Cosmetic Dentist Blog
Posts for: July, 2016
It's difficult to measure how x-ray imaging has transformed dentistry since its use became prominent a half century ago. As equipment and methods standardized, the technology revolutionized the way we diagnose tooth decay and other mouth-related issues.
One of the more useful of these methods is called the bitewing x-ray. The term comes from the shape of the device a patient holds between their teeth with the film attached on the side toward their tongue. We direct the x-ray beam to the outside of the patient's cheek, where it passes through the teeth to expose on the film. Its particular design provides clearer images since the patient's bite helps keep the film still and distortion-free, making it easier to view signs of early tooth decay.
Bitewing x-rays usually consist of four films, two on either side of the mouth, necessary to capture all of the teeth (children with smaller jaws, however, often only require one film per side). How frequently they're conducted depends on a number of factors, including the patient's age: children or young adolescents are usually filmed more frequently than adults, usually every six to twelve months. Frequency also depends on a patient's particular decay risk — the higher the risk the more frequent the x-ray.
Regardless of how often they're performed, a similar application principle applies with bitewing x-rays as with any other radiological method: As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). With the ALARA principle in other words, we're looking for that sweet spot where we're able to detect the earliest stages of dental disease with the least amount of radiation exposure.
Bitewings fit this principle well: a patient receives only a fraction of the radiation exposure from a four-film bitewing as they do from a daily dose of environmental radiation. Factor in new digital technology that reduces exposure rates and bitewings pose virtually no health risk to patients, especially if conducted in a prudent manner.
The benefits are well worth it. Thanks to bitewing x-rays we may be able to diagnose decay early and stop it before it causes you or your family member extensive tooth damage.
How dental bonding can help you
As the years go by, it’s easy to damage your teeth. If you use your teeth as tools to open packages, or you bite your nails, you may have small, unevenly chipped edges on your teeth. If you drink coffee or smoke, you may have badly discolored or darkened teeth. Whatever the imperfections are that compromise your smile, it’s time to improve the look you are presenting to the world. Dr. Warren Gase, your dentist in Cincinnati, Ohio wants to help you discover what dental bonding can do for you and your smile.
When you choose dental bonding performed by Dr. Gase, you are choosing a versatile dental treatment that can fix many cosmetic issues with your smile, including:
- Restoring teeth that are unevenly worn due to overuse
- Closing small gaps and spaces between your teeth, caused by genetics
- Masking small cracks and chips in your teeth, caused by trauma
- Cosmetically changing the alignment of overlapped or rotated teeth
- Hiding discolorations from medications, coffee or smoking
- Whitening teeth that are yellowed or stained from aging
Dr. Gase begins your dental bonding treatment with the application of an etching solution. This solution creates small indentations to help retain the bonding material. Next, he will apply a cement to fuse the bonding material to your tooth.
Dental bonding uses a material called composite, a liquid resin which Dr. Gase can mold and sculpt to mask the imperfections. The material is hardened using a special ultraviolet “curing” light. The final step is polishing your dental bonding to a beautiful sheen, just like your natural teeth.
Dr. Gase can color-match the composite perfectly to your existing teeth. All your friends will notice is your perfect smile, not your bonding! Best of all, dental bonding is non-invasive.
Don’t let small imperfections ruin your smile! You deserve to have a smile you are proud to show off. For more information on what dental bonding can do for you and your smile, call Dr. Warren Gase, your dentist in Cincinnati, Ohio. Get started on your perfect smile by calling today!
Via a recent Instagram post, pop diva Ariana Grande became the latest young celebrity to publicly acknowledge a dental milestone: having her wisdom teeth removed. The singer of hits such as “Break Free” and “Problem” posted an after-surgery picture of herself (wearing her signature cat-eye eyeliner), with a caption addressed to her teeth: “Peace out, final three wisdom teeth. It’s been real.”
With the post, Grande joined several other celebs (including Lily Allen, Paris Hilton and Emile Hirsch) who have shared their dental surgery experience with fans. Will "wisdom teeth removal" become a new trending topic on social media? We aren’t sure — but we can explain a bit about the procedure, and why many younger adults may need it.
Technically called the “third molars,” wisdom teeth usually begin to emerge from the gums between the ages of 17 and 25 — presumably, around the same time that a certain amount of wisdom emerges. Most people have four of these big molars, which are located all the way in the back of the mouth, on the left and right sides of the upper and lower jaws.
But when wisdom teeth begin to appear, there’s often a problem: Many people don’t have enough space in their jaws to accommodate them. When these molars lack sufficient space to fully erupt (emerge), they are said to be “impacted.” Impacted teeth can cause a number of serious problems: These may include pain, an increased potential for bacterial infections, periodontal disease, and even the formation of cysts (pockets of infection below the gum line), which can eventually lead to tooth and bone loss.
In most cases, the best treatment for impacted wisdom teeth is extraction (removal) of the problem teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction is a routine, in-office procedure that is usually performed under local anesthesia or “conscious sedation,” a type of anesthesia where the patient remains conscious (able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli), but is free from any pain or distress. Anti-anxiety medications may also be given, especially for those who are apprehensive about dental procedures.
So if you find you need your wisdom teeth extracted, don’t be afraid to “Break Free” like Ariana Grande did; whether you post the results on social media is entirely up to you. If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”