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The amount of radiation used to take two bitewing x-rays is equivalent to roughly two days of environmental radiation. Radiation in the environment can be emitted from the sun, automated doors, cell phones, microwaves, tv’s, and even certain foods. In this context, the amount of radiation used is very safe.
Fillings with mercury are called amalgam fillings. Our office only rarely uses amalgam fillings when restoring teeth. Every material used in dentistry has advantages and disadvantages, and only in situations where the advantages of an amalgam filling far outweighs the disadvantages of using a tooth-colored filling do we use amalgam. This may include, but is not limited to, a very large filling or one which may be very difficult to keep dry during treatment. We will also use amalgam if it is a family preference.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child be seen by a dentist no later than 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth. The main purpose of the appointment is to provide the family with useful information to help prevent problems before they occur. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The early visits also help the child become more comfortable with the dentist by age 3 or 4 then starting fresh at that age.
Usually, the best indicator of a child’s anxiety before seeing the dentist is the parents anxiety. Kids are smart, and if they feel mom or dad has reason to worry, then they do too! There are many good books about going to see the dentist, and most do a very good job at preparing kids. Dora has a book out which has been very popular lately.
Fluoride is a mineral which is used to re-build a tooth’s surface. Over time, acids in the mouth damage the tooth’s surface by creating microscopic pits. Fluoride acts by filling in those pits, and it even makes the tooth more resistant to re-pitting when exposed to acids in the future.
Yes. Fluoride is a medicine and should be treated as such. Our practice uses an appropriate amount of fluoride whether or not your child is drinking fluoridated water or using fluoridated toothpaste. When used appropriately, fluoride had been scientifically proven to be a safe and effective tool in reducing decay.
A pediatric dentist has completed 4 years of dental school and then chosen to specialize in treating children and handicapped adults. This specialization requires completing a residency accredited by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and it lasts anywhere from 2 to 3 years.
Nitrous oxide is an “anxiolytic” gas which is combined with pure oxygen to help someone relax. It isn’t nearly strong enough to make you go to sleep. It is a very safe, non-addictive and effective tool when used properly, and it doesn’t linger following treatment.