- The most important reason for having dental x-rays is to allow the dentist to provide a complete exam. A visual dental exam provides only some of the information a dentist needs to see. Many cavities can only be seen on x-ray because they are in between teeth. Additionally, sometimes the only way to see abscesses, lesions or growths within the bony structures is via x-ray.
- We will only take the minimum number of x-rays that any patient needs, as set out by the ADA guidelines and treatment requirements.
- The radiographs we use in the dental office are DIGITAL radiographs. They use one tenth of the radiation other types of x-rays use. (You would get more radiation on a sunny day than you will receive from a full mouth set of dental xrays.)
For all of these reasons, a dentist cannot conduct a complete exam unless x-rays are taken and evaluated. We are always striving to perform the best treatment possible and one of the most important things we can do for our patients is to have up-to-date x-rays so we can properly evaluate their complete dental situation.
A patient’s gum tissue (gingiva) is the foundation for a healthy mouth, and also provides the framework for healthy teeth. Gum disease or (periodontal) disease is very common in adult patients, and is one of the first things we check during a new patient exam.
An important indicator of periodontal health is the depth of the space between each tooth and the gums. There is a space or “pocket” around each tooth, which is what a hygienist is measuring during an examination of the gum tissue.
A pocket depth of 1-3 millimeters is healthy, any space deeper than that (4-6 mm or more) may indicate gum disease is present. When a patient exhibits any signs of gum disease, a regular “cleaning” is not the answer. Many times, a deeper cleaning (below the gum line) may be necessary.
Will it feel different?
A deep below the gum line cleaning usually feels the same as a regular dental cleaning, but it is most definitely different. The hygienist is working below the gum line, cleaning areas that are not touched in a regular cleaning.
If it’s recommended you receive other procedures besides a regular cleaning, discuss it with your hygienist or dentist and I encourage you to invest the time and money to get your gums healthy again.
What goes around comes around
Gum disease is a cyclical disease. During one visit things may look healthy, and at another visit, early signs of gum disease might be present. We always work with our patients to discuss options before any treatment is performed. The good news is there are many weapons to fight the early stages of gum disease—-ask us how we can help!
Mark Crego D.D.S.
What if I need a crown?
When a tooth has had a large filling for many years, or had a root canal for any reason, many times a dentist recommends your tooth be rebuilt with a crown or a “cap”. In order to rebuild the tooth properly, a crown is often necessary to strengthen the tooth, and allow proper chewing function.
The process for getting a crown is not much different than any dental procedure. A local anesthetic will be placed to numb the area being worked on, and then the tooth will be re-shaped, or “prepped” to accommodate the crown, which will completely cover the remaining tooth. A well done crown gives the appearance of a completely new, natural looking tooth.
The really great news is that today, Midtown Dental Care is able to complete the entire process in one visit. Our patients walk out the door with a completed crown after one appointment, removing the need for a temporary crown and a second visit.
Crowns are made from an extremely strong ceramic material, and will last for many years. With proper home care by the patient (brushing and flossing) a crown will be an excellent investment in your oral health. A crown functions just like a normal tooth, and prevents further damage to the tooth it is covering. Crowns look natural, and can enhance a person’s smile as well as protect their tooth.
To find out more about the types of crowns available at our practice, please visit our website or call (414) 258-5351.