Preventive Dentistry

Preventive Digital Radiographic Scans

Introduction

LQ Dental has a protocol to screen our new patients for any underlying teeth or supporting bone issues as a preventive measure.

This usually involves a Full Mouth (Panoramic) Scan and 2 smaller side teeth scans (also known as Bite Wings).

Our friendly staff or doctors can explain this to you in detail should you have any questions or concerns.

During a routine clinical examination, the dentist is only able to examine surfaces of the teeth and soft tissues that can be seen with the naked eye. Areas in between teeth and supporting bone are not usually visible clinically. By the time any issues can be seen clinically, they often require more invasive treatments.

Most issues, if detected early can be treated preventively or conservatively.

If you have a recently taken set of dental scans (not more than 6-12months), we are happy to use those as an initial viewpoint coupled with a clinical dental examination as a means to determine your dental decay risk. We may still request further scans if certain areas were not detailed in the previous scan.

services - preventive digital radiographic scans

All our Radiographic Dental Scans are digital scans, which emit considerably lower radiation than standard film scans.

Our clinic subscribes to taking radiographs for a reason. Preventive Radiographic Scans are recommended to be taken as part of a complete diagnostic examination.

You may search our FAQs for this procedure by clicking on the FAQ tabs above, especially any concerns with radiation exposure and our selection criteria (based on the most recent American Dental Association guidelines) for prescribing dental radiographs.

Benefits

  1. Early detection of caries (tooth decay)
    • Very often, if detected early, tooth decay can be treated preventively or conservatively.
    • If left untreated or undetected, this can frequently lead to irreversible damage of the pulp of the tooth and may lead to need for Root Canal Treatment or Extractions.
  2. Detection of underlying bone pathology before development of any signs or symptoms
  3. Detection of bone support levels.
  4. Detection of both Left and Right Jaw Joint wear and problems.

Treatment Process

  1. A short consultation by our treatment staff will be presented on the benefits of taking preventive scans and if you currently have any existing scans that at most 6-12months old. Consent will then be sought by you before we proceed with the scans.
  2. If scans are agreeable to be taken by you, then you will be led to the Scan room
  3. A lead apron will be placed and the treating staff will position you for the taking of the scan.
  4. Once the scan (or scans) are completed, you will be led back to the treatment room and the clinical examination can begin.
  5. After the completion of the clinical examination, a detailed diagnostic discussion will be presented and any treatment required will be discussed.

FAQs

  1. I am not comfortable with taking radiographs. How much radiation is involved?
    LQ Dental uses digital radiographic scans which have lower radiation doses than standard film doses. The following link gives the dose of a standard digital Bite Wing scan as approximately 0.1mrem, a standard digital Full Mouth Scan is given as approximately 0.2mrem:
    http://www.dentalbuzz.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/dental-radiation-doses.pdf

    According to the American Nuclear Society, the following activities give a comparative value of each activity with the number of digital scans:

    • 1mrem (10 Digital Bite Wings) – 2 hours in a jet plane
    • 1mrem (10 Digital Bite Wings) – Daily exposure from nature
    • 2mrem/year (20 Digital Bite Wings) – Sleeping next to someone
    • 7mrem/year (70 Digital Bite Wings) – Living in a Brick house
    • 10mrem/year (100 Digital Bite Wings) – Cooking with natural gas
    • 36mrem/year (360 Digital Bite Wings) – Smoking a pack of Cigarettes a day
    • 42mrem (420 Digital Bite Wings) – Breast Mammogram per side
    • 700mrem (7000 Digital Bite Wings) – Abdominal Radiographic Scan
  2. What are the clinic’s selection criteria for New Patient Radiographic Examinations?
    Based on the guidelines from the American Dental Association, New Adult and adolescent patients are recommended to have a Full Mouth Scan, and 2 Side teeth Bite Wing Scans.

    Patients with an increased risk for dental decay may have additional Bite Wings Scans taken at a period of 6-18months, depending on the level of decay risk.

    Patients with low risk of dental decay may require Bite Wing Scans at periods of 24-36 months.

    Children with only primary (baby) teeth will be only recommended for scans if conditions arise for the need to have them taken.

    Children with mixed primary and adult teeth may be recommended for a set of Bite Wing scans and a full mouth panoramic scan if developmental issues are observed with the set of teeth or jaw bones.

  3. I am expecting. Am I able to take any radiographic scans?
    Generally, it is accepted that dental radiographic scans do not adversely affect the developing foetus. However, in light of keeping development stable, we will not take Preventive Radiographic Scans during the period of pregnancy. Once your child has been born, it is strongly recommended to take a set of the Preventive Radiographic Scans.

    If there is a need to examine a certain condition (eg. When there is pain or a significant swelling), a scan may be recommended then.

  4. What are the precautions the clinic takes with regards to radiation safety?
    All patients are given a lead apron to be worn during any exposure to radiographic scanning.

    All our Drs are also licensed to operate and activate the scans.

    As optimum operation is of paramount importance, our radiographic machines are also serviced and maintained regularly.

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