Dental imaging is a foundation of oral health diagnostics. Intra-oral cameras play a key role in office imaging, with many dentists using intra-oral cameras to detect the tiniest grooves, pits, cracks, and carries. Using a chairside unit and hand-held photographic wand, dentists can acquire images of the teeth from angles not previously available. These images can be used in treatment planning and also stored digitally for quick reference and easy transfer between care providers.
Did you know…
intra-oral cameras are capable of magnifying the teeth by 25 times or more? Images are displayed on an in-office screen, making it possible for patients to finally see the same views their dentists are seeing. For some patients, intra-oral camera images are the first time they have seen the inside of their mouths. Many patients enjoy becoming a part of the examination and treatment process, and they can better understand treatment recommendations and the importance of good oral care in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can a visit to a dentist with an intra-oral camera benefit me?
By choosing a dentist with an intra-oral camera, you could be increasing the chances that you will find decay early enough to pursue conservative treatment options. Furthermore, you are more likely to leave your dental appointments feeling informed and aware of your oral health and how it is impacted by your daily habits.
What should I expect from intra-oral images?
Intra-oral images are painless and take only seconds to capture. Your dentist can take photos of an entire mandibular or maxillofacial arch in just two minutes or less.
Will I need more photos in the future?
If the early signs of decay are found on your intra-oral images, your dentist may obtain additional photos at subsequent visits for comparison. Monitoring the progression of decay can help determine whether treatment is necessary.
The healing time following a dental implant procedure varies from person to person. Your personal healing time will depend on a number of factors, including your age and the quality and density of your jawbone. On average, however, the healing period is approximately three to four months. You may need to limit your diet to soft foods in the days following your dental surgery. Doing so allows the surgical site to heal more rapidly, potentially reducing the time you must wait before receiving your prosthetic teeth.
Most people will experience some degree of swelling and discomfort in the days immediately following dental implant placement. This is a normal part of the healing process that will eventually subside. However, your dentist may prescribe medication to help manage pain, reduce inflammation, and prevent infection.
Oral hygiene will still be an important part of your post-op care. Even if you have no natural teeth, it is important to keep your implants and gums as clean as possible to help prevent periodontal disease and infection. Continue to care for your gums and implants even after receiving your new prosthetic teeth. This will require daily brushing and flossing, as well as periodic dental exams.
Did you know…
The longevity of your dental implants depends on your ability to care for your own oral health. While it is true that implants and prosthetic teeth are not capable of decay, they can be indirectly affected by poor oral hygiene. Periodontitis, for example, can cause gum recession and bone loss, which may cause an implant to loosen or fall out. However, a dental implant that is properly cared for can last a lifetime.
When to Contact Our Office
Most people experience a complication-free recovery period. However, we encourage you to contact our office if you have questions or feel that your surgical site is not healing properly. Fever or pain that worsens over time may be signs of infection and require our attention.
If you have made the decision to get dental implants, you can trust that you will receive the best of care with our [city] dental practice. We have the skill and experience to help you achieve optimal results from your new teeth.
Did you know…
The dental implant process has come a long way since it was first introduced? In fact, dental implants have been used in some capacity since at least 600 A.D., when the Mayans used stone and seashell fragments as artificial tooth roots. Fast forward 1,400 years, and modern dentistry has developed dental implants that are extraordinarily strong and successful in most patients.
Getting Dental Implants
The first step of the dental implant process is the consultation. This important visit sets the foundation for a successful treatment. During the consultation, you will meet with your dental surgeon to discuss treatment goals and your eligibility for dental implants as a patient. This is also the time when you will discuss any questions you may have and reasonable expectations of treatment.
You will arrive on the day of your dental surgery having followed all pre-operative instructions, such as avoiding food and drink in the hours prior to your procedure. You will be placed under sedation, during which time titanium dental implants will be placed beneath your gum line and into the underlying bone. Finally, the gums will be sutured shut, with only a small part of the implant post visible above the surface. You will be sent home to allow time for new implants to integrate with the surrounding bone. You may be fitted for temporary teeth during this recovery period, which may last several months.
During the final stage, your dentist will ask you to return so that you can be fitted for and receive a permanent prosthetic. Depending on the number of teeth you are replacing and your personal preferences, this may be a fixed crown, bridge or a removable denture. The teeth will be custom made to fit the proportions of your face and match any surrounding teeth you may have. The result is a beautiful, natural-looking and functional smile you will be proud to show off.
The days and weeks following an oral surgery are an integral part of the recovery process. It is important to follow all of the surgeon’s instructions for care to promote healing and reduce the risk of post-surgical difficulties. Most patients experience a complication-free recovery and can return to work or school within one to two days following surgery.
Did you know…
that discomfort following oral surgery is usually minimal? Though you may be given a prescription-strength pain reliever for the first day or two after surgery, most patients find that an over-the-counter ibuprofen is enough to relieve post-operative discomfort after the initial recovery period. Pain typically becomes less and less by the day, completely subsiding within one to two weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should I care for the surgical site on the day of my oral surgery?
A responsible driver will need to accompany you to your surgical appointment and drive you home after surgery. It is normal for the surgical site to bleed and swell during the first few hours after surgery. You may be instructed to bite down on gauze packs, changing them as needed. Get plenty of rest, do not drive, and be careful not to disturb the surgical area on the day of surgery. Follow your surgeon’s instructions for pain relief, and apply an ice pack to the cheek to reduce swelling. If possible, limit your foods to liquids and soft foods that require minimal chewing.
What should I expect on days two and three?
You can begin gently brushing your teeth on the day after surgery so long as you avoid the surgical area. You may gradually begin to incorporate solid foods into your diet, rinsing food from the mouth with an irrigating syringe after eating as instructed by your surgeon. Apply hot and cold compresses to the cheeks intermittently to reduce swelling, and continue to take pain medication only as needed.
Is there anything else I should know about the post-operative period?
After your oral surgery, we ask that you do not smoke for at least 48 hours. Doing so could cause clots to dislodge, resulting in a painful condition known as ‘dry socket’. You should also avoid using a straw. Please do not hesitate to contact our office with any questions or concerns you may have about your personal healing process.
Brushing your teeth is probably a standard part of your daily routine, but chances are you aren’t following the American Dental Association’s guidelines for cleaning your teeth properly. The ADA currently recommends that you brush your teeth at minimum of two times each day – preferably morning and night or anytime you eat foods that contain sugar. When you brush, your toothbrush should be tilted at a 45 degree angle to your gum line. As you brush, be sure to remove debris from every surface of the teeth – including the backs of the teeth, near the gum line, and on chewing surfaces. It is also important to brush your tongue, as bacteria can accumulate there and cause malodorous breath.
Did you know…
that the type of toothbrush you use makes a difference in your oral health? The ADA recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a head that is ergonomically proportioned to the inside of your mouth. Many patients erroneously believe that medium or hard-bristle toothbrushes are more efficient; but these brushes can actually cause abrasions to the teeth and gums, making them more vulnerable to decay. The ADA also recommends replacing your toothbrush about four times yearly or whenever the bristles become frayed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I change my brushing habits?
You may need to change your brushing habits if you are experiencing signs of poor oral hygiene. Examples of common symptoms include bleeding or reddened gums, excessive plaque build-up, decaying teeth and receding gum lines. To find out if you are brushing correctly or if you need to change your brushing habits, make an appointment with your dentist for a full consultation.
What should I expect if I begin brushing my teeth correct?
The benefits of proper tooth brushing techniques may not be experienced immediately, but they are noticeable long-term. Over time, brushing too hard or not brushing enough can produce oral health complications that cannot be reversed and require special treatment. By adopting proper brushing habits, you could avoid expensive dental bills in the future.
Is there anything else I need to do in addition to brushing properly?
Yes. It is important that you also floss daily and use toothpaste that contains fluoride each day. You should also schedule dental exams and professional cleanings in at least twice per year.