CSI Dentistry...

People often come in to my office and tell me they have  a problem and want me to take an X-Ray to see what's wrong.  Then they ask one of the most frequent questions a patient asks any dentist: "What's the X-Ray say doc?"  While there is lots of information on an X-Ray, often it tells me nothing about the problem a patient wants me to help them with.  I need to be a detective! CSI Dentistry... And like any TV detective I need to ask a lot of questions and really listen to what patients say.  It's amazing how much you can learn about a dental problem by asking questions.  Often I can figure out the problem from just the answers I hear. BUT I cannot diagnose without evidence ( just like CSI if they want to make an arrest) and that is where a thorough examination comes in.  One of the tools I may use is a dental X-Ray image of the problem area, IF,  I think it will add useful information.  It is only one tool and by itself it ususally does not provide enough evidence to diagnose the problem. 

Once I have evidence I can make a diagnosis and only then can I offer treatment to resolve the problem.

So when a patient comes in, points to a tooth and says it hurts and needs a filling, I say "tell me more!"