What to Expect - Initial Visit to Sherwood Centre Dental Clinic

At Sherwood Centre Dental Clinic, it is vital for you to be an active participant in your oral care, and we can work together to maintain and improve your oral health. Regular examinations help us keep your mouth healthy and your smile beautiful. These examinations reveal tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other oral health concerns.

During your examination, we look not only at your teeth for cavities, but also do an oral cancer exam. This involves looking at your tongue, throat, soft palate, lips, the floor of your mouth, and your gums for any red or swollen areas, or any changes to your tissue. To help us with our diagnosis, we use digital radiographs and intraoral cameras.

Some cavities are easy to see, but for hard-to-find cavities, we may use X-rays to look for decay between teeth or decay that is developing underneath an existing filling. We can also see bone loss (which is not visible to the eye), root tips, fractures, and so much more. An accurate diagnosis often demands an X-ray. To ensure your safety, we use a thyroid collar to prevent unnecessary radiation to the gland as well as a full protective shield.

Panoramic Radiographs

Panoramic radiographs show the entire mouth area - all teeth on both upper and lower jaws - on a single X-ray. This type of X-ray requires a special panoramic X-ray machine. The tube head that emits the X-rays circles behind the patient’s head, while the film simultaneously circles across the front. That way, the full, broad view of the jaws is captured on one film. Because the machine moves in a set path, the patient has to be positioned very carefully. And, because the beam and the film are both moving, any movement from the patient will blur the image on the screen. That’s why such care is taken to keep the patient’s head absolutely still in exactly the right position.

The machines may have chin and forehead rests, plus bite blocks that patients will be asked to close their teeth around. The very low dose digital X-rays we offer at Sherwood Centre Dental Clinic are safe.

One of the other tools we have available is the intraoral camera, which is a machine with a wand and light attached to it. This wand allows us to see your teeth in colour on the computer and can magnify your teeth up to 40 times their size, so if there is a crack in your tooth, or you have a fractured tooth, we can easily see it. We can also take “pictures” of your teeth with the wand and send or email them along with the digital X-rays to either specialist offices or your insurance company.

Digital Radiography (X-Rays)

Computerized equipment and software capture X-ray images of the mouth and teeth. This is done by exposing a small sensor or plate that feeds the image into the computer. Digital radiography has many advantages over traditional dental X-rays:

  • Uses 80% less radiation than conventional X-rays while producing an image of similar contrast.
  • Enhances image to improve viewing.
  • Images can be stored electronically and emailed to specialist and insurance companies.
  • Time efficient through bypassing chemical processing.
  • Immediate image preview and availability.
  • The minimal amount of radiation emitted from digital X-rays is not significant enough to decline the major benefits of having up-to-date X-rays.
  • With dental X-rays, dentists can see the entire tooth, and make better treatment decisions.
  • Radiographs are used to discern decay and monitor tooth growth and development in children. Periodic X-rays are used to see whether there is space in the mouth to fit the new teeth and whether primary teeth are being lost quickly enough to allow permanent teeth to erupt properly.
  • Reveals problems in a tooth, such as infection of the nerve.
  • Large panoramic radiographs reveal whether any teeth are impacted, such as wisdom teeth.
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