Posts for: October, 2018
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.
According to the American Dental Association, gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, making this issue much bigger than simple sore gums. However, learning to spot the early signs and symptoms of gum disease allows you to treat it early when its effects are more easily reversible. Find out more about gum disease and its non-surgical treatments with Dr. Richard Bateman, Dr. Joshua Neubauer, and Dr. Emerald Powell at Park Crossing Dentistry in South Charlotte, NC.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease occurs when bacteria which live on the teeth harden into plaque and tartar. These substances grow under the gum, irritating it and causing an infection. Gum disease begins as gingivitis, a mild condition normally reversible with a professional dental cleaning followed by proper oral hygiene. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can advance into periodontitis, which can cause serious issues. Periodontitis requires more invasive, complex care to treat.
Do I have gum disease?
If you have one of the following symptoms, you may have gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease:
- swollen gums
- bleeding gums
- sore gums
- red gums
Though many people mistakenly believe that bleeding gums mean they should stop flossing their teeth, this actually indicates that the gums are infected by plaque and bacteria, which require regular flossing to remove.
If you have one of the following symptoms, you may have periodontitis, a more advanced stage of gum disease:
- loosened teeth
- painful gums
- sensitive teeth
- receding gums
- unexplained bad breath
Gum Disease Treatments in Charlotte, NC
If you think you have gum disease in any stage, you should consult with your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner your dentist begins treating your gum disease, the better. Reversing the symptoms of mild forms of gingivitis require a professional teeth cleaning followed by routine brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. However, more serious forms of the disease may require a periodontal cleaning or even flap surgery to reverse its effects. Your dentist can help you determine the best course of treatment for your gum disease.
For more information on gum disease and what it means for your teeth, please contact Dr. Richard Bateman, Dr. Joshua Neubauer, and Dr. Emerald Powell at Park Crossing Dentistry in South Charlotte, NC. Call (704) 541-5059 to schedule an appointment with your dentist today!
Recently, Dr. Bateman and his wife were at a restaurant and noticed a gentleman by the bar looking peculiar. He was leaning against the bar and they thought he might have been “over-served”. Then suddenly, the gentleman turned a gray color and started sweating profusely. His legs gave way and he fell to the floor. He looked like he was having a heart attack so Dr. Bateman rushed over, fully prepared to do CPR, and checked the gentleman. The guy was looking around confused so Dr. Bateman asked him a few questions that he should know (like “What day is it?”, etc.). He got him to make eye contact to answer questions then checked his pulse. A nurse at the restaurant rushed over and started to help. Between the two of them, they got him responsive without using CPR. They got him standing and ready to leave, either to go home or to the doctor. Dr. Bateman is convinced the gentleman was dehydrated and probably had too many drinks, but he is happy the gentleman walked away without hitting his head or needing a hospital visit. That’s our Dr. Bateman…always wanting to help people!