Find answers to your questions about cleaning and prevention, cosmetic dentistry, and restorations from Westsyde Dental Center in Kamloops. Call for an appointment!
How safe are dental x-rays?
We are all exposed to natural radiation every day. The amount of radiation you’re exposed to from a full mouth series of x-rays is about the same amount a person receives in a single day from other sources. Dental x-rays involve a low level of radiation and are generally considered safe. Dentists take precautions to limit your exposure to radiation during dental x-rays. These precautions include using digital radiographs to greatly reduce the exposure time of each x-ray and using lead apron shields to protect your body.
How often should I have dental x-rays taken?
It depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist can recommend when x-rays are necessary based on your dental exam, medical and dental history, age, signs and symptoms, and risk for disease. We recommend a full mouth series of dental x-rays for new patients. A full series is usually done every three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at check-up visits and are recommended once or twice each year to look for any new dental problems. Panoramic radiographs are recommended to give an overview of the jaws and are useful when examining wisdom teeth or the developing teeth.
What is involved in tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, molds of your teeth will be made to create custom, clear plastic trays. At your second appointment, you will try on the trays to ensure a proper fit, and adjustments can be made if necessary. You should wear the trays with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks, depending on the amount of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to feel tooth sensitivity while you are whitening your teeth, but it should subside shortly after you stop bleaching. You will receive care instructions for your teeth and the trays, and we encourage you to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy smile.
How are composite fillings placed?
Composite fillings are typically placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove the decay. The area will then be cleaned and prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished in order to restore your tooth to its original shape and function. It is normal to feel sensitivity to heat and cold at first, but this should subside soon after your tooth acclimates to the new filling. You will be instructed in proper care of your fillings after your treatment. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will help extend the life of your new fillings.
What is involved in getting porcelain veneers?
Two appointments are usually needed for a crown procedure. Your first appointment will involve taking several molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown for your tooth that will remain there for about two weeks until your new crown is ready. While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and shape the surface of the tooth to properly fit the crown. Next, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement, and your bite will be checked to make sure you are able to bite properly. At your second appointment, the temporary crown will be removed, your tooth will be cleaned, and the new crown will be carefully placed for accurate spacing and bite. You will receive care instructions after the procedure, and we encourage you to have regular dental check-ups for your new crown.
What is involved in getting an inlay?
Two appointments are usually needed for an inlay procedure. At your first appointment, several highly accurate impressions will be taken, which will be used to create your custom inlay and a temporary restoration. While the tooth is numb, any decay and/or old filling materials will be removed. The area will then be cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an inlay restoration. A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth while your inlay is fabricated. At your second appointment, the new inlay will be cemented into place. A few adjustments may be needed to ensure a proper fit and comfortable bite. You will be given care instruction after your treatment. Good oral hygiene, a proper diet, and regular dental check-ups will help extend the life of your new inlay.
What is involved in getting a crown?
Two appointments are usually needed for a crown procedure. At your first appointment, several highly accurate impressions will be taken and will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown to stay on your tooth for about two weeks until your new crown is ready. While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and shape the surface to properly fit the crown. Next, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked. At your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed for accurate spacing and bite. You will receive care instructions, and we encourage you to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.
What is involved in getting dental implants?
Getting implants requires a number of visits over several months. X-rays and impressions are taken of your jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone, where it will be allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, you may need a second surgery to place the “post” that holds the artificial tooth in place. With some implants the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time. After several weeks of healing, the artificial teeth fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because several fittings may be needed, this step may take one or two months to complete. After a period of healing, the artificial teeth are attached securely to the implant, giving excellent stability and comfort. You will be given care instructions after your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will help your new implant to last.