How Safe Are Dental X-rays?
All of the x-rays taken in our office are digital. Digital x-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional x-rays. Not only are digital x-rays better for the health and safety of the patient, they are faster, which reduces your time in the dental office. The digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the film, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment. Digital x-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays. Even though digital x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, we still take the necessary precautions to limit your exposure to radiation. These precautions include taking only x-rays that are necessary, and using a lead apron and a thyroid collar to protect the body.
A full series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients. Bite-wing x-rays are taken at check-up visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems. Each patient’s needs will vary.
Dental x-rays are essential preventative and diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dr. Rust and our hygienists’ use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities, cysts, tumors, abscesses and/or decay. Without x-rays, problems can go undetected. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call us anytime. We are here for you.
Preventative Services Reduce Tooth Decay
Are you over 50? Do you have a lot of crowns in your mouth? As we get older we may start to experience dry mouth. This could be due to medications, chemo or radiation treatments, hormonal changes, or medical conditions. Saliva helps combat decay causing bacteria in the mouth. A lack of saliva causes many problems. Decay caused by dry mouth can progress very rapidly. Dr. Rust recommends fluoride trays for our patients with this problem. Our dental assistants will take impressions and manufacture the fluoride trays. We will also dispense some fluoride gel and instructions for filling and wearing your trays. We may also recommend other dry mouth products such as Biotene. Colgate and Act also have some great over the counter dry mouth products. If you have any questions about dry mouth, please call the office.
Oral Health Begins with Proper Tooth Alignment
Orthodontics is often thought of as a cosmetic procedure. While providing a beautiful smile is one of the goals of orthodontics, evidence shows that proper tooth alignment and an ideal bite relationship are also beneficial to patients’ long-term oral health. When your teeth are very crowded or overlapped it can make it difficult to brush and floss adequately which encourages the formation of calculus. Occlusal trauma is caused when the teeth do not occlude, or hit together properly. Occlusal trauma can result in an increase in the mobility of teeth (loose teeth), increased pain, problems with TMJ (tempromandibular joint) and sensitivity. Patients may not feel that they need dental treatment if they are not in pain. Alignment problems rarely cause pain until they reach an advanced stage. Occlusal related problems that can cause pain include TMJ pain, advanced periodontal pockets, fractured teeth, poor oral hygiene, gum recession and bone loss. We have solutions to improve alignment.