the defensive approach. The co-pay for a 1-surface filling is
so much smaller than a 3-surface filling. In the end, a
defensive approach is going to cost you a lot more. A panoramic
film of your teeth is in order every 2 years and covered by
insurance. X-rays contribute to cancer, so the whole mammogram
thing can cause what it aims to detect - but panoramic film
does not promote cavities or cancer. Get a dentist who invested
into his business and changed to panoramic film.
it seems to me that this dentist isn't a good fit for you, and
likewise you for him/her. while it is completely within your
rights as a patient to refuse care/recommendations, it is also
understandable that your dentist has a certain way of doing
things too. he/she is just uncomfortable not having xrays, for
whatever reason. why not just find another dentist and be done
with it? you've already been told that you might have to seek
care elsewhere, so a parting seems inevitable.
Hey its 2009 and they have these fancy new things called ''Digital
X rays''. There is very little radiation associated with them. You
will need to change dentists and find a more modern practice.
Progress is good!
I just tell the dentist I may be pregnant,even though I know I am
not. This has worked for me for over a year.
There is a range of opinions about what constitutes appropriate
and necessary dental care, and mine is extreme but deeply-felt.
I think the whole culture of dental care has gone crazy. When I
was little, we were told to see a dentist every one or two years.
Then the ''advice'' became yearly, then every six months...and now
it is every four months! We keep hearing that terrible,
invisible things can be happening to our teeth that only an
expensive dentist with expensive procedures can see. My bull****
meter goes into action. I didn't see a dentist once for ten years
and nothing happened. I know lots of people who don't go to the
dentist unless they have a problem, and who find this very
satisfactory. The idea that you would have wonderful pink shiny
gums on the surface and something dastardly lurking under them
sounds...manipulative. If you eat well, avoid sugary food, clean
your teeth and gums conscientiously, there is no reason they
shouldn't be healthy. By all means we can ask for help when we
have trouble. But the ''pre-emptive'' visits we are pressured into
have gotten way out of hand. Ah, now all the dentists and their
customers can write and say how wrong I am.
It Works for My Family
I tend to follow most Western medicine recommendations, but I
have a problem with the 'need' to take dental x-rays of kids
starting at age 5. I just can't see that it's so safe to expose
the kids to any radiation, and I guess I'm wondering whether
the benefit is worth the cost. However, it's now common dental
practice and at my child's most recent check-up, the dentist
told me he would not provide care to my child anymore if I
didn't get the dental x-ray. My child is now 8. The dentist
also said he doubted I would find any dentist who would agree to
provide care. Is this true? Is everyone out there getting
dental x-rays, or are there dentists who will provide cleaning
and check-ups w/o these? My child has never had a cavity or
other dental problem.
My daughter had a bad cough recently and her pediatrician
recommended a chest xray. When I asked about radiation exposure
she said the radiation exposure my daughter would get from a
cross country airplane trip was 20x the radiation exposure she
would get from an xray. I personally feel a little less
paranoid about xrays after hearing that (but slightly more
worried about plane travel!)
I have two dentists in the family. They're too busy to be
trying to scam insurance companies. I'd go ahead with an xray.
One thing to keep in mind: a few cross-country airline flights (not sure
of the exact
number -- maybe 2 roundtrip trips?) and you will have exposed your kid
radiation than an x-ray. Radiation is all around us in our modern
world, and a dental
x-ray is not all that high a dose. And it does serve a purpose -- it
helps the dentist
know what's going on under the gums.
Dental x-rays don't actually emit much radiation compared to
other everyday sources of naturally-occurring radioactive
materials. Here's one source of information:
and you can google for plenty of others.
Dental x-rays at age 5 are important because it gives the
dentist information not only about potential cavities between
teeth that are not visible, but also shows the emerging
permanent teeth. It's good to know whether teeth are missing or
crowding will be a problem.
That said, I'm sure you can find a dentist that will treat your
kids without x-rays. I'm just posting to make sure you have all
the facts before you worry yourself needlessly.
I don't know if you can find any dentists who will treat your
child without doing x-rays, there may be some out there.
However, no dentist can evaluate the development of permanent
teeth, jaw growth and the health of the baby teeth without
x-rays. You may not be aware that the x irradiation dose in a
dental series is less than your child gets by being in the sun
for a day. Sun blocks do not block x-radiation.
You take your child to the dentist because you are concerned for
the health of his teeth. My recommendation is that you allow the
dentist to properly care for him per his expertise and
try a dentist from the International Academy of Oral Medicine and
my kids are still younger (and as yet not xrayed), so no personal
experience, but i know that ''Biological Dentists'' seek to limit
harm, and do a lot of removel of mercury amalgam fillings. they'd
be your best bet to find a dentist who understands wanting to
limit harm to your kids.
and you could try mothering magazine's dental forum for the
''crunchy'' outlook on dental concerns:
concerned about xrays, too.
Most dentists seem to recommend dental x-ray for my kids every
one to two years. That sounds like a lot of radiation to me
especially when they are done as routine and not because of any
specific reasons. I am seeing several doctors myself due to a
benign tumor on one of my salivary glands. In each case, I was
asked whether I had extensive dental x-ray or other radiation
therapy done in the vicinity of my tumor. That reinforces my
suspicion that routine dental x-ray is not that good for you. I
would like to hear more opinions. I wonder if most dentists do
routine dental x-ray on their own children this frequently.
My (adult) dentist has begun using phosphorescent storage plates
instead of standard X-ray film. It's a new technology that only
requires a tiny fraction of the radiation that is used to shoot a
standard X-ray. I don't know which pediatric dentists are using
this system, but if you're concerned it might be worth checking
every time I have taken my 5 year old to the dentist, they
insist on taking x-rays of her mouth. Each time, I have
refused. The last time I took her the dentist told me they were
necessary to see if there were any problems with her adult teeth
forming. I asked her what could be done about it at this point
and she said she would refer me to a specialist to 'monitor' my
daughter's progress. The whole thing sounds like an insurance
rip off to me, so I have changed dentists.
no more radiation!
I am a dentist, and also a mom. X-rays are helpful in detecting
cavities in between the teeth (which we cannnot see
physically), and for checking any abnormalities in the bone (ie-
permanent teeth coming in crooked, cysts, etc.) When I see a
young patient (4-6yr), I'll take 1 X-ray each of the top &
bottom teeth to make sure that the permanent teeth are there
and on their way to coming in, and for cavities. Then I would
also take 2 bitewing X-rays(one on each side) of the back teeth
to check for cavities, and position of permanent teeth. Then
depending on the cavity rate, I would repeat the X-rays every 1
or 1.5 yr. Cavities can occur & spread quickly in baby teeth,
and it's important to catch them in the initial stages. It's
all part of doing a complete & thorough exam for the patient.
After all, baby teeth are real important to help the kids eat &
grow, and maintain space in the mouth for permanent teeth to
erupt to avoid braces later on. It's not good to lose baby
teeth. By the way, the first dental visit should be no later
than 3-yr old.
this page was last updated: Nov 29, 2010
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network