It must have been a slow news week recently as stories about dental x-rays being very harmful flooded the papers and sensationalized current affairs programs.
It is natural that many people are wary about any x-rays as there is a stigma attached to them regarding exposure to radiation. Not too long ago, every member of the Spa Team wore a radiation sensor device/badge everyday at work for a seven month period. Each month the badges were sent to the radiation testing lab to be assessed. A detailed report was sent to us showing all the readings and the level of radiation was so minimal that there nothing to be concerned about.
Today's patients now receive lower doses of radiation than in the past. This reduction in dose is due to better equipment, faster x-ray films and increased use of digital radiography.
US Studies have revealed that the levels of radiation to which patients are exposed with a single dental x-ray is 0.0067% of the level of exposure from a mammogram or 0.5% of the level of exposure from an aeroplane flight from the equivalent of Sydney to Perth.
As you know, we only take x-rays when it is necessary to do so as X-rays are a vital diagnostic tool in dentistry and assist in providing information about a patient's oral health such as early-stage tooth decay, periodontal disease, infections, problems in surrounding bone or some types of tumours; revealing potential problems in the teeth that simply cannot be observed by the naked eye.
The Australian Dental Association has recently released comprehensive information about dental x-rays so if anyone would like to read this, please contact the practice for a copy or have a chat to us about it when you are next in.
Regular visits to the dentist for preventive care is still the most cost effective way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. In the event of more complicated treatments, quality dental care does have associated costs. We can personalise your treatment to fit your budget and we can also offer payment arrangements if needed.
If you are suffering from a persistent toothache it is a sign that you need to see a dentist as soon as possible. I have just broken my tooth – what should I do? It is very important to come and see a dentist as soon as possible. Keep any fragments of teeth and bring it with you to the dentist.
Your teeth support and rely on each other. When one or more teeth are missing, the remaining teeth can shift out of their normal position. In most cases it is important to try to replace any missing teeth in order to balance the way your jaw bites. If you have several missing teeth, the remaining teeth are under more pressure, which can lead to broken fillings, affect jaw balance and bite problems.
The first baby tooth will erupt at age between 4-9 months. It is important that a daily cleaning routine should be established. A soft cloth or a soft baby tooth brush can be used to gently rubbing the erupted teeth and gums. Parents should assist the child to clean their teeth up to the age of 7 years old to ensure that it is done properly. Are electric toothbrushes better than the manual brushes? If you brush incorrectly, it doesn’t matter what kind of toothbrush you use. Using the manual toothbrush with good knowledge of how to brush can do just as well as using a power toothbrush. Flossing is just as important as brushing teeth. Food trapped between teeth is the major cause of tooth cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
Treatment often takes from one to three visits. To save the tooth, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed from the root canal by careful cleaning and shaping of the canal. The canals are then sealed completely to prevent re-infection. Will I feel pain during or after the procedure? With modern techniques and anaesthetics, most patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure. For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. We will advise you as to the best pain relief available.
Mercury based Metal fillings are a thing of the past: dentistry has progressed to where we can now restore your teeth with tooth coloured fillings which are strong, durable and look great. Will whitening harm my teeth or gums? No. Tooth Whitening has been researched for over 10 years now and the research has proven that it is safe for your teeth and gums when used as directed.
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