DENTAL CLEANINGS & X-RAYS
Professional cleanings (dental prophylaxis) form the foundation for preventing gum disease and tooth decay. The patient will have 2 things done during the cleaning:
• The removal of plaque and tartar from the teeth with a handheld scaler or electronic scaler. The scaler is usually not used under the age of 6.
• Polish and remove stains from teeth
Radiographs (X-Rays) are a vital and necessary part of your child’s dental diagnostic process. Without them, certain dental conditions can and will be missed. Radiographs allow dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child and more affordable for you.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends radiographs and examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay. Approximately every 3 years, it is a good idea to obtain a complete set of radiographs, either a panoramic and bitewings or periapicals and bitewings.
With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. The risk is negligible. In fact, the dental radiographs represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem. Lead body aprons and shields will protect your child. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary x-rays and restricts the x-ray beam to the area of interest. High-speed film and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure.
Dental sealants are ideal for application to children's teeth, particularly molars, soon after they have erupted and before they have a chance to decay. A child's first set of molars come in when he or she is around 6 years old and the second set appear around 12 years old.
The process is quick and easy and will be done right after a cleaning is completed. A special gel is placed on the chewing surface for a few seconds followed by the sealant itself. While talking your child, you won't be able to see the sealant.
While sealants can last as long as 5 to 10 years, they should be checked during regular dental appointments and can be reapplied if necessary.