The physical process for digital radiography is actually similar to traditional dental X-rays that use film: With digital radiography, your dentist inserts a sensor into your mouth to capture images of your teeth — but that’s where the similarities between conventional and digital dental X-rays end. Although it resembles the film used for bitewings and other X-rays, the digital sensor is electronic and connected to a computer. Once the X-ray is taken, the image is projected on a screen for your dentist to view.
Benefits of Digital Dental Radiography
Less Radiation — The equipment used in digital radiography exposes dental patients to much less radiation. In fact, digital X-rays use up to 90 percent less radiation than film X-rays.
Shorter Dental Appointments — Digital radiography can also shorten your dental appointment! With traditional dental X-rays, you’ll have to wait while your dentist develops the film. With digital radiography, the sensor develops the picture almost instantly and projects it onto a computer screen right before your eyes.
Higher Quality Images — The standard size of traditional X-rays can make viewing difficult, but digital radiography has done away with the “one size fits all” mentality. Once on the screen, digital X-rays can be enlarged or magnified for a better visual of the tooth’s structure.
Transferring Dental Records — Digital images can be e-mailed to a dental specialist for immediate review. Digital X-rays are taking away the expense and time needed to copy files and mail them to another dentist, making it easier to transfer records or get a second opinion.
Environmentally Friendly — Digital dental X-rays are better for the environment! With digital radiography, no chemicals are used to develop film. There’s also no wasted space of a darkroom and no need to store film, which can pile up in a dentist’s files.
Dental caries, more usually known as tooth decay, is caused by acid-producing bacteria that collect around the teeth and gums in a sticky, clear film called “plaque.” Without good daily oral hygiene and regular dental visits, teeth become more vulnerable to caries.
Brushing twice a day and cleaning between teeth with floss or another type of interdental cleaner help remove plaque. Regular dental examinations and cleanings also are important for keeping teeth healthy.
Another key to good oral health is fluoride, a mineral that helps prevent caries and can repair teeth in the very early, microscopic stages of the disease. Fluoride can be obtained in two forms: topical and systemic. Topical fluorides are applied directly to the tooth enamel. Some examples include fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses, as well as fluoride treatments in the dental office.
If you, or a family member, are at a moderate-to-high risk of developing caries, a professional fluoride treatment can help. The fluoride preparation used in our dental office is a much stronger concentration than that in toothpaste or fluoride mouth rinses that may be available in a store or at a pharmacy.
Professional fluoride treatments generally take just a few minutes. The fluoride may be in the form of a solution, gel, foam or varnish. Typically, it is applied with a cotton swab or brush, or it is used as a rinse or placed in a tray that is held in the mouth for several minutes.
After the treatment, you may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride and help repair microscopic carious areas.
Depending on your oral health status, fluoride treatments may be recommended every three, six or twelve months.
Come in and let’s discuss whether in-office fluoride treatments will be a benefit to your oral health care.
The Benefits of Having a Night Guard
Have you ever wondered if you need a night guard, or wondered if you should have one? There are a number of reasons for people to have night guards, and they provide a number of dental advantages to those suffering certain conditions.
Night guards are made specifically to maintain the alignment of your jaw and teeth and keep them separated in order to prevent grinding teeth. A lot of individuals unintentionally grind their teeth in their sleep as an unconscious habit. This, however, can have disastrous affects for your dental health and leave your teeth in pretty bad shape. Aside from wearing down your teeth, grinding teeth can have some unexpected consequences as well, such as jaw pain or headaches.
Mouthpieces are a great solution to this problem, however, as they prevent teeth grinders from damaging their dental health. They are made to be thin in order to provide maximum comfort to the wearer while they are sleeping. They are even designed to make it easy and comfortable for the wearer to carry on a conversation while wearing it—like it’s not even there.
At our offices, we provide custom fit custom orders, specially molded after each person’s set of teeth, because we understand that no two people have identical sets of teeth. A well fitted, custom ordered mouth guard is the recommended solution to those who tend to grind their teeth while sleeping. If it is not seen to sooner rather than later, it is likely that the issue will only persist and perhaps increase in severity. These night guards need to be worn on a nightly basis, as habitual grinding and clenching can lead to serious damage and possibly further complications due to lack of treatment.
Oral cancer screenings
Of the many services that our dentists perform on a regular basis, there are few that are more important than oral cancer screenings. These consultations check for cancer in any of the parts that make up the mouth, including lips, roof, and floor of the mouth, gums, tongue and the lining of the cheek. Oral, or mouth, cancer is one of several types of cancers that are grouped into a single category of head and neck cancers. For those who pursue regular screenings, this can dramatically increase the chances that the disease can be detected early and treated effectively, which in turn will dramatically increase a patient’s chance of recovery.
When patients visit our office, an oral cancer screening is usually one of the many tasks performed during a routine cleaning, but there are more advanced tests for those who are subject to a variety of risk factors. We will examine the inside of the mouth to check for red or white patches, as well as sores and other abnormalities that could be the early symptoms of oral cancer. The screening itself is not the only way to determine whether or not an individual has a form of oral cancer, as the next step is to remove tissue or cells from the abnormal area and testing them for cancer with a biopsy and we will let you know if we think that is necessary.
Oral cancer screenings have become a fixture of our dental consultations as it is a vital step in promoting long-term dental health and preventing major health problems.
4 reasons to get an oral cancer screening
With a five-year survival rate as low as 60%, oral cancer is scary. Protect yourself by getting checked for the disease today. Here are the top four reasons you should add “oral cancer screening” to your wellness to-do list.
1. It’s easy.
Just ask your dentist to check for signs of oral cancer during your regular dental exam.
2. It can save your life.
Oral cancer is a devastating disease — but you can boost your chances of survival by at least 20 percentage points when the disease is caught early.
When an oral cancer exam is incorporated into your regular exam, there’s no extra expense unless follow-up procedures are needed.
4.It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Even if you don’t have oral cancer, isn’t it better to be sure?
Let’s talk! Give us a call for a complimentary assessment. We would love to take care of your family and all of their dental needs.
(Ask us about our new patient & teeth whitening specials!)