Roots Dental X-Ray tooth 14 – 4/8/22

I wrote the following on 22 April 2022

4/6/22 I noticed what appeared to be a man-made structure inside the cavity of tooth 14 in the radiograph made by Advantage Dental on 2/15

4/7/22 I decided to see if I could confirm what I had seen with a second x-ray and called Roots Dental to see if they could do a single x-ray. They agreed to do an x-ray the following day. Once they saw the x-ray I wanted repeated they began to push back on the x-ray in various ways, stating at first that they couldn’t do a higher resolution photo than I’d shown (I’d shown them a 26k 72dpi image) and then stating that they were worried about the radiation exposure associated with the single dental x-ray and they would need to call my doctor. After I pushed back, they agreed to do the x-ray.

Two things were strange about the x-ray itself. This was a type of x-ray machine (they later told me was GX-770) that makes a sound when the button is pushed. My experience is that normally this sound is heard for just a fraction of a second, but in this case, the sound lasted around 3 seconds. Then, when the technician pulled up the radiograph, it was washed out, almost white looking, with a distinct streak right through the extraction site – the exact area I wanted to look at more closely. A filter was applied to the x-ray which reduced the washed-out look but retained the lack of detail. When I asked about these things I was told by the dentist on site, Dr Dickenson, that the sound of the x-ray had nothing to do with exposure time, and that the washed out look of the x-ray was just because they were using a machine that was “good enough” but not great. The woman working at the desk asked if she could wait until “tomorrow” (which was Saturday) for the clinic manager Heather to send me the image since she wasn’t “tech savvy” and didn’t know how to export and/or attach the image to the email.

Roots Dental is in a new building where all of the adjacent offices are vacant. As I was leaving the office, I passed a woman standing in the foyer area outside of the office, who seemed to be communicating to someone on her phone. She was a well dressed professional-looking black woman in a nice beige coat with long curly hair. I greeted her and she returned the greeting in such a way that made me feel like she knew who I was, and that she was exasperated with me.

Heather did not send me the radiograph image until the following Tuesday, April 12.

(from my notes)

8 April 2022 - tooth 14 extraction cavity - overexposed image

Roots Dental x-ray from 8 April 2022, emailed to me on April 12 – notice the streaks down the middle

I thought the pushback I received on repeating this single x-ray was over the top, and noticed it had only started after I’d sent a copy of the previous x-ray attached to an email. By this point I’d been trying for some time to get a higher resolution version of the image from Advantage Dental, but resolution issues were not the only reason I wanted to repeat the x-ray. I was essentially trying to repeat an experiment – to compare two different x-rays to see if they both showed the same type of structure.

So to clarify, I’d made the appointment on April 7, telling them I wanted to repeat a single x-ray frame from the set I’d done at Advantage Dental on 2/15. Then, just as I was walking out the door to go to the appointment, I sent off the email with attachment, showing exactly which x-ray I was talking about. This is when the pushback began. In the end, Roots Dental did agree to do the x-ray, but it looks like they called Dr Warrington afterwards, and that Dr Warrington returned the call three days later.

Next time I saw Dr Warrington, on April 18, I asked him what the the Roots Dental dentist, Dr Dickenson, had called him to ask about. Dr Warrington wasn’t clear with me, and I felt like he wasn’t being honest.

Roots Dental building location was the site of Shamrock Medical which was demolished around 2013 and replaced with this new building. Shamrock Medical is now located near the airport.

web page updated 25 August 2022