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dental x-rays
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dental x-rays

Hi , Before I write anything, I just want to say that I have a dental phobia, and also suffer from anxiety. I HATE going to the dentist . but in the  last few years I really had no choice anymore. In the past two years I have gotten ten cavities filled, my four front teeth extracted and finally got partial dentures.If it was up to me I would have gotten a whole mouth full of dentures..I have gotten a root canal, a crown, blah blah, blah..The last few visits were pretty mild, they did want to crown another back molar, but I told them to just pull it. The dentist said "Well lets wait and see , sinse it holds part of the denture in place...But I know people who dont have either back molar and still wear partials comfortably.

.Well anyway right after christmas I got my liitle note to remind me of my cleaning and check up.. I called as soon as possible because I just wanted it over with..I went in, got the cleaning, and was pleased that I only had one cavity..As the dentist was checking my teeth I overheard the hygenist say that she saw something suspicious on the x-ray , I cant remember exactly what she said. She might have said "that tooth looked suspicious on the x-ray".. But at the time I wasnt too concerned because my dentist didnt seem concerned.(ofcourse he hadnt looked at the x-ray yet)   After the check up he told me to make an appt for the tooth with the cavity. And he said he would call if there are any problems on the x-ray.

Well he hasnt called but I just realized that they had my old phone #. And am scared to death that he tried to call. Ofcourse I will be back in the office in two days for the filling//..But I am thinking could the suspicious thing that the hygenist saw have been a tumer..? I only had the bitewing series of x-rays. which I dont think looks for tumers..As Im writng this Im thinking what a baby I am..I hope this doesnt sound too paranoid..But I would rather write in on here then bring it to the dentist..Plus I cant call them now its late..I read somewhere online that periapical x-rays are the ones that look for tumers, and i dont think that was the kind I got. I did not get a full mouth series either. I just got four shots of the teeth..and the area where I had my extractions..in the front..My mom recently passed away from colon cancer. And I have a friend that has breast cancer, another who had lung cancer (in remission) I hear so much about cancer that everytime I get a mammogram, pap test , conlonoscopy etc I worry myself silly!!Now I guess I am adding dental x-rays to the list..lol...sounds crazy but my fears are real.. any input would be greatly appreciated..
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You are correct to assume that bitewings do not check for tumors...not sure I can even think of a single serious problem that would show up well on a bitewing.

For another point, most hygienists are trained to look for bone loss, calculus, and a little about cavities...not much else.  99% of the time I would say what the hygienist pointed out was a possible cavity, nothing else.

I hope that helps.

If you are still concerned, call your dentist when they open.

Final point, if you ever want a definite screening, ask your dentist for a pano.  This is an x-ray that rotates around your head and gets a clear shot of your entire face.  These are the x-rays of choice when looking for any problems with the bone.

Stop worrying and get some sleep ;)
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scottma
taipei, Taiwan