Why does my jaw pop?
There is a disk that separates the jaw bone from the base of the skull. The primary cause of the "popping" occurs when you open your mouth too wide and the jaw bone "pops" off the disk. Treatment is not required unless pain is associated with the "pop" or your jaw locks. Consult your dentist if pain occurs or if you have problems opening your mouth.
Are X-Rays dangerous? Why are they needed?
X-rays help dental professionals determine the presence of periodontal disease, abscesses, and many abnormal growths such as cysts and tumors. They help pinpoint the location of cavities and other signs of disease that may not be possible to detect through a visual examination. All health care providers are sensitive to patients' concerns about exposure to radiation. Dentists and hygienists are trained to prescribe radiographs when they are appropriate and to minimize the amount of radiation by using fast film speed, lead aprons, and thyroid collars.
When is a good time to get wisdom teeth out?
Dental professionals will determine when wisdom teeth should be removed using X-rays and panoramic films. It is best to remove wisdom teeth when approximately 2/3rds of the root is formed, usually around age 16-17. Removal at this time allows for an easier procedure and decreases risk of damage to the nerves in that area.
What is root planing & scaling?
Scaling is the process of removing dental tartar from the surfaces of the teeth. Root planing is the process of smoothing the root surfaces and removing any infected tooth structure. If you have gum disease or gum pocketing, the gum pockets around the teeth will have deepened, thereby allowing tartar deposits to form under the gumline. Depending on the depth of the pocket and severity of the root surface irregularity, the dentist may wish to make the area numb so that the process is comfortable for you.