Dental Tips Blog


Salt and Dental X-rays: What’s the connection?

Posted in Digital X-Rays

There’s a new trend in dental x-rays: salt. Why salt, you ask? It may surprise you, but it can make your routine dental x-rays a little more comfortable, especially if you have a tendency to gag during the short procedure. Basically it comes down to one very important find – some people find it useful to sprinkle a little bit of salt onto their tongue before having dental x-rays taken, because it inhibits the gag reflex. It just takes a pinch, but it may be all that you need to get you through those few shots that your dentist needs to take each year.

Gagging can have a variety of causes, and for some people it can be a difficult problem that prevents them from ever feeling comfortable in the dental chair. Some tricks work, like holding a foot up in the air, breathing deeply through the nose, or smiling. For some people though, severe gagging is just something they live with and it makes dental care a negative experience. No dentist wants this for their patients, and it can make care more difficult to complete at a high quality level.

The next time you’re headed to the dentist, if you’re a gagger, bring a small pouch of salt with you…just in case. Your dentist may not have any on hand or may have not even heard of this trick, but it can be one of the best kept secrets for patients that loathe having impressions, x-rays, or things tickling the inside of their mouth during the visit. Now you have no excuse to skip those x-rays, and your dentist will be able to get a great view to screen for cavities or bone loss!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Omar Damji, Executive Park Dentistry



Green Dentistry

Doing things that are good for our environment and make less of an impact is important to all professions, including dentists. Whether you knew it or not dental offices can “go green” too.

An obvious step that dentists are making, is switching to paperless charting and communications with their patients. Many patients now prefer to have a text confirmation rather than a postcard mailed to them. Thousands of charts that are made electronically no longer require paper waste, and they also free up real estate space that can be used for patient treatment areas.

Reducing disposable items in the office mean there is less waste being sent to landfills. Many products and supplies that are used in dentistry can be completely sterilized or sanitized for re-use. Instead of using disposable items such as water syringes for example, the office may choose to use a stainless steel water syringe that can be autoclaved between patients. Not only does this reduce waste but it helps keep cost down for your dentist by reducing the amount of products that need to be ordered. In turn, this green option also helps keep your cost down, because the operating costs are lower.

Traditional dental x-rays have always used a lead foil within each film. This lead required proper disposal due to the risk of it seeping into the environment. With the use of digital radiography, digital dental x-rays completely eliminate lead foil waste.

There will always be some supplies that require disposal, but by reducing the amount of single-use supplies and utilizing technological advancements in the office, your dentist can reduce his or her impact that the office is making on your environment.

Posted on the behalf of Windy Hill Dental Associates



Understanding The Use of Dental X-rays

Dentists and their teams understand the concern that all patients have in regard to having x-rays taken during their appointments. Whether it’s comfort of the actual x-ray process, or exposure to radiation, your dental professional can help answer your questions and concerns you have about the entire procedure.

Dental x-rays are used to diagnose, screen for, and monitor conditions around individual teeth as well as the head and neck. These conditions include:

  • Bone loss
  • Decay
  • Tooth formation
  • Failing dental restorations
  • Abscesses
  • Cysts
  • Tumors
  • Periodontal disease
  • Impacted teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Fractures
  • Crowded teeth

…And many more

Typically x-rays are taken once per year to screen for early onset of dental decay between the teeth. Patients that have a previous high frequency of decay may need x-rays taken twice per year to catch decay at its earliest signs. This allows your dentist to treat the area while disease is smaller and less invasive. Avoiding x-rays prevents your dentist from being able to diagnose decay between the teeth as well as bone loss. Advanced bone destruction can result in the loss of teeth. Other x-rays are taken to view specific areas such as around the roots of individual teeth (for root canal treatment) or a broad overview of the entire mouth (for orthodontic evaluation or checking on wisdom tooth formation.)

Radiation from dental x-rays is extremely low and is less than received from the sun on a typical day spent at the beach. Digital x-rays use less radiation than traditional films, reducing the overall exposure for patients at each appointment.

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