Since in the mouth we can see only about one-third of the actual tooth, radiographs (X-rays) provide valuable information that we cannot visualize otherwise. Doing a treatment without radiographs is like working with a blindfold. You wouldn’t trust your dentist if he/she was working with a cover over the eyes. Dental X-rays are vital in proper diagnosing cavities, bone loss, infections and bone tumors. In our office X-rays are prescribed according to the patient’s needs and not dictated by the insurance coverage.

Our X-ray machines are checked daily, by performing a test at the beginning of each working day, and annually by a Radiation Inspector from the Ministry of Health. In our office we use digital sensors for taking X-rays. While sensors are a little bulkier than a film, they have the advantage that they give 70%-90% less radiation than film X-ray, depending on how many X-rays are taken. They are also faster and more accurate than a film and safer for the environment because it eliminates the use of chemicals for film processing.

Fluoride is a mineral found in soil, water and various foods. It helps prevent cavities (tooth caries) and repair enamel in the very early stages of cavities. Every day, minerals are added and lost from the superficial layer of tooth enamel through the process of demineralization and remineralization. Too much demineralization and not enough remineralization to repair the enamel, leads to tooth decay. Fluoride helps in preventing tooth decay by making the tooth enamel stronger and speeding up the remineralization process. Topical fluoride is applied directly to the tooth surface at home by using mouth rinses, and tooth pastes or during the cleaning and checkup appointment as fluoride treatment. In the dental office, the fluoride can be applied as a gel, a varnish, foam or a solution (rinse). The fluoride used in the dental office has a higher concentration than the one used at home. After the fluoride application, at home or in the office, it is recommended not to eat or drink for 30 minutes to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride and help repair enamel. Sometimes, we might recommend additional preventive measures if you are at high or moderate risk for developing cavities. These measures may include tooth pastes or mouth rinses with a higher concentration of fluoride, or antibacterial mouth rinses.

Fluoridation means adjusting the amount of fluoride in water. In some towns fluoride is added to the water, in other towns some of the fluoride is taken out of water.

What we generally call a cleaning, is an appointment that has 2 parts – the dental check-up, or examination and the cleaning, or oral prophylaxis. During check-up or examination, we will check for plaque and calculus deposits and based on that we will give you advice on how to brush, floss and what tools you should use at home to maintain a good oral hygiene. We will check the teeth for cavities, thus preventing possible root canal treatments, extractions or infections. We will check the health of the gums and give you all the information and skills you need to keep yourself in top dental health. By examining your tongue, soft tissue, roof of the mouth and throat we screen for early signs of oral cancer. All this is part of your routine cleaning appointment and it is done by the hygienist and the doctor.

During cleaning, or oral prophylaxis, your plaque and calculus are removed from the tooth surfaces and from under the gums using special tools called scalers, hence the name scaling used for cleaning. After scaling, teeth are polished to remove stain and any small particles left on the tooth surface.

Scheduling a regular check-up and cleaning helps detect early signs of problems and protect your dental and overall health. Most people need 2 cleaning appointments every year, but others need 3 or even 4 appointments every year. Our team will tailor your cleaning appointments based on your needs.

There are two types of teeth whitening: in-office whitening and home whitening. Both tooth-whitening options use either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide gel and both are safe for your teeth and gums when used properly. Home whitening systems contain 3 – 24% peroxide, while the in-office systems contain 15 – 43% peroxide. The higher the concentration of peroxide in the whitening solution, the whiter your teeth will become. However, the higher the percentage of peroxide, the shorter it should be applied on the teeth. Keeping the gel in contact with the teeth too long will dehydrate them and increase sensitivity.

What we call baby teeth are the set of teeth that your child is having between 6 months to 12 years of age (give or take). While the front baby teeth will shed between six and eight years of age, the back teeth (canines and baby molars) aren’t replaced until the age of 10-13. The first adult molar grows at the very back of the mouth when the child is six, behind the last baby molar (there is no baby tooth that sheds when that adult molar grows). Baby teeth help the child speak clearly, eat comfortably and smile with confidence. Baby teeth are holding the space for the adult teeth that are growing under the gums and guiding them in the correct position. The early loss of a baby tooth means that it can no longer do its job of chewing and guiding adult teeth into their normal position, increasing the likelihood that orthodontic treatment with “braces” will be needed later. Sometimes, specific baby teeth are removed to help adult teeth grow into a better position.

Baby teeth are also responsible for stimulating normal development of the bones and muscles of the face.

Oral health is much more than just teeth. There are health conditions that can affect oral health, like diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, leukemia, AIDS, eating disorders. If you have any ongoing health concerns it is important for your dental team to know about them.

There is research showing that diabetes and oral health can affect one another. People with diabetes have a higher risk for developing oral infections and gum disease. Higher blood sugar levels reduce the body’s ability to fight infection, making the person with diabetes more prone to bacterial, viral or fungal infections in the mouth. Having high blood sugar levels promotes accumulation of plaque, which in turn causes gum disease.

Gum disease can intensify the complications associated with diabetes by increasing blood sugar levels and the length of time the blood sugar levels are elevated.

Having regular cleaning appointments and a good oral hygiene reduces the risk for gum disease and improves blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes.