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Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues.  If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.

Click on a question below to see the answer.

Radio Surgery, which is the use of high-frequency electric energy in the radio transmission frequency bad equipment applied directly to mouth tissue, used especially with dentures.

Digital Panoramic X-rays offer patients a complete image of the entire mouth:  teeth, jaw, sinuses and TMJ.  This offers 95% less radiation than traditional film X-rays and is immediately viewable.

Intra-oral video exams allow both the doctor and patient to see the condition of  the mouth at the same time, then discuss treatment options.

Our office uses the latest in digital X-ray technology.  These offer a detailed image of your entire mouth.  Digital X-rays offer up to 95% less radiation than traditional film X-rays.  A clear picture is provided for the dentist to accurately diagnose and provide the necessary treatment.

Some dentists do offer drill-less dentistry now. Air abrasion can painlessly remove tooth decay, superficial stains and discolorations. It can also remove old restorations to prepare for bonding or sealants. In this abrasion, a fine particle stream is aimed at the tooth surface by compressed air or gas that runs through the dental hand held device. The small particles of decay or stain are suctioned away.

Mild abrasives are in all toothpastes; that is why toothpastes remove surface stains. Whitening toothpastes often contain polishing or chemical ingredients which can help remove stains. Hydrogen peroxide is added to some products to also remove stains deeper in the tooth. All these type of products can lighten your teeth by about one shade. However, over-the-counter products cannot whiten teeth as well as the power bleaching used by your dentist, which can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter.

The radiation you receive in a dental office is very small. New technology such as digital X-ray machines focus the area that needs radiation and works more quickly, making your exposure time much less. Also, dentists put lead-lined full-body aprons on patients to protect them further. In addition, Federal law requires that our X-ray machines be checked every two years.

Because these contain mercury, a toxic substance, some people believe they’re responsible for a number of diseases. However, the American Dental Association and the FDA say that silver fillings are safe and there is no disease connection. The mercury in these fillings is mixed with other metals such as silver, copper, tin, and zinc so they form a stable alloy that has been used by dentists for more than 100 years.

Tooth decay is caused by acids which are produced by bacteria in the presence of sugar. To prevent decay, these bacteria, sugar and acids must be periodically removed.

Generally, a soft bristle brush is best, whether you brush manually or use the electric type of brush. Anything harder than soft, is too hard, and may wear away on your teeth as well as cause gum recession.

The standard pattern is to have a checkup and cleaning every six months. However, depending on a person’s dental health, it may need to be more often, like once every three or four months.

Flaws in your smile, even minor ones, can have a negative impact on how you see yourself.  That reality is backed by a course study showing that:

87% of adults remember someone with an attractive smile
74% of adults believe an unattractive smile can hurt career opportunities
92% of adults agree that an attractive smile is an important social asset
I have “dental anxiety” yet I know I need to see a dentist. What should I do?
The key to dealing with this anxiety is to talk with your dentist about your fears. Then your dentist can determine the best ways to make you less anxious. This may include the use of oral sedation, which results in relaxation and makes most people drowsy. You also won’t remember details of your dental treatment If your dentist doesn’t seem to be concerned about your fears, go to another dentist!

Exposure to all sources of radiation -- including the sun, minerals in the soil, appliances in your home, and dental X-rays -- can damage the body's tissues and cells and can lead to the development of cancer in some instances. Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking of X-rays is extremely small.

Advances in dentistry over the years have lead to the low radiation levels emitted by today's X-rays. Some of the improvements are new digital X-ray machines that limit the radiation beam to the small area being X-rayed, higher speed X-ray films that require shorter exposure time compared with older film speeds to get the same results, and the use of film holders that keep the film in place in the mouth (which prevents the film from slipping and the need for repeat X-rays and additional radiation exposure). Also, the use of lead-lined, full-body aprons protects the body from stray radiation (though this is almost nonexistent with the modern dental X-ray machines.) In addition, federal law requires that X-ray machines be checked for accuracy and safety every two years, with some states requiring more frequent checks.

Even with these advancements in safety, it should be kept in mind, however, that the effects of radiation are added together over a lifetime. So every little bit of radiation you receive from all sources counts.


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