Dental Xrays

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Submitted By marydnice
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New Dental Patient X-rays: Need and Necessity

June 24, 2014

PROCESS MONITORED

The Quality Assessment Study will be monitoring the process of obtaining a new dental patient’s previous x-ray history before their initial appointment. The study was performed in an established general dentistry practice, involving the dental hygienist, the dentist, and the office administration staff. Prior to the study the dental practice rarely asked a new patient if they had had previous dental x-rays. When the patient arrived for their initial appointment with the dental hygienist she would ask the patient about previous x-rays while gathering other health and dental information. If the patient thought that they had x-rays within the last five years the hygienist would have to obtain the previous dentists name and phone number and call them herself or have another staff member call and find out when the x-rays had been taken. In general, a full set (18 individual x-rays), an FMX, is taken every 5 years, and set of bitewings, BWX, (2 or 4 individual x-rays/depending on the age of the patient) are taken once a year, and a panorex is taken when needed for oral surgery purposes (wisdom teeth), orthodontics, trauma, or for other diagnostic needs.
The previous process wasted not only the dental hygienists time, but the patients and the dental practices time as well. This process also made the practice seem somewhat unorganized. Dental x-rays are a vital part of a patient’s history. X-rays are used to diagnose a multitude of conditions, including decay, periodontal disease, cysts, tumors, and congenital abnormalities. If the x-rays are not available the proper diagnosis of the patient is not possible. Having the x-rays available prior to the patient’s first appointment would be a time and money saver by utilizing less chair time and less supplies. More…...

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