This is the second part of “4 Reasons why you WANT your dentists to take X-ray films“.
One of the common objections to taking a dental X-ray is the cost but is it really a saving by not taking one? Let’s do the maths here. For the sake of argument, we are going to say 2 X-ray films cost $100 ($50×2), a filling or an extraction costs $200, a root canal treatment costs $1000 and an implant costs $5000. Now we can go through the best case scenario to worse ones.
- If we take X-ray films and find out there is no decay, a patient spends $100 every 2 years for peace of mind and it costs significantly less than the cost of haircuts over 2 years.
- If we take X-ray films and find out there is just one early decay, we can advise the patient how to prevent early decay from becoming a hole that will require a filling. He/she saves $100 (200 – 100 = $100) which is the cost of a filling less the cost of 2 X-ray films. What if there were 5 early decays? The saving becomes $900 (200×5 – 100 = $900)
- If we take X-ray films and find out there is just one hole that needs to be filled. Large decays that are left untreated until becoming painful may need a root canal treatment. He/she saves $700 (1000 – 200 – 100 = $700) which is the cost of a root canal treatment less the cost of a filling and 2 X-ray films. What if this happens to 2-3 teeth? The saving becomes $2300 (1000×3 – 200×3 – 100 = $2300)
- If we take X-ray films and find out there is just one hole that needs to be filled. We didn’t know and left the decay until the tooth needs to be extracted and replaced. He/she saves $4900 (5000 + 200 – 200 -100 = $4900) which is the cost of an extraction and an implant less the cost of a filling and 2 X-ray films. What if this happens to more than one tooth? Need we go any further?
Of course there are many ways to replace a single lost tooth but they range anywhere from $1000 to $5000.
Looking at these numbers, it is almost insane not to take 2 X-ray films!