Children and adults face a variety of dental challenges including tooth decay and infection. The best way for you to avoid dental issues now – and in the future – is to start forming good dental habits. The good news is that many dental problems, including cavities, are entirely preventable. At Henderson & Henderson, we can help you stay cavity-free with preventative dentistry services including routine dental exams and professional cleanings, treatment with fluoride varnish, and the use of sealants.
Regular Dental Exams and Professional Cleanings
Making a habit of regular dental checkups is one of the best things you can do for your oral health. We suggest scheduling dental checkups every six months, including a thorough cleaning and professional examination to prevent any cavities or other dental issues from forming. Regular dental checkups also allow our dentists to identify and quickly treat any potential dental problems that may appear.
Flouride is a vital mineral that prevents tooth decay. Flouride may or may not be in the water you drink or the toothpaste you use, so at Henderson & Henderson we offer a quick and easy treatment with fluoride varnish to protect your teeth.
A dental sealant is a special plastic that coats the back teeth (molars) to protect them from cavity-causing food particles and bacteria. We can protect your molars with dental sealants to help them stay cavity-free. Sealants can be applied to children and adults alike.
Digital x-rays are also called digital radiography and are current technology that takes the place of dental x-rays done on film. Dental x-rays are an essential preventative and diagnostic tool that give dental professionals valuable information to use in treatment. This information is used to help find dental abnormalities that are hidden from view so an accurate treatment plan can be created. Without x-rays, some problems may not be detected.
Dental x-rays can help find:
- Cysts or abscesses
- Loss of bone
- Noncancerous and cancerous tumors
- Decay between teeth
- Development abnormalities
- Poor tooth or root positioning
- Issues below the gum line
- Issues inside teeth
Panoramic x-rays are easy to perform without putting film in your mouth. The film is concealed inside a machine that rotates around the head. While bitewing x-rays are often taken every year, panoramic x-rays are usually only done when needed. The purpose is not to give a detailed look at each tooth but to provide a good view of sinuses, the nose and the mandibular nerve. In addition, panoramic x-rays are better than bitewings when a patient is in great pain or when a sinus problem is believed to be related to the dental problems.
These versatile x-rays are also used for:
- Diagnosing the reason for an overactive gag reflex
- Checking the progression of TMJ
- Finding abnormalities like cysts
- Looking for impacted teeth
- Finding jawbone fractures
- Planning for dentures, braces and implants
- Seeing cavities and gum disease
Are X-Rays Safe?
Everyone is exposed to radiation from the environment as a part of normal life. Today’s digital x-rays involve significantly less radiation than traditional x-rays. In addition to being healthier, they are also more comfortable to take and quicker. The electronic image is also created without the use of harmful chemicals and generates no waste. Plus, the image can be manipulated. Even though the radiation involved in dental x-rays is very low, precautions are still taken to control your exposure. These include limiting the use of x-rays and putting a lead apron on you to shield the rest of the body.
How often should digital x-rays be done?
The frequency of dental x-rays depends on your specific dental health needs, and your dentist or hygienist will recommend them to you when necessary based on your dental and medical history. These professionals will also do additional x-rays if an exam, symptoms, age or disease risk indicate it. For new patients, a full mouth series of x-rays may be recommended and does not need to be repeated for three to five years.