Can You Tell if a Filling is Needed Without an X-Ray?
16th August 2016

Dear Dr Pinder, I have just visited a new dentist today for a checkup. On inspection, he did not take any X-rays, I simply sat on the chair and he used a mirror. After 30 seconds, he said yes you need two fillings on UR 6 and LL 7. However, I have never had any pain from them whatsoever. Is this right? Can a dentist tell if you need fillings just by looking and with no X-rays?

A. I can't comment on whether you need the fillings or not. However, at the very least, the dentist should have explained his rationale for advising you that the teeth need fillings. X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool. Had you had X-rays at another practice in the not too distant past? You do need to ask some questions of the dentist and ask for X-rays if they are clinically justified. Hope this helps, Jenny.

Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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