Frequently Asked Questions

“Is the radiation from the x-rays dangerous?”
The amount of radiation used to take two bitewing x-rays is equivalent to roughly two days of environmental radiation. Environmental radiation is radiation we are exposed to on a daily basis. Radiation in the environment can be emitted from the sun, automated doors, cell phones, microwaves, tv’s, and even certain foods. In this context, the amount of radiation used is very safe. In addition, we use digital radiography which exposes your child to a lot less radiation than conventional radiography.

“How early should I bring in my child?”

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child be seen by a dentist no later than 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth. The main purpose of the appointment is to provide the family with useful information to help prevent problems before they occur. Early dental visits are well worth the effort even if the child is resistant to treatments initially. Prevention is the name of the game! Also, many times a cavity can be caught while it is very shallow and treatment can be performed in a very non-invasive manner which is very easy on the child. (rather than waiting for problems to present themselves!) The early visits also help the child become more comfortable with the dentist by age 3 or 4 then starting fresh at that age.

“If my child is older, how should I prepare them for their first visit?”
Usually, the best indicator of a child’s anxiety before seeing the dentist is the parents anxiety. Kids are smart, and if they feel mom or dad has reason to worry, then they do too! There are many good books about going to see the dentist, and most do a very good job at preparing kids. What do we recommend? Don’t try to prepare kids of any age by saying things like…”the shot will only hurt for a minute” or by trying to explain what will or won’t happen. Many times the best preparation is NO preparation. Just tell them that they are going to the dentist.

“Can too much fluoride be bad?”
Yes. Fluoride is a medicine and should be treated as such. Our practice uses an appropriate amount of fluoride whether or not your child is drinking fluoridated water or using fluoridated toothpaste. When used appropriately, fluoride had been scientifically proven to be a safe and effective tool in reducing decay. We can help your family determine the amount of fluoride your children are exposed to and then provide necessary supplementation if needed.

“What is nitrous oxide? Does it make my child go to sleep?”
Nitrous oxide is an “anxiolytic” gas which is combined with pure oxygen to help someone relax. It isn’t nearly strong enough to make you go to sleep. It is a very safe, non-addictive and effective tool when used properly, and it doesn’t linger following treatment.

If you have any other questions then feel free to ask Dr. Dance or our staff. Also, please browse “dental topics” in the resource page for more information.