At Oasis Dental Care of Flagstaff, AZ we want to be here to answer any questions you may have.
Q: Do I need to go to the dentist regularly?
There are many people that only go to see their dentist when they have a problem, or emergency. This is “reactive treatment” as opposed to “preventative treatment.” These patients often feel that they are saving money by doing this. However, it usually ends up costing them so much more in terms of money, time, and even pain or discomfort. Often, dental problems do not have symptoms until they reach more advanced stages of the disease process. For example, tooth decay. Tooth decay does not hurt until it has progressed deep into the tooth, and gets close to the nerve. Once that has happened, root canal therapy followed by a post and core buildup and crown are often what is necessary to eliminate the infected tooth structure and re-build the tooth. Your dentist can usually detect a cavity years before it develops any symptoms. It is not uncommon to see a patient with a large cavity who has never felt a thing. Catching cavities and other dental problems early leads to less of a need for treatment, and the associated cost. That is why regular checkups are so important!
Q: If I have dentures, do I still need to see a dentist regularly?
Q: Why do I need X-rays?
- Areas of decay between the teeth
- Abscesses, infections into bone
- Bone loss associated with gum disease (periodontal disease)
- Developmental abnormalities
- Bone and tooth-related tumors
It is important to find and treat dental problems early on. This can save time, money, pain/discomfort, and often leads to an easier and better outcome. There are many benefits to having dental x-rays (radiographs) taken. Any questions or concerns that you may have should be address and discussed with your dentist and/or dental hygienist.
Q: Are X-rays safe?
Comparison of Radiation Doses
|Type of Image||Effective Dose μSv (microsieverts)||Equivalent Background exposure in days in Flagstaff, AZ|
|1 Schick sensor image (PA or BW)||2.0||0.2|
|eating 20 bananas||2.0||0.2|
|daily background radiation in Flagstaff, AZ||9.6||1.0|
|flight from Phoenix, AZ to New York, NY||21.3||2.2|
|KAVO OP3D digital Panoramic x-ray||24.0||2.5|
|Full Mouth Series (Schick sensor)||36.0||3.8|
|*Full Mouth Series (F-speed film of PSP)||171.0||17.9|
|*Full Mouth Series (D-speed film)||388.0||40.6|
|5×5 field of view CBCT on high resolution||63-74||6.6-7.7|
|8×8 field of view CBCT on standard resolution||78.0||8.2|
|8×15 field of view CBCT on standard resolution||95.0||9.9|
|medical chest X-Ray||100.0||10.5|
|flight from Tokyo to Paris||150.0||15.7|
|annual background radiation in Flagstaff, AZ||3490|
*We do not use traditional film or PSP plates in our office.
We are all exposed to natural radiation on a daily basis.
- Radon in average United States home = 2,280 μSv
- Cosmic radiation living at Sea Level = 300 μSv,
Denver = 800 μSv,
Flagstaff = 1,000 μSv
- Terrestrial Radioactivity = 210 μSv
- Estimated Annual Natural Background Radiation in Flagstaff, AZ = 2,280 + 1,000 + 210 = 3,490μSv annually
3,490 / 365 = 9.56μSv daily
For your safety, we adhere to the following radiation safety guidelines:
- We follow the radiation principle of “ALARA”. ALARA stands for: As Low As Reasonably Achievable. This means that we use the least amount of radiation possible when exposing digital images at our office. We also do not recommend unnecessary x-rays.
- Our patients are always shielded with a lead apron that includes a thyroid collar.
- If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to discuss them with Dr. Rodda.
Q: Do I really need to floss?
Ask your dental hygienist or dentist to show you the proper way to floss. You will both notice the difference at your next cleaning appointment.
Q: My gums bleed when I brush. What should I do?
Q: What is gum disease (periodontal disease)?
Gum disease (periodontal disease) is the result of inflammation caused mainly by plaque and bacteria buildup. Other contributing factors to periodontal disease include smoking and smokeless tobacco use, some medications, diabetes, and genetic factors. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, and is easily treated. Left untreated, gingivitis may progress into periodontitis (periodontal disease). Advanced gum disease will lead to bone loss and resultant tooth mobility and eventual loss. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and visiting the dentist every six months will help to prevent these problems. Gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease, can be caught and treated early and effectively.
Here are some common signs of gum disease:
- Red, tender, swollen, and bleeding gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding Gums
- Abscessed teeth, or teeth with pus
- Pain with chewing
Q: What should I do to take care of my teeth?
- It’s very important to brush at least TWICE a day, and floss at least once a day
- Make sure to use a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is proven to be safe and will make teeth more resistant to cavities. If you are a cavity-prone person, make sure to ask your dentist about fluoride rinses, and special high-fluoride toothpaste.
- Candy, soda, and other foods high in simple sugar are known for rapidly growing bacteria in your mouth. It’s best to avoid these foods, but if you won’t, it’s important to drink more water and brush more often to remove the plaque and bacteria from your teeth.
- Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco. E-cigarettes are perceived to be a safer alternative, but the harmful effects on your health are starting to become more commonly known.
- Brush your tongue too! Brushing your tongue will remove food particles as well as plaque and bacteria. This will help to keep your breath fresh as well!
- See your dentist every 6 months for a check-up and professional cleaning.
Q: Will whitening toothpaste work for me?
Q: I have sensitive teeth, what can I do?
Sensitivity toothpastes are a very effective option in treating tooth sensitivity. The teeth are made of many small “tubules” which transmit hot and cold sensations to the nerve. The active ingredient, often potassium nitrate, will block these tubules. People often experience great results after just a few weeks of using these toothpastes. If gentle brushing and the use of a desensitizing toothpaste does not get you relief, talk to your dentist. There are other options such as fluoride varnish, or remineralizing toothpaste such as MI Paste.