Dental patients ask: ‘Why the X-rays?’

The Register-Guard – June 19, 2017

Dental patients ask: ‘Why the X-rays?’

Going beneath surface can help avoid painful tooth maladies, dentist says


Dr. Tara Paluska

“My new patient was expressing doubt about the need for dental ­radiographs — X-rays — as part of her appointment to have her teeth cleaned.

“It’s just a cleaning,” she said. “Why do I have to get all those X-rays? I had some taken last year, and I don’t want that radiation exposure.”

Her reaction isn’t uncommon, ­especially for patients who remember the early days of dental radiology. Back then, lead aprons were required to ­protect patients from radiation.

Today, however, dental X-rays don’t expose patients to that same level of radiation. Dentists use digital processes now, and our equipment has continually improved over the years. Patients receive less radiation at a dental visit than they get spending a day at the beach or flying on an airplane.”

Dr. Reams co-author of award winning clinical research paper

American Association of Endodontics JOE Awards 2015

Root canal therapy reduces multiple dimensions of pain: a national dental practice-based research network study

Gregg Reams, DMD

“The Editorial Board of the Journal of Endodontics is pleased to announce the inaugural winners of a new category of awards to recognize the best articles published in JOE during the 2014 calendar year. Awards are presented in the following areas: Basic Science: Biology; Basic Science: Technology; Case Reports/Clinical Techniques; and Clinical Research.

The winning papers represent significant advances in endodontics, and were selected for their scientific merit and broad impact on dental research; originality of research objectives and ideas presented; creativity of study design and uniqueness of approaches and concepts; validity of statistical and/or epidemiological methods; and clarity of presentation.” 

Clinical Research 
Law AS, Nixdorf DR, Rabinowitz I, Reams GJ, Smith JA Jr, Torres AV, Harris DR; National Dental PBRN Collaborative Group. Root canal therapy reduces multiple dimensions of pain: a national dental practice-based research network study. J Endod 2014;40(11):1738-45. 

Dr. Smith published in JADA, November 2016

Published in the Journal of the American Dental Association

But it really is what is best for the patient

James Smith, DMD

Ethical Moment is prepared by individual members of the American Dental Association Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs (CEBJA), in cooperation with The Journal of the American Dental Association. Its purpose is to promote awareness of the American Dental Association Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct.




Dr. Pihlstrom and CHR colleagues in the Permanente Journal, winter 2016

Published in the Permanente Journal, winter 2016:

Association of Dental Care with Adherence to HEDIS Measures

David Mosen, PhD, MPH; Dan Pihlstrom, DDS; John Snyder, DMD; Ning Smith, PhD; Elizabeth Shuster, MS; Kristal Rust Perm J 2016 Winter;20(1):33-40

The dental setting represents an unrealized opportunity to increase adherence to preventive services and improve health outcomes.

An extensive body of research has shown correlations between oral health and systemic disease such as diabetes mellitis (DM), obesity, and heart disease.1-9 Expert panels have issued consensus statements outlining the biologic plausibility that periodontal disease may have an impact on systemic health via dissemination of bacterial species and their virulence factors from the mouth into circulation.