Frequently Asked Questions| crowns|implants|clear braces|after procedure instructions|healthy mouth

dr vaughan and dr williams
Complete Health Dentistry
(616) 891-8931
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

First Visit:

To make an appointment call 1 616 891-8931 or

e mail
appointments@gvdentistry.com


What can I expect at my first appointment?

At Glen Valley Dentistry you are our focus. We would like to get to know you and understand what your dental concerns, needs or questions may be. When you are introduced to our office for the first time, here is what you can expect from us:

goldFor your convenience we offer the forms you will need online at this link.
       
 



goldYou can email those ahead or complete and print them to bring with you to your appointment.

goldOur hygienist will guide you through a tour of our office and have a chance to talk with you one on one to answer any questions you may have.

goldInformation will be gathered including any xrays you already have or need to have.

goldA personalized photo arrangement will be made of your teeth.

goldYou will meet the dentist and spend time going over any concerns you may have, discuss you medical and dental histories so we can offer you individualized care.



goldAn exam will be taken of your mouth this includes gathering important information about your gums, teeth and overall health.

goldAfter a thorough assessment of your mouth, the dentist will create a personalized plan to bring your mouth to its healthiest state possible.

goldYou will receive a folder with the information discussed that day, as well as, information about the things offered to our patients.

goldAn appointment will be made to clean your teeth or you may be scheduled to have your teeth cleaned that same day.

At what age should I bring my children in?

purpleTheir First Appointment - We recommend their first appointment to be around their first birthday. This first visit is called a "happy visit" and there is no fee. We take this opportunity to look in the child's mouth and also share helpful information and tips on keeping your child's mouth healthy right from the start. This is also a great opportunity to ask us any questions that you have.

A Dental Tip - to avoid early oral developmental problems and decay, it is always good to ween from bottle and/or pacifier at or near one year of age. It is also important, for the months when they are using a bottle, to never allow them to fall asleep with a bottle or sippee cup in their mouth in bed. This is the leading cause of early decay in young children.

purpleAge 2-4 - we recommend to see your child once a year until they turn 4, at which time, we begin the regular six month interval. If certain conditions are identified in the early visits we may recommend they be seen every six months.

purpleAge 4-18 - For your convenience we offer the forms you will need online at the link above labeled "Patient Forms". You can email those ahead to appointments@gvdentistry.com or bring those with you, completed, for your child's appointment.
If your child is a new patient between these ages, they will see the dental hygienist and the dentist for their initial visit and typically will have their teeth cleaned at this appointment.

For the convenience of families - Glen Valley appreciates how busy families can be, so we provide 3 hygienist Monday - Thursday to schedule your children at the same time. We also schedule before and after school appointments.

If your child is between the ages of 1-3: To help us better understand your child, in addition to the "Patient Forms" to fill out online with your information, we would like for you to fill out a supplemental questionnaire. Along with their patient form, you can email the questionnaire to us or bring it for their appointment.

Click on this link to access:

        


Are you accepting new patients?
Absolutely! We do accept new patients and look forward to welcoming you as part of our dental family.

Do you accept referrals?
Yes. Your referral is the highest compliment that you can give our practice. We welcome your referrals and will strive to exceed the expectations of your friends and family.

What if I'm afraid of the dentist?
Glen Valley understands that patients have fears about coming to the dentist and accommodates patients with all available technology and techniques to reduce dental fears.

single tooth anestheticgoldWe use Single Tooth Anesthetic Technology to numb only the tooth that is being worked on, this eliminates the use of a needle and also numbs only the area being worked on, so no more "fat lip" or numb tongue. This can be used in many situations and is ideal for children, ask at your appointment if the STA is right for your appointment.

goldWe also offer complimentary Nitrous (happy gas) for appointments on request. This is a way to relax you before and during your dental work.

goldWe also provide, paraffin wax for your hands, warm blankets, personalized music selection and/or anything you need to bring to your appointment to make it the best experience possible.

What do I do if I have an emergency when the office is closed?
Dr. Vaughan or Dr. Williams will be on call when the office is closed. If you are a patient of record you should call the main office and there will be directions to contact them.


Improve My Smile

What are my whitening options?
At Glen Valley Dentistry we offer the following 3 options for whitening (bleaching) the teeth:


Ivery - This is the most effective option to whiten teeth. The procedure is offered at Glen Valley and is completed in one appointment. This is also the most convenient whitening option, since patients can whiten all at once rather than traditional at– home custom trays or whitening strips that can take up to 2 weeks. This is particularly beneficial to those who  use staining products daily, such as, coffee, cigarettes or dark pop, since when whitening, for best result, no staining agents should be used or consumed at least 72 hours following the whitening process.
The appointment itself is about one hour and consists of prepping the teeth for the whitening and having the whitening light over the teeth for (2-3) fifteen minute cycles. Results vary, but typically teeth will whiten 5-9 shades.

Custom Trays for use at home -  Custom trays are an effective way of whitening the teeth. Custom trays are a superior choice of whitening compared to the white strips that are purchased in the store. The custom trays cover all the teeth and form to the patients exact tooth shape. This allows for more uniform whitening. The bleach for the custom trays is a stronger formulation than what is used in store white strips; therefore, the process is faster and more effective to reach the desired shade. The custom trays that are made are used at home for a maximum of one hour a day and for best results should be worn consecutively over a one to two week period. No staining products should be consumed or used during the entire bleaching process, including at least 72 hours following the last day of whitening. If you would like to have custom trays, Glen Valley will schedule a 10– minute appointment to take impressions of your teeth which allow us to design the trays.  Another appointment will then be scheduled to deliver the trays and bleach tubes and to offer instructions on the use and care of the bleaching trays

Sheer White Strips-
This thin, flexible, modable material closely adapts to every tooth surface holding the whitening gel where it belongs - against the tooth surface. No leaking or washing out of gel and no slipping or sliding of the strip. This strip should be worn for 1-2 hours for only 5 days ! You can wear the strips overnight, unless you grind your teeth during the night. These strips are a great option for teenagers and those curious about trying whitening. The same as with all whitening options, no staining products should be used or consumed during whitening and 72 hours following the completion of the last strip.


What is "Cerec" and what does it do to change my gold or part metal crowns?
Cerec technology is state of the art crown and restoration fabrication. At Glen Valley Dentistry we can replace large part metal or gold crowns with all porcelain (match tooth shade) crowns. This makes the tooth look more natural and is a high quality restoration.
This technology is also used for new crown placement.

Can I replace my silver fillings to a  tooth colored filling?
Yes we can replace the darker silver fillings (amalgams). Glen Valley Dentistry uses tooth colored composite material, as well as, we have the technology to design ceramic inlays and onlays, made in-office, in one appointment (see image below)


How can I get my teeth straightened without wires and brackets?
logo invisalignInvisalign is a technique that is used to straighten teeth without the need for wires or brackets. Patients wear aligners for a series of months to move the teeth to the desired position. The aligners are virtually invisible, comfortable to wear and are worn continuously except while eating.

How do I know if I am a good candidate for invisalign?

We offer a free 30 minute consultation. At this appointment your occlusion (how your teeth bite together) will be evaluated. We will show you a short invisalign video explaining the process of how invisalign works and go over the cost. At this time we will be able to answer any other questions or concerns you may have about invisalign. Call 891-8931 to schedule or e mail appointments@gvdentistry.com   If you are a patient of record we can take the impressions for the study models at your cleaning appointment.


What happens next after it is determined I am a good candidate and want to do invisalign?
A second appointment will be scheduled which will be your "records" appointment. At this appointment photos will be taken as well as any necessary xrays ( no new xrays will be required if your regular xrays are current). A precise impression will be taken and bite record. These will then be sent to the invisalign lab and they will use state of the art technology to design your case from start to desired finish. A fee will be collected at this appointment to cover the records and the lab fee. Another appointment will be scheduled. At this third appointment you will get to see the process from start to finish of how invisalign will work . This is called the "ClinChec". At this appointment after you view the treatment, you or the dentists will have the opportunity to request changes regarding the desired result. If there are no changes the "Clinchec" will be accepted and the final amount will be due. It takes about 1-2 weeks to receive the aligners. Once your aligners are in, the next appointment will be set up to fit your first aligner. You will then return for a one week check. After that appointment you will be scheduled every 6 weeks for the duration of treatment.

Will the treatment be painful?
Most people experience tooth soreness for a few days after starting each new aligner. This is normal. It is a sign that the Invisalign aligners are working moving your teeth to their final destination. This soreness should gradually go away a couple days after inserting the new aligner in the series. If it doesn't promptly call the office.

Are there restrictions on what I can eat?
In general, no . Unlike traditional orthodontics, you can usually eat and drink whatever you desire because you remove your aligners. Thus, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks, unless instructed otherwise by the dentist.

Why do some of my aligners have bumps in them?
Some of the movements require "attachments" to help the aligner grip the teeth. These bumps, or wells, are where the aligner grips the attachment the doctor places on your teeth.

Will smoking or chewing tobacco stain the aligners?
We discourage tobacco use while wearing aligners because of the possibility of aligner discoloration.

alignerWill wearing aligners affect my speech?
Like all orthodontic treatments, aligners may temporarily affect your speech, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp or minor speech impediment caused by the aligners should disappear.

What if I lose or break an invisalign aligner?
You should immediately contact our office. 616-891-8931.

HOMECARE:



What is plaque?
Simply put, plaque is bacteria. It's yellowish-white and sticky. It is the main contributor to periodontal disease (gingivitis, deep pockets and bone loss) , cavities and bad breath. It also begins forming again on the teeth minutes after you brush. Plaque removal is a constant task, accomplished by brushing and flossing.

Is it normal for my gums to bleed after I brush?
If your hands bled after you washed them would you be concerned? There is nothing normal about gums bleeding. If your gums bleed this is a sign that there is underlying problems that need attention. It may be, you are not brushing or flossing with the right technique or frequency to remove all of the bacteria. (See below for written explanation) This can also be a sign of more extensive problems such as periodontal disease, which would require a more extensive type of cleaning. Either way, your dental professional will be able to assist you. Also, beginning a more detailed home care is a great place to start.

How do I brush my teeth?
That is a great question, not asked enough since most people think they "already know how to brush their teeth." In reality there are better techniques to brushing. We recommend:
*Use a soft toothbrush and brush at least in the morning and before bed. It is also a very good idea to brush after eating, especially after candy or pop consumption.
*Use a circular motion making sure to brush up by the gum tissue. You may have to angle your brush vertically to clean inside of the front teeth.
*Brush in a pattern: we recommend beginning inside of all the teeth (since this is the area most often missed), next, outsides of all the teeth and then the top (biting surface). Don't forget to brush your tongue it collects bacteria too and is many times the cause of bad breath. Bacteria left on the tongue or teeth smells just like your food does when it's been sitting around too long!

What type of toothbrush should I use?
Our office recommends soft bristled toothbrushes only. Soft toothbrushes are gentler on your gum tissue and clean just as thoroughly as firmer bristled brushes. Soft bristled brushes also can be slipped slightly under the gumline to remove plaque. Manual toothbrushes work well to remove plaque if used with circular motions.  If dexterity is an issue, if you press too hard when you brush, or if you just don't seem to be seeing any improvement in your gum tissue, an electric toothbrush may be just the tool you need. Electric toothbrushes have heads that vibrate or move up and down, so you simply hold the brush against the tooth and the motion of the brush head removes the plaque for you. Just a note, it is still critical that the electric toothbrush is placed on every tooth surface in the mouth so complete plaque removal is accomplished!

What electric toothbrush do you recommend?
We recommend and have available for purchase the oral b professional series with smart guide, the oral b vitality and the Sonicare Flexcare. Electric toothbrushes are a wonderful tool for those who are aggressive brushers and have recession or sensitivity, patients with arthritis or anyone who enjoys the way their teeth feel after a professional polishing.
Glen Valley also recommend, and have available for purchase, ortho brush attachments for patients with braces.

What difference does flossing make?
Have you ever heard the saying, "You only need to floss the teeth you want to keep"? Well it's a cute saying and very true. One of the best preventative tools to tooth loss, due to periodontal disease, is flossing! Do you wonder why the dental team asks you that, seemingly every time they see you? Here's why - because we see people losing teeth to periodontal disease - and they don't floss! We care and our desire is to let you know flossing is a great prevention to keep that from happening to you. We will help you in any way we can (aside from following you home and flossing for you.) We have floss aids to offer, techniques to show you and free floss samples!! That's how much we want you to keep those teeth. Technique is important in flossing, just like brushing and to get the most benefit forfloss instruction your effort notice the visual example of how to floss properly. The goal is plaque removal, so just popping the floss between the contact isn't giving you the best benefit of plaque removal. Make sure you slide the floss on each side of the teeth you are going in between and all the way down until you feel resistance (the bottom of the gum attachment to the tooth). Wrapping the floss around the individual tooth will help you accomplish getting to the bottom. By the way, a normal attachment is about 1-3mm below the visible top of the gum tissue.
                                                                    
POST-DENTAL PROCEDURE INSTRUCTION:

What can I expect after a.......

Composite (white filling)?
-Your tooth/teeth filled may be sore for a few days. Take Tylenol or Motrin for pain. It is also normal to experience cold sensitivity for up to six weeks, if this pain/sensitivity does not subside and just gets worse over time call the office for a re-evaluation of the tooth/teeth.

Crown is done?- (Cerec, porcelain fused to metal, gold or a crown prep)
Your tooth/tissue may be sore for a few days, take Tylenol or Motrin for pain. We also recommend that you do not use the tooth that was crowned to chew for at least 24 hours to let the cement set completely.

Crown is re cemented? -Tissue around crown may be a little sore for a few day, take Tylenol or Motrin for pain. Don't chew with the crown for at least 24 hours to allow the cement to set completely.

Dentures and/or partial dentures are placed? -These appliances are just like a new pair of shoes- they will not fit perfectly in the beginning. You can expect sore spots and sometimes blisters on your tissue at first. Don't hesitate to call the office if this occurs, you will need to come in for a few minor adjustments to the appliance(s).

Extraction? - When you have had a tooth extracted (removed), you need to take special care of your mouth. Refrain from certain activities on the first day and this may help you feel better and heal faster. Follow these instructions to help with the healing process:
For at least the next 48 hours-Do not drink through a straw (may dislodge the blood clot). Do not drink HOT liquids ( may increase swelling). Do not drink alcoholic beverages (this will thin the blood and slow the healing. Do not smoke (smoking will break down the blood clot, causing a painful tooth socket)
To control bleeding - bite firmly on the gauze placed by your dental assistant (two pieces of gauze are in there) The pressure helps to form a blood clot in the tooth socket. Bite on the gauze until the bleeding stops (about 30-45 minutes). Slight oozing of blood in the first 24-48 hours is normal.
To minimize pain--
To lessen any pain, if medication is prescribed use as directed, if not, take Motrin (ibuprofen) as needed. Do not use any pain reliever containing aspirin, as this will thin your blood, taking longer for the blood clot to form in the socket. Liquid and soft foods are recommended for the first day or two.
To reduce swelling- To reduce swelling, put an ice pack on your cheek near the extraction site. You can make an ice pack by putting ice in a plastic bag and wrapping it in a thin towel.
with.

Call the office if- (616) 891-8931- Pain becomes more severe the day after your extraction. Bleeding becomes hard to control. Swelling around the extraction site worsens. Itching or rashes occur after you take a medication prescribed by our office, which are sign of an allergic reaction.

Implant placement?

The placement of a dental implant can be very simple or may be complicated depending on the circumstances of your case.  Post-operative care is very important. Unnecessary pain and the complications of infection and swelling can be minimized if the instructions are followed carefully.  There may be a metal healing collar protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue at the implant site.  It should be cleaned just like a tooth.  You must be careful not to chew on the implant during the entire healing phase until the tooth is placed on the implant.

Immediately following Surgery:

  • Bite on the gauze pad placed over the surgical site for an hour.  After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded and replaced by another gauze pad.  Refer to the section on BLEEDING for specific details.
  • Avoid vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area following surgery.  This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • Take pain medication as soon as possible, so it is digested before the local anesthetic has worn off.  Having something of substance in the stomach to coat the stomach will help minimize nausea from the pain medications.  Refer to the section on  PAIN for specific details.
  • Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.  If you are active, your heart will be beating harder and you can expect excessive bleeding and throbbing from the wound.
  • NO SMOKING UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!

Bleeding

  • Generally there is much less bleeding with implants than tooth extractions because the implant fills the hole created in the bone.  There is no open extraction site where a clot must form.
  • Biting on the gauze is still important for 6-10hours after surgery.  The pressure keeps the adjacent gum pushed tightly against the bone and that minimizes bleeding under the gum around the implants. Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours.
  • Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the wound for 60 minutes.  Repeat as needed every hour for 6-8hours.
  • If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. Tannic acid in the tea bag helps form a blood clot by constricting blood vessels.
  • To minimize further bleeding, sit upright, do not be excited, and maintain constant pressure on the gauze (no talking or chewing) and minimized physical exercise.
  • If bleeding persists please call our office for further instructions.

Temperature

  • It is normal to run a low grade temperature (99-100F) for 7-10days following oral surgery.  This reflects your immune system response to the normal bacteria that are present in your mouth.  A high temperature (>101F) might exist for a 6-8 hours after surgery but no more than that.
  • A temperature>101F several days after surgery, especially if accompanied by rock hard swelling and increased pain, is usually indicative of infection.  You should call the office for instructions if this should occur.

Pain

  • Pain or discomfort following surgery may last up to 4-5 days.  Most patients say, they rely mainly on Tylenol or Ibuprofen by the second day.
  • If prescription pain medication is required beyond 4 days, further treatment may be indicated. Please call the office and discuss your situation with us.
  • For moderate pain, one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every three to four hours or Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) two-three 200mg tablets may be taken every 3-4 hours.
  • For severe pain please contact our office for further instructions

Antibiotics

  • If you are prescribed antibiotic be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed until they are completely gone, regardless of how good you may feel (to help prevent infection).

Diet

  • Chew where your natural teeth are and not on the dental implant throughout the whole healing phase.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid hot liquids or food while you are numb so you do not burn yourself.
  • Soft food and liquids can be eaten on the day of surgery.

Oral Hygiene

  • Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing.
  • Brushing your teeth and the healing collars is no problem. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas but do not avoid them.
  • In some cases you will be instructed to use the Peridex Oral Rinse before bed.  The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed.  Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out.

Smoking

  • Smoking retards healing dramatically.  Nicotine constricts blood vessels which slows the healing of surgery sites and affects the long term health of the gum and bone.
  • Smoking and dental implants do not mix.  There is a documented increased failure rate of implants in patients who smoke.  Therefore, the implant companies will not honor any of the replacement warranties on implants in patients who smoke.
  • If you choose to smoke, you do so at the risk of losing your dental implants due to poor healing and increased gum disease in smokers

Wearing your Prosthesis

  • Partial dentures, flippers, or full denture should not be used immediately after surgery. Biting directly on the gauze will stop bleeding faster and prevent bleeding under the gums around the implant.
  • Dr. Vaughan/Dr. Williams will give you specific instructions at the time of surgery as to when you may wear your denture or flipper

Laser gum therapy? - You may experience some tenderness around the tissue that was lased. If this does occur Tylenol or Motrin may be taken and/or rinse with a warm salt water rinse. The tissue around the teeth may sometimes look/turn a gray color, but it should be back to a pale pink color in 2-3 days. Avoid flossing in those areas for 48 hours to allow healing to occur

Occlusal guard?- At first, this appliance may feel as though it fits too tight around your teeth, over time it will become more comfortable. If you run the occlusal guard under warm water before placement it will fit on more comfortably. To care for your new appliance, clean it with toothbrush/toothpaste in the morning and store it in the provided case during the day. Periodically (every 1-2 months) you may want to soak the appliance in denture cleaner for no more than 20 minutes, this will give it a more thorough cleaning.

Periodontal chip is placed? - Avoid flossing around the area where the chip was placed for the first few days. Brush as normal, but be careful to brush lightly in the area the chip was placed for the first few days.

Root canal therapy?- You can expect some soreness in the jaw area for a few days, take Tylenol or Motrin for pain. The soreness is due to the dentist removing the bacteria from the root of the tooth. If pain gets worse over time, call the office.


Scaling and Root Planing (Quad Scale) ? - Following an intensive scaling an root planing appointment you could experience some tenderness of the gum tissue. If this is the case we recommend taking Tylenol or Motrin. Rinsing with warm salt water, will also have a soothing affect on the tissue. It is imperative that diligent home care, as prescribed by the dentist or hygienist is followed.

Sealants are placed? - The sealant has already been cured (hardened) with the light, so you are able to eat and drink immediately. Sealants are checked at every recare appointment.

Ivery Whitening procedure? -Thank you for choosing the Ivery system to whiten your teeth. The next 48 hours are critical to keeping your new smile bright! Here is some information on what you can do to make sure your smile stays bright.

  • Because we’ve whitened your teeth, they are essentially “dehydrated”. Therefore, any dark food or beverage may be absorbed into the tooth and could darken it. For the next 48 hours, it is important to avoid the following:
    • Coffee, tea, dark soda or juices
    • Soy sauce, ketchup, mustard
    • Red wine
    • Dark berries
    • All forms of tobacco
  • You may have noticed some sensitivity during or following the whitening procedure. Sensitivity is common when whitening. The sensitivity can be managed with the Relief fluoride gel and an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory (Advil, naproxen, etc…). The fluoride gel can be placed into whitening trays and worn for 10 minutes, two times per day. The sensitivity usually subsides in a day or two.
  • To keep your smile white, you can have custom whitening trays made for you at an additional cost to use at home. These may be used up to 3 times per year, for one week at a time. When it is time to touch up your smile, place a small dot of whitening solution into each tooth well on the tray. Place in your mouth and bite down to seat the tray. Wear the tray for one hour, once per day, for one week. *Please note: trays may be worn 3 days after your inoffice whitening, if you are not satisfied with your shade or if you are having cosmetic work done on your front teeth in the near future*. It is not recommended, however, to wear your trays for more than 1-2 weeks at a time.
  • To keep whitening trays clean, rinse with cool water and gently brush with a clean toothbrush, Allow trays to air-dry, then store in the provided case. Do not use warm or hot water, as this can melt the tray. *You have been sent home with stone models of your teeth. Please keep in a safe place, as they are breakable. If your whitening tray is lost or is in poor condition, we may be able to re-make trays from these existing models, as long as your teeth have not shifted*.

  • It’s important to continue to come in for regular cleanings so that we may remove any plaque, tartar, or surface stain that may be dulling your smile
  • How to Use Bleach Trays: Place small drops of whitening solution into each of your trays. Place the trays into your mouth and bite down a few times to set the tray. Then take a tissue and wipe any excess whitening solution away. The trays are can be worn for one hour.
  • Nite White is the solution we dispense at our office:  This is a 22% carbamide peroxide solution. Nite White is worn for 1 hour, once per day, for 7-14 days.

  • Whitening solution should be kept in the refrigerator to prolong its effectiveness. Each tube has a shelf life of one year. 

  • After whitening, rinse bleach trays with cool water and clean with a toothbrush.
RECARE APPOINTMENT

What is a healthy mouth?

Glen Valley Dentistry has taken on a high level of responsibility to our patients.


The majority of the population does not know the definition of what a truly healthy mouth is, so our office established this baseline for health. (below)
At your recare appointment, the hygienist will go over these areas together with you and if any of these conditions apply to your mouth, we will work together to develop a plan to help you achieve a truly healthy mouth.

healthy mouth baseline


I'm not sure about getting x rays every year. Do they expose me to a lot of radiation? Are they really necessary every year?

There is very little radiation exposure in a dental x ray. However, we are aware of the concern and are committed to keeping that exposure to the absolute minimum. This is why we use digital radiography, this decreases the amount of radiation by 80-90%. We also take cavity detecting bite wings once a year as a rule. We feel this is the minimum amount of time to make sure new decay will be detected in a timely fashion. Some patients may require x rays more or less often, but this recommendation is made by the dental professional, who considers what is in the best interest of the patient's oral health.

Comparing what that amount means:

The dose of radiation is measured in millirems or "mrem".
According to the American Nuclear Society, this is how much radiation you can expect from common activities:
620 mrem/year = the average level of radiation per person in the US
50,000 mrem/year = the safe allowable dose for people that are exposed to radiation in their work
1 mrem = two hours in a jet plane
7 mrem/year = from living in a brick house
10 mrem/year = cooking with natural gas
2 mrem/year = from sleeping next to someone else
36 mrem/year = from smoking one pack of cigarettes a day
42 mrem = breast mammogram per breast
700 mrem = abdominal x-ray
63 mrem/year = living in the Colorado Plateau area
0.5 mrem = one dental x-ray - this is for a regular xray, at Glen Valley Dentistry we use digital xrays which decrease exposure by 80% so this would actually be 0.1 mrem per xray totalling .4 mrems.

The hygienist told me I need to come in 3 or 4 times a year. I don't understand why that is necessary? Insurance seems to feel twice a year is enough.
Each hygienist at Glen Valley is committed to their patients oral health. They do a careful evaluation of your mouth, by taking the appropriate x rays and measurements around each individual tooth to do an assessment of your individual mouth. If she is recommending more frequent cleanings, you can be confident it is because she is concerned about your oral and systemic health and is interested in doing what is best to allow you to keep your teeth for a lifetime. A very gentle and serious reminder when it comes to insurance coverage, it is there as an adjunct, they have not yet personally looked into your mouth and do not have the same level of responsibility to your oral health as we do. Insurance is not determining what is best for you, they only let you know financially how much they assist you in payment.

What's the difference between a sealant and a filling? sealants
A sealant is placed on the biting surfaces of a healthy tooth to prevent decay. A sealant is applied by first conditioning the surface with etch, then it is rinsed and dried.The tooth colored sealant material is then brushed on and exposed to a light, so the sealant will harden and bond to the tooth.
A filling is placed on a tooth that was unhealthy because of the presence of decay. When the tooth has the decay removed with a dental drill, the area in which the decay was removed is now "filled" with a tooth colored material to restore the function of the tooth.



What is the Velscope?

velscopeIt is an early oral cancer detection device, used in combination with traditional oral cancer examination procedures. The Velscope allows the health car
e professional to visualize mucosa (tissue inside the mouth) abnormalities that may require biopsy. Velscope, by detecting pre-cancerous lesions early, may save thousands of lives.
Oral Cancer Facts:

Every hour, every day oral cancer kills someone in the U.S.
In the past 30 years, there has been a 60% increase in oral cancer in adults under the age of 40
Oral cancer is the only cancer that has not shown a decrease in the mortality rate in over 30 years
48% of patients diagnosed with oral cancer, die within 5 years
Early Diagnosis will save lives and if caught early enough....the 5-year survival rate can be as
high as 81%

How does Velscope benefit?


Existing screening protocol usually finds potentially abnormal cells only on the surface (visible to the eye). Currently, almost 2/3 of oral cancer cases are diagnosed in the late stages. Velscope can show abnormal tissue below the surface, even before they become apparent to the clinicians eye. This is a huge benefit because oral cancer found in its early stages can increase (by 81%) the survival rate.


How does Velscope work:


Fluorescence is the energy expelled by cells after absorbing a high energy input before they return to their normal energy level. Velscope emits a safe, high energy blue light that excites the tissues beneath the surface down to the basement membrane. As the tissues return to normal energy levels, the tissues re-emits the absorbed energy in the form of fluorescence. Special optical filters in the Velscope handpiece enable the clinician to immediately view the different fluorescence patterns emitted by the tissue, which can be used as an additional diagnostic tool to help differentiate between normal and abnormal cells. Typically, healthy tissue shows up with a green glow and the abnormal suspicious tissue may cause a loss of fluorescence and thus appear dark. The Velscope examination takes less than 3 minutes and does not require any rinses or stains.

How does the dentist use the Velscope?

A dentist can use the velscope as a screening tool to allow a more informed decision in determining whether an area of suspicion should be biopsied. This is nice for the patient because it eliminates the need to biopsy something that is benign.