Lake Lanier Smiles answers the frequently asked questions by our dental patients. If you have any questions about oral health and products, please call us or email us and we will answer them in our next blog.
ARE DENTAL X –RAYS SAFE?
Dental Professionals have made many advances in Dentistry. One of those advances has been the lowering of the radiation level emitted during a dental x-ray.
The New Digital X-ray machine used at our Buford dental office was designed so that only the small area would be exposed to the radiation beam.
The exposure time has been shortened due to the high speed films. In comparison, the older x-ray machine there is more exposure due the larger cone that emits radiation (scatter radiation) to a larger area. The larger cone also allows the image to be of poor quality, due to placement on the holder and movement of the cone. The film is a slower speed than the digital, more exposure.
The film holders are larger and can slip when they are bitten onto by the patient. These result in having to repeat the x-ray which doubles the amount of exposure. The use of the new digital x-ray machine eliminates all of the issues, therefore lowers the amount of radiation emitted during a dental x-ray.
Patients are also protected from exposure to the body by the use of a full body lead apron which protects the patient’s body from a scatter radiation.
The lead apron is made of a water resistant material which can be sanitized and is lined with lead. These are not needed when a modem digital x-ray, they are still used as a secondary precaution or for the reassurance of the patient.
Radiation when a person is continuously exposed to any and all sources may damage their body’s cells and tissues. Therefore, it can ultimately lead the patient to development one of different types of cancer.
There are many places where a person can be exposed to radiation including outside in the sunlight, in your home or workplace when using appliances, in a medical office, hospital and dental office.
Digital x-rays are considered one of the lowest levels of those listed that emit radiation and are necessary for the diagnosis of malformations of the teeth and facial bones, cavities, bone loss, problems in the soft tissue and placement of wisdom teeth.
In addition to the precautions the dental professions already make there is a federal law that requires the dental practice to have a complete inspection and testing of the x-ray machine every two years. The machine is checked for safety and the accuracy by a licensed x-ray technician. In some states it required that the x-ray machine be tested and inspected more frequently.
DENTAL SEALANTS AND ITS IMPORTANCE
Dental Sealants are one of the most recommended procedures performed by your Dental Professional. They are highly recommended for children and adults.
Children should start getting their sealants placed as soon as their permanent premolars and molars are completely erupted. Which means that the biting surface has come in enough that the biting surface has completely out of the gum tissue.
If done when there is gum tissue present the sealant will not adhere to the tooth or will leave an area exposed and subject to decay. Each tooth if done at this time it will be free of stains and decay.
Sealants will protect the tooth during their childhood and adolescent years when most children develop cavities. Sealants are extremely cost effective.
Most insurance’s cover the cost of the sealant at 100%, because they are considered a preventative. However, because they are so beneficial and have been proven to be the best course of treatment, most dental insurance’s are placing a no age limit rule.
Adults should have sealants placed on unrestored molars and premolars (free from fillings). The sealant will protect the tooth from decay and will help protect the tooth from some fractures.
Patients that grind their teeth have found them to be useful because of the barrier from tooth to tooth. If the adult sealants are not covered by insurance they usually have a reduced rate if the patient is uninsured the dental practice offers them at low cost.
Sealants are a thin layer of plastic that is applied to the biting surface of the tooth and the sealant is usually clear or white in color when they dry and harden.
However, to insure that the tooth is completely covered the manufactures of sealants added color to the liquid. To makes it more visible to the dental professional so they can make sure to the dental professional apply the liquid to all of the depressions and grooves of each tooth.
The sealant placement only requires about 2 minutes to place and they will dry and harden within 2 minutes using a blue curing light. The curing light presents no ill effects and is completely safe.
Although it is recommended that a patient use protective eye wear as it is with all Dental procedures. There are some sealant formulas that do not require the use of the curing light. These sealants will dry very quickly and they are just as durable and long lasting.
Sealants can last for many years with proper oral hygiene and regular dental hygiene appointments. It has been proven that if a patient continues to maintain the sealant throughout their lifetime that tooth will not develop decay on the biting surface.
One thing to remember is to have it replaced if the sealant cracks, becomes chipped or comes off. There have been instances where the sealant has also worn away from grinding and the sealant had to be replaced.
A sealant will come off due to saliva mixing with the sealant material at the time it was originally placed and the sealant came out within a few days. Replacement is usually done free of charge at that time.
But most insurance’s cover the replacement once every three years. Because of a patient’s diet and eating habits sealants have been removed or broken by sticky candy, sticky foods, hard candy, and gum. Sealants can stain due to the consumption of certain food, soda and condiments. Those types of stain can be polished off by your dental professional.
Sealants are an excellent investment in your child’s or your cavity protection and Dental Health. However, sealants do not protect the other sides of the tooth. What will is brushing, flossing and regular hygiene appointments.
If you have any questions about your Oral Health or to make an appointment to see us, Call us at 770-831-0559 or visit us at WWW. LAKELANIERSMILES.COM for Valuable Coupons and Specials. Our prices are 30-50 % Off Regular Prices. Call Us before Noon and we will see you the Same Day. We accept most insurances. We are conveniently located just off I-985 at 4965 Lanier Islands Parkway, Suite 105, Buford, Ga- 30418. LAKE LANIER SMILES provides Affordable dental care with outstanding customer service to patients in Buford, Sugar Hill, Suwanee, Cumming, Flowery Branch and surrounding areas.