Artistry in Dentistry
Creating Beautiful Smiles
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Cosmetic Dentistry Health and Safety
Digital Dental X-Rays & Safety
Some patients have concerns about the safety of X-rays, as well as the need for them in the cosmetic dental office. Although X-rays and radiation sound scary, the amount of radiation used to expose dental X-rays is very small. In fact, the average American may actually receive more radiation from sitting in front of the family television during a year than from traditional X-rays taken at most dentists' office. Now, even that small amount of radiation has been reduced approximately 90% through digital X-rays, like the kind we use exclusively at the St Luke's Dental. Digital X-rays also have advantages like colorizing areas of decay for easier detection, the elimination of processing chemicals and time involved, and easier storage on computers.
We care about maintaining the health and beauty of your smile, and dental X-rays are an indispensable part of diagnosing your oral health. X-rays are taken to detect a number of conditions or diseases in the mouth. By taking them periodically, this helps us detect adverse situations early — before they become big problems. It is usually not necessary to take X-rays every time you have a recare or cleaning appointment. If you are generally in good health and have had routine dental care, chances are you may only need to have them every year or two.
We protect patients during the taking of X-rays with a lead apron. This apron is draped over your shoulders and protects you from your neck to mid-thighs. Because the reproductive organs are also sensitive to radiation, we are very careful to protect these areas when taking dental films.
Embryonic tissues are also sensitive to X-radiation. If you are in the first trimester of pregnancy (the first three months) or think you may be pregnant, please tell us. We generally avoid taking X-rays during this time, unless you have a specific dental emergency. Once you are past the first trimester, if there is reason for taking X-rays, we will take every precaution to protect you and your unborn baby from any harmful radiation.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about dental X-rays, just ask. We're here to help.
Dental Sterilization and Infection Control
Comfort comes in many forms. Our sanitary standards create a worry-free environment that extends comfort even after your visit.
Sterilization and the prevention of illness should be a concern of all dental offices. One of the prime sources of contamination can be water. Our filtering, self-contained water system creates 99.9% pure water for use in all treatment situations.
In addition to our office using distilled water, the water purification system itself is purified every week. The system is high pressure air-dried, and remains dry for 48 hours to ensure clean environment within the system.
All instruments connected to the water system that touch patients are heat-sterilized after each patient's use in a process called autoclaving. Items that are not heat-sterilized are disposed of and a new one is used for each patient.
St Luke's Dental strictly meets or exceeds the safety and sterilization guidelines recommended by the American Dental Association, Florida Dental Board and OSHA. We constantly upgrade our infection control techniques by attending frequent courses and holding regular staff meetings so as to insure your safety and peace of mind. Some of the techniques we employ include:
- Wearing gloves, masks, and protective eyewear during each patient examination and treatment
- Sterilizing all instruments placed intra-orally in an autoclave or ultrasonic cleaner for germ free use
- Cleaning and sanitizing each exam room fixture regularly to eliminate bacteria and its development
- Consistently using a contracted sterilization monitoring service to ensure the effectiveness of equipment
- Utilizing safety techniques to prevent cross-contamination by properly disposing of all products that are unable to be sterilized
- Sterilization of all dental hand-pieces
- Covering patient chairs, x-ray units, and light handles with disposable plastic wraps
- Using filtered water supplied to dental hand-pieces and air/water syringes