What do you say to patients who have concerns about dental x-rays?
When a patient comes in to have a cracked tooth treated, one of the biggest factors in determining the course of treatment is to examine the crack very carefully. After performing diagnostics we might determine that the tooth is cracked all the way through to the root, in which case the tooth must be extracted. A tooth with a cracked root cannot be helped by any dental treatment and that tooth cannot be saved.
That type of crack is extreme, and it happens from the patient experiencing some type of trauma, such as a sports related injury to the jaw. A severe crack can also be caused by the patient excessively grinding their teeth in their sleep. To prevent the night grinding that can cause this type of crack we recommend an orthodontic night guard, which is very useful for many patients long term.
Even clenching teeth aggressively, usually without the patient being aware they are doing it, can cause a tooth to crack under pressure. The human jaw is extremely strong and powerful in that regard.
Less severe cracks occur when a section of tooth cracks off, or when a filling has loosened and part of it has come out with a piece of the tooth. In those cases the course of treatment is to stabilize the tooth, creating a situation where the crack is not going to get bigger and cause further damage that would necessitate tooth removal. This stabilization can be achieved by replacing the filling or placing a crown on the tooth. A crown surrounds the tooth and holds it together very well long term.
Patients should know that if they have a crack in their tooth, they can come to West Park Dental and we will evaluate their case individually and give them treatment options.
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.