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exam before radiographs?

So, as we know, the ADA recommends that the doctor complete the exam prior to taking or prescribing radiographs. In my office, this doesn’t happen. It’s x-rays first, cleaning, then exam. Are there any hygienists out there whose dentist does exams prior to radiographs? Any suggestions for changing the mindset of the “exam after cleaning” dentists?



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I doubt this issue will ever change. It’s an implied consent. If the patient is on the schedule and all the procedures are listed then the doctor approves/prescribes the procedures and said procedures are to be completed in any order necessary.

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I wish all dentists would do an exam and xrays before the patient was scheduled with the hygienist, but it usually never happens. It’s so hard to take a FMX, perio chart and do a cleaning or debridement in an hour, especially when you start out 15 mins behind because of paperwork and insurance issues.

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I’m with Jennifer on this one. The Dr and hygienists in our office have a protocol and expectations for who and when X-rays are to be taken. We all are on the same page and Jennifer was right in that it is not time effective to have exam before AND have to review X-ray’s after. Fortunately, in our office, NP exams with fmx and PC are done prior to Px, debridement or SRP appts!

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My Dentist and I have our general rules for when we will or won’t take radiographs. There is an understanding we share prior to treating patients. If he wants me to skip the BWX he will let me know ahead of time. As long as you have this understanding of what your Dentist expects; it shouldn’t be a problem. If we are to have the Dentist do the exam every time before the BWX then he/she would need to take time out of the schedule after the radiographs are done to view them and this is not efficient.

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On new patients and if it’s been over 2 years you will need them. For others, maybe your dentist could look at the charts before hand to decide. Are they caries active, perio involved, on meds…then a cursory “exam” has been done.

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We go over schedules in the morning huddle, all treatment is listed for the day. If the Dr. would like additional he will let us know, otherwise standard of care for our office is followed.

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