Frequently Asked Dental Questions

How much radiation do I get from a dental x-ray and how does it compare to other medical procedures?

The radiation you would receive from a traditional film dental x-ray is very low. Today, with non-film digital x-rays available, the radiation is reduced by an additional 90%. Comparatively, a traditional chest CT-scan exposes a patient to 2,800 times the radiation as a digital dental x-ray, and a mammogram gives off around 60 times as much radiation. Surprisingly, you can get the same amount of radiation as one of our dental x-rays from eating about 50 bananas. References: BBC NEWS Mag...

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What is in amalgam (silver) fillings, and are they safe?

Dental amalgam is a filling material used by dentists to restore the proper size and shape of decayed or damaged teeth. It is an alloy, meaning a blend of different metals, that includes silver, tin, copper, and liquid mercury. It is the most commonly used filling material in the world and has been used extensively since the early 1800’s. Amalgam is the most thoroughly researched and tested of all filling materials. Despite controversy over the mercury content, no health disorder or illness...

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When is a root canal necessary?

A tooth that is severely decayed or infected can be saved—rather than be removed—through a procedure commonly known as a root canal. The typical tooth has around one to three roots. Each of these roots has one or two canals that essentially go from the top of your tooth to the bottom. Within these canals is a soft, living tissue called pulp, which consists of nerves and blood vessels. When a root canal is done, the pulp is removed, your tooth’s canals are disinfected, and a special dent...

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Does having a cavity always mean that my tooth will hurt?

The occurrence of pain in a tooth signifies the problem has reached a more advanced stage. That’s why you shouldn’t wait until a tooth hurts. Having regular dental exams can lead to a cavity being caught early—and that’s good news. Yes, the cavity will still need to be filled; however, a cavity that goes undetected until it’s causing pain can possibly mean that it will be more difficult—and expensive—to fix....

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