Digital x-rays differ from conventional x-rays by sending image data straight to a computer instead of using traditional X-ray film. It can be viewed on screen while the sensor is still running, meaning that the dental staff can zoom in and rotate the image to help find signs of problems more easily.
And although conventional X-rays already contain a very low dose of radiation, digital X-rays contain even less. Digital X-rays are an essential first step to creating a good preventative plan of care.
Digital X-Rays might reveal:
- Cysts or abscesses
- Bone loss
- Bad tooth and root positions
- Developmental abnormalities
- Decay between teeth
- Otherwise invisible problems, such as the interior of the tooth, or below the gum line
Fluoride is a mineral found in food and water that helps prevent tooth decay. Some people don’t get enough fluoride from daily sources, and your dentist may recommend professional or in-home fluoride treatments, especially for these reasons:
- Deeper than usual pits and fissures on chewing surfaces
- Exposed roots
- Less-than-good oral hygiene habits
- High carbohydrate or sugar intake
- Recent tooth decay
- Too little fluoride in food and water
- Too little saliva flow
- Dry mouth due to aging or certain medications
Fluoride treatment alone will not prevent tooth decay.
Remember to brush twice a day, floss regularly, cut down on sugars, and go to the dentist twice a year.
A sealant is a tough plastic coating placed over the chewing surface of molars or premolars.
A sealed tooth surface is smoother and easier to clean.
They are often recommended for the following:
- Children and teenagers who get their first premolars in, as the years from 6-16 are highly cavity-prone
- Adults whose teeth have deep grooves or pits, even if they haven’t had tooth decay yet
- Occasionally for baby teeth, they too have deep fissures or are prone to cavities
Sealants generally last for years but should be checked for wear and tear at regular dental checkups.
It’s especially used in pits and fissures because most tooth decay starts there because those spots are so difficult to clean properly.