Frequently Asked Questions
Please read our FAQ to find our most commonly asked questions. From dental implant planning, to how to access your orthodontic records and dental photos -if you need any further assistances we are happy to help! You can call us during business hours or email us anytime.
DFI does not accept insurance assignment in lieu of payment. DFI is not a Medicare provider. You will receive an itemized receipt which can be submitted to your insurance provider for reimbursement, according to the terms of your policy. We accept Visa and Mastercard.
Radiographs (x rays) and photos are important tools for diagnosis and long term monitoring of your dental health. There are many diseases and dental problems that may not be apparent from a physical examination. Radiographs show developmental stages of growth, and can help plan early intervention to change the course of some malocclusions which could be serious or require complex treatment if addressed later. Radiographs provide basic information about the number, size and position of teeth. Radiographs can document bone loss as a result of periodontal disease; fractures and many other hidden problems. Photographs document tooth position and relationships, as well as important esthetic considerations such as color, and lip support.
While DFI technicians can show you the x rays and photographs, they are not licensed to interpret them. Please save your questions about the content for your doctor.
In our labs, each patient is cared for as an individual. The prescription from your doctor may require imaging procedures that can range anywhere from ten minutes to an hour. If there are reasons for us to plan extra time, such as a disability or medical condition, or even anxiety, please let us know. We are glad to accommodate.
Our goal is to provide the state of the art equipment and practice the highest standard of radiation safety possible to protect patients from receiving unnecessary radiation. The amount of radiation received from a dental x ray exam is small and is equivalent to about 19 days of exposure to naturally occurring environmental radiation. Lead shielding of parts of the body not being imaged is routine at DFI. The percentage of re-exposure is extremely low. If necessary, re-exposure is based on a balance of the importance of the information to risk to the patient. A summary of the amount of exposure administered is available at your request.
Comparisons of Common Sources and amounts of Radiation
Activity/source amount of radiation received:
|Bitewings (4 films)||0.038 milisievert (mSv)|
|Full Mouth Survey (19 films)||0.150 mSv|
|Lower GI series||4.060 mSv|
|Average US citizen living in average location, natural background, annual||3.6 mSv|
|People whose occupations involve some exposure to radiation||50.0 mSv maximum whole body dose allowed|
The sievert is a unit of measure used to express an effective dose. An effective dose allows some comparison of radiation sources that expose the entire body (such as natural background radiation) versus those that only expose the teeth.
Although there may be some slight discomfort due to stretching, our technicians have been trained in special techniques to make your imaging session as comfortable as possible.
Two to three business days. Please allow adequate time for your records to reach your doctor, and for him/her to review them prior to your appointment. Treatment planning can be one of the most important parts of your care.
Yes, appointments are preferred. We can usually appoint you within the next day or two.
All x rays and photographs are part of your clinical records and are the property of your referring doctor. Please contact your doctor with any questions you have, or to arrange for copies or transfers.
We have stringent radiation safety routines due to the fact that there are different types of x ray equipment in our labs, and that simultaneous exposures are being made. We ask that only the patient and the technician enter these possible exposure areas for the safety of everyone. In some cases, one parent may accompany an anxious child. Children must remain in the waiting area under supervision. In consideration of other patients and our staff, please do not expect to leave children unattended.
Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, or their written consent must be presented. We will not perform the x ray exams without this consent, or without the signed prescription from your doctor.
We will explain each step of the procedures ordered by your doctor. If you have some concern regarding the content of your prescription, please review it with your doctor, so you can give your informed consent when you come in.
Jewelry such as earrings, necklaces, hair clips, and piercings must be removed before we can proceed. These items would appear in the x rays and would cover some important diagnostic information. We may ask you to remove any retainers and/or removable partial dentures, if requested by your doctor.