I Have A Broken Tooth, Why Do I Need An X-Ray?

A broken tooth can be a scary thing for some people but it doesn’t have to be if you trust the person who is fixing it.

I have had some conversations recently, both personally and professionally, regarding the issue of trust.

Trust is something that sometimes seems scarce in today’s modern world. While the internet is a valuable source of information it has also become a tremendous source of mis-information. The ultimate question is: how do you know what the real truth is? People today seem to think that an online search and a few skimmed articles make them an expert at any subject.

Farmington Village Dental recently had a new patient call us because a tooth had broken and was causing the patient pain. While we were able to accommodate this person’s schedule and get them in for an appointment right away, unfortunately this person’s visit with us did not go well and the tooth did not get fixed. Why would that happen when the patient was in pain and sought out our services? It was because this patient didn’t want us to take an x-ray and didn’t trust us that taking an x-ray was the right thing to do.

I get it. I really do. It appears like such a simple thing. After 18 years of being a dentist in Farmington, CT I can sometimes read patient’s thoughts like cartoon bubbles over their heads. In this case the thought was somewhere along the line of: “My tooth broke! This is simple. Just fix it and be done with it. You don’t need to do anything else.”

The problem is that it’s not that easy. A broken tooth isn’t like a broken end table where you just walk over, pick up a few tools and just fix it. Heck, even if you take your car in for a problem they always have to do “diagnostics” to see why the problem is happening in the first place. Sure, sometimes a broken tooth is the result of something you can pinpoint. Something simple like a baby banging their head into your mouth or a freak run in with a fork while you’re laughing out at dinner with your friends. Other times broken teeth happen and people don’t know why.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding why the tooth broke, the truth is that the tooth should still get an x-ray because more information is needed about the tooth that can’t simply be gathered with our two eyes (or our six eyes if you count our safety glasses and our loupes!). Don’t you want your dentist to do the right thing? What if there’s an abscess there or a fracture and we just fix the tooth and tell you that all is well? That’s malpractice!

I can’t give you the proper options on how you can fix your broken tooth until I have aIl of the necessary information about that tooth. I have seen way too many weird things in my career to let these things slide. I have seen people have seemingly innocent little broken teeth that have large abscesses. I have seen people with an innocent little broken tooth that years later abscessed. How would I know if that abscess wasn’t there initially, if I didn’t have an x-ray from the time of the incident?

Getting back to the patient I referenced earlier… This patient had legitimate concerns about radiation safety and we happily answered all questions. Unfortunately, what it all came down to was that this patient had had broken teeth in the past and went to dentists who just fixed the broken teeth. Those dental offices honored the patient’s wishes to avoid the x-ray and they made the patient happy but frankly they didn’t do this patient any favors. Those dentists in this patient’s past did the wrong thing, and now this person will not trust anyone who is trying to do the right thing.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Farmington, CT we are happily accepting new patients. Please call us at 860-676-2288 to schedule an appointment today.

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