In school, I use to HATE the way my professors hounded us about taking X-rays. There was an entire class dedicated too X-rays. At the time, I didn’t fully comprehend the importance of it and now I really get it!
In most dental offices, dental assistants are responsible for taking X-rays. They are trained just like dentist on how to take good X-rays and the importance of them. So, when my DA’s started slacking we had to have a serious discussion of the proper way to take X-rays and the necessity of them.
Reasons for lacking
2. Patient is uncomfortable
3. Just can’t get it
Some patients are in fact extreme gaggers. In that case, some numbing medicine is used to quickly coat the throat and take the necessary X-ray.
Patients WILL complain. Explain to them that it’s not suppose to be comfortable, but we need the X-rays to properly diagnose active infection and any treatment that is needed. Try using gauze or cotton rolls to prevent the needed instruments from irritating the floor of the mouth in each patient.
Just can’t get it! That’s my favorite! The anatomy in every person is different and some patients have a very narrow mouth that makes it harder, but it’s about trial and error. Practice makes perfect, sooner than later a 30 minute X-ray session will only take about 10-12 minutes.
In the end, part of the reason it’s so important is it’s the dentist license on the line. We can’t explain to the board of dentistry, ‘hey! It’s not my fault. My DA took those!’ Also, you want to get what you pay for, a thorough exam—a tooth diagnosed before an extraction is needed!