Posts for category: Dental Technology
Dentists and hygienists are often asked about the safety and necessity of x-rays. This is a great question - with answers that differ from patient to patient.
So let's examine it a bit further. You may be surprised to learn just how safe today's x-rays are, and which audience asks this question even more so than patients.
X-ray Safety Is Always Being Tested
So, who asks this question more often than patients? Would you believe, dentists? That's right!
Together with the FDA (Food & Drug Administration), the American Dental Association (ADA) routinely asks this question, and revises its guidelines when advances in science and technology provide new methods to reduce exposure.
In fact, thanks to faster film speeds, digital x-rays, and the use of protective aprons and thyroid collars, the x-ray of today is far superior to those of even just a decade ago.
Below are the general guidelines the ADA and FDA recommend for adults.
It's important to remember that because all dental care is patient-specific, these guidelines are to be used to accompany the professional opinion of your dentist. Only your dentist has knowledge of your health history and vulnerability to oral disease, and is in the best position to make such recommendations.
Full x-rays are generally suggested for new patients to provide your dentist with a full history of your prior oral care and current needs.
Continuing Care Patients:
One set of x-rays every 12 months.
Continuing Care Patient with periodontal disease:
Dependent upon the professional judgment of your dentist.
Patients with a toothache or other dental problem:
A single x-ray, often referred to as a PA, is taken to help diagnose the problem.
Patients with, but not limited to, proposed or existing implants and root canals:
Dependent upon the professional judgement of your dentist.
An intraoral camera is an instrument, which may look like an oversized pen, that takes high-resolution, color photos of a patient’s mouth and shows the visuals real-time on a computer monitor. It enables our dental team to make diagnoses more accurately. Not only is it a diagnostic tool, but an educational tool as well. The more a patient sees and understands, the more confident they can be when making treatment decisions. The images remain a part of the patient’s health record to make tracking any future changes simple.
Sterilization is important in a dental office and we follow all CDC guidelines and more to keep our patients safe. We first clean and scrub all instruments then place them into biological indicator bags. The instruments are then wrapped in containers for the autoclave. The basic principal of steam sterilization is to expose all items to direct steam at a required temperature and pressure for a specified time. Our autoclave serves this function and uses special water to properly eradicate all microorganisms.
We do not share our patients’ personal information. We shred all forms and other information that is filled out in our office. Many safeguards are in place to help prevent any breach of information. Our patients can feel confident that their personal information is safe with us!
Our office practices the highest standards of sterilization available in the market. Between all patient appointments, we sterilize every surface in the room, autoclave (high pressure and heat sterilization process) every instrument and protect all areas for the safety of our patients.