What do you say to patients who have concerns about dental x-rays?
There are a number of dental myths. A big myth is believing that cavities in a child’s baby teeth are not a problem because the teeth will eventually fall out. I do not like seeing people in pain, and a small child will be in pain if they have cavities that are not treated while waiting for baby teeth to fall out. There could be excessive dental treatment required when both the treatment and the discomfort caused by cavities in the baby teeth could have been avoided.
The truth is that although baby teeth will indeed fall out, while the baby teeth are present they are creating the foundation for that little person’s future oral health. If children do not learn to take care of their teeth when they are younger, there is not much incentive for them to take care of their permanent teeth when they start coming in after the baby teeth fall out. The person is the same, it is just their teeth that change—so people need to learn to care for their teeth at an early age.
When the young child has a cavity it is detrimental to wait for the tooth to fall out instead of properly treating the cavity. Neglecting treatment actually affects the permanent dentition, because baby teeth are holding specific amounts of space for the permanent teeth to come in and fill. When baby teeth must be extracted prematurely because they are decayed, then the natural spacing of the permanent teeth is affected, which can cause crowding of the permanent teeth.
The resulting problems with the permanent teeth may lead to bite problems and the need for orthodontics in later years. These problems could be easily avoided by caring for baby teeth properly and having cavities in baby teeth filled in a timely manner.
Dr. Brian Gallagher
West Park Dental
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Do you find yourself waking at night gasping for breath? Are you exhausted all day long because you just can't get a good night's sleep?
'Apnea' is a Greek word meaning "without breath"; people who have apnea literally stop breathing in their sleep. A cessation of breath lasting for 10 seconds in adults, or 2 and 1/2 breath cycles in a child, is the clinical definition of sleep apnea.
X-rays are used for diagnostic purposes, and to protect the patient from oral health problems that could arise—or are currently present—which would not be discovered without the use of this important diagnostic tool.