There are two main types of dental X-rays: intraoral (meaning the X-ray film is inside the mouth) and extraoral (meaning the X-ray film is outside the mouth).
- Intraoral X-rays are the most common type of dental X-ray taken. These X-rays provide a lot of detail and allow your dentist to find cavities, check the health of the tooth root and bone surrounding the tooth, check the status of developing teeth and monitor the general health of your teeth and jawbone.
- Extraoral X-rays show teeth, but their main focus is the jaw and skull. These X-rays do not provide the detail found with intraoral X-rays and therefore are not used for detecting cavities or for identifying problems with individual teeth. Instead, extraoral X-rays are used to look for impacted teeth, monitor growth and development of the jaws in relation to the teeth, and to identify potential problems between teeth and jaws and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ, see temporomandibular disorders for more information) or other bones of the face.
Dentistry developed in order to meet the patients, more demanding, esthetic expectations. Nowadays having a mouth free of biological and functional problems is not enough. Patients want beautiful smiles that are integrated with their physical characteristics but also in harmony with their emotional aspects.
To achieve this kind of result the modern dentist needs to go beyond just being a good dentist. The Digital Smile Design aims to help the dentist in this matter, improving the esthetic visualization of the patient’s problems and giving insights about possible solutions.
The ideal esthetic outcome also depends on teamwork. The ideal treatment is the result of an interdisciplinary approach which is a challenge in itself due to the difficulty of implementing a protocol for efficient communication among the team. The DSD also aims to facilitate the process of communication in a simple manner.
Oral & Maxillofacial surgery (OMS or OMFS) specializes in treating many diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the Oral (mouth) and Maxillofacial (jaws and face) region. It is an internationally recognized surgical specialty. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association, Royal College of Dentists of Canada, the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery requires 4–6 years of further formal university training after dental school (DDS, BDent, DMD or BDS). In the United States, four-year residency programs grant a certificate of specialty training in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Six-year residency programs grant the specialty certificate in addition to a degree such as a medical degree (MD, DO, MBBS, MBChB etc.), or research degree (MS, MSc, MPhil, MDS, MSD, MDSc, DClinDent, DSc, DMSc, or Ph.D.). Both 4 and 6-year graduates are designated US “Board Eligible,” those that earn “Certification” are Diplomats’.
Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.
Here are some tips for common dental emergencies:
For a knocked-out permanent or adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Then, get to your dentist’s office right away.
For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down.
If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress.
For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.
For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with sharp or pointed instruments.
When you have a dental emergency, it’s important to visit your dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible.