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Apricot dental chair

What to expect on your first visit

When you book a dental appointment with one of our cosmetic dentists in long island city, our dental receptionist will reach out to you to verify your insurance either via email or text. Yes, we have two texting in our LIC office!

You will first check in and get COVID-19 screened. Then you can proceed to fill out our health history form. Our office policies are also posted right at the reception area as well.

Procedure wise, we start with check up xrays, a comprehensive exam, and then finally your dental cleaning with polishing!

The consultation is also a part of the visit. If you have any questions regarding cosmetic dentistry or Invisalign, please ask during the visit!

Comprehensive Dental Exams - Long Island City, NY

At our office, 1311 Jackson Ave dental, we always do comprehensive treatment plans. That means we take the appropriate and necessary x rays to evaluate the entire mouth as a whole. We do look for gum disease and definitely for tooth decay but we also do so much more!

  • We screen for oral cancer as a part of every dental exam.

    • One person every ten minutes in the US get oral cancer.​

  • Other mucosal conditions such as canker sores or even a black tongue.

  • A wide range of oral pathologies such as cysts, geographic tongue, hairy tongue, tobacco stomatitis, and etc.

  • Sometimes we encounter fungal infections as well such as oral candidiasis.

  • In fact, your dentist can know a lot more things about you than you think just from looking in your mouth.

 

Overall, we prefer to not practice "single tooth" dentistry because kicking the can down the road does not help you. We do understand that it may be a lot to take in at once and that is why we will proceed together at a pace that is comfortable for you. Remember, our dentists in long island city are here for you.

Have you been avoiding the dentist but not your love for sweet treats?

Some signs that you may be overdue for your dental check up!
Our dentists at our Long Island City office will diagnose you!

Ice cream causes cavities

Gum Symptoms

You are experiencing bleeding gums, gum pain, swollen gums, or even a gum abscess.

These are indicative of active gum disease, either gingivitis or periodontitis.

Teeth Symptoms

You are experiencing tooth pain or possible tooth infection.

 

Sometimes you may even notice a cavity when you look in the mirror.

Some cosmetic concerns may be a chipped tooth or a cracked tooth.

Sensitivity Symptoms

You are experiencing discomfort when you drink hot or cold liquids. Most common would be when your tooth is sensitive to cold.

Other times you may just be sensitive because of gum recession from aggressive brushing with a hard toothbrush!

But Doc! Every time I go in to see some dentist in Long Island City, they always want to take x rays of my teeth. Is it really necessary for you to take all these x rays? Are they even safe for me?

Dental X rays and Radiation

What are dental x rays?

The x rays used in a dental setting are a form of an imaging technique to capture more information about your teeth, jaw, bones, sinus, and your skull. The most commonly used ones in a dental office are:

  • Bitewing x ray or BW xray for short

  • Periapical x ray or PA

  • Panoramic x ray or PANO

  • CBCT

  • MRI

Below are a couple of examples of the x rays of your teeth and each one serves a different purpose.

Bite wing x ray

This is the best image for detecting teeth decay, especially the cavities in between the teeth.

bitewing x ray

PA x ray

This is the radiograph to detect nerve infections or abscess at the root of your tooth.

Root Canal Example.PNG

PANO x ray

This image gives you a general overview of the mouth. It is good for seeing the bone level around your teeth. It is also good for seeing where your nerves are for wisdom teeth removal.

Pan of Periodontitis.jpg

How do you take these images?

The images are taken using a dental x ray machine along with an x ray apron. The apron is actually made of lead so it feels quite heavy kind of like a weighted blanket.

Our xrays are all digital, which means no film processing in a dark room. As soon as we take the radiograph, it shows up on the computer and also on the TV in front of you. It also gets uploaded into our cloud based software. All of our data is securely stored by Amazon web service. We do not store any data on premise so there are no server rooms!

You know some offices still use regular film but we hope that there aren't any LIC dentists still using it. Back in the old day you would need a dark room, a developer, and a fixer to process the films. It would also take about 15-20 minutes for it to process.

Digital x rays are instantaneous. It is all made possible with x ray sensors like the one below. We use them in lieu of film.

digital x ray sensor.jpg

Digital Sensors:

  • Image is processed instantly

  • Edges are rounded so is more comfortable

  • Does not cut your gums or your tongue

  • They've taken over dental offices by storm since the early 2000s

Xray Machine.jpg
Dental Xray Apron.jpg

Are they safe?

Yes, routine check up x rays on your teeth are very safe but we will give you some facts and figures for dental radiation:

  • Dental check up xrays = 0.005 mSv

    • That dosage is equivalent to the normal amount of radiation you would receive for being alive on this planet for 1 extra day in a year.​

  • Chest CT = 7.0 mSv

  • Chest x ray = 0.1 mSv

  • 7 hour flight = 0.02 mSv

  • Domestic pilots receive an additional 2.2 mSv/year

  • Colorado residents receive a 0.150 mSv bonus every year!

The average US resident will be exposed to a total of approximately 6.2 mSv/year. Of that number, half of it is from being alive with the other half from medical, dental, and extracurricular activities.

Based on these radiation statistics, you may have come to the conclusion that it is very safe to receive xrays of your teeth. Technology has come a long way since because half a century ago, the amount of radiation used to be significantly higher. The amount of radiation per film has been decreasing with each new iteration of radiation equipment.

Our office also practices and follows the ALARA protocol, which stands for as low as reasonably achievable.

  • We will place a lead x ray apron on you.

  • We will double shield you with two aprons if you are pregnant and need imaging.

  • We will only take the radiographs that we need and not a single one more!

  • All of the drywalls in our office are at least 6 inches in thickness.

  • Each treatment room or operatory are 10x12 feet; You only need to be 6 feet away to be safe, so that is more than enough of a buffer.

Ok that's pretty safe but why do I need them again?

They are definitely necessary because they provide information that we can't always see with just a visual clinical examination.

  • A small cavity that is on top of your tooth or even on the side is easy to see.

  • The cavities in between the teeth are the ones that we can't see at all.

  • Nerve infections are not visible either

  • Root infections neither.

Just to drive the point home, we'll show you an example of the decay in between two teeth.

Before drilling into tooth cavity.png
Xray of cavity in between teeth.png
Cavity in between teeth - 3.png

All three intraoral photos are showing the same two teeth. The tooth looks very normal like there is nothing wrong with it but you can see the decay on the xray. You also see the decay penetrating through the dental enamel and into the dentin after you drill into the tooth.

Those extra white spots on the drilled teeth are decalcifications. Basically that is the area where the tooth is demineralizing. Unfortunately it can no longer be reversed since the caries has entered the dentin. No amount of coconut oil pulling will be able to reverse this cavity.

I'm convinced but how often do I need x rays of my teeth?

It is generally recommended to take them once per year. If you take them more frequently than that, you may not see too many changes.

There is an exception though. If you are watching a cavity, you may want to keep a closer eye on it. If you see it start growing, it may be better for you to move forward with the cavity removal. In that case, you should book an appointment for a cavity filling procedure.