Allentown, PA

Exams And Cleanings at Bright Choice Dental

Best Dentist in Allentown, PA

WHAT ARE DENTAL EXAMS & CLEANINGS?

Keeping your teeth healthy and clean requires more than diligent brushing and flossing at home. In many cases, plaque will build up on different areas of the teeth, hardening into a chalky white substance known as tartar. The only safe way to remove tartar buildup is with a professional cleaning performed by a registered hygienist. Exams are necessary as well, since they give us a view of your dental and oral health to prevent issues from getting worse.

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WHY ARE DENTAL EXAMS & CLEANINGS NECESSARY?

Even with the best brushing habits, you can still benefit from a professional cleaning. Exams are just as necessary, since they can alert us of minor problems so that treatment is both easier and more effective. Cleanings help to prevent gum disease and tooth decay when done regularly. It’s never too late to start taking better care of your smile with routine preventative treatment.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU COME IN FOR DENTAL EXAMS & CLEANINGS?

We recommend coming into our office once every six months to keep up with your dental health. If you have children, try to get them in for their first appointment as soon as possible. If it’s been a long time since your last cleaning, it’s never too late to start loving your smile. We offer care in a judgement-free and relaxed manner.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT AT THE APPOINTMENT FOR DENTAL EXAMS & CLEANINGS?

The appointment will begin with a professional cleaning. This is performed by a licensed registered dental hygienist who uses special instruments to clear away heavy tartar buildup and surface stains. Your teeth are then polished and carefully flossed before the gums are checked for signs of inflammation or infection. Once the cleaning has been completed, we come in to perform the exam. The exam allows us to check for signs of tooth decay, loose or broken restorations and even oral cancer. To make your future appointments easier, we’ll pre-schedule them before you leave the office.

DENTAL X-RAYS

WHAT ARE DENTAL X-RAYS?

A dental x-ray is an image that enables us to see underneath the surface of teeth and gums. These images can help us to see decay, infections, impacted teeth, bone loss and many other oral-related problems. X-rays use a very minimal amount of radiation, so they are safe for patients of all ages. Our goal is to provide you with a comfortable and safe experience when having x-rays taken.

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WHY WOULD YOU NEED DENTAL X-RAYS?

The main reason you would need dental x-rays is because in many cases, an examination just isn’t enough. There may be a lot of things going on below the surface of your gums and we won’t be able to see anything without the help of an x-ray. Some of the different things that we can see on an x-ray include underlying tooth decay, root infections, bone loss and impacted wisdom teeth. For children, x-rays allow us to monitor development and growth of permanent teeth.

WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A CANDIDATE FOR DENTAL X-RAYS?

Most of our patients are candidates to have dental x-rays taken. Because we use such a small amount of radiation, the process is deemed safe and necessary for those coming into our office. However, we will always go over your medical history prior to recommending any type of x-ray procedure. This ensures that you are healthy enough to undergo radiation in the office.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE DENTAL X-RAY PROCESS?

Our friendly team member will drape a lead apron over your midsection. We then place a tiny, comfortable device inside of the mouth and behind several of your teeth. Our x-ray machine is then aimed at this device and the image is taken. We repeat this exact process for all other necessary x-rays. Our team of experts will then review your x-rays to help in creating a unique treatment plan. We often recommend that x-rays be taken regularly and at most appointments.

DIGITAL X-RAYS

WHAT ARE DIGITAL X-RAYS?

Digital x-rays are the latest technology, and are much safer compared to traditional x-rays. With digital x-rays there is no concern with radiation exposure, and the new technology has very low levels of radiation. Digital x-rays reduce a patient’s radiation exposure by 90 percent. Safety is our number one priority, and we always ensure the equipment we use is safe for our patients.

Digital x-rays use a sensor or scanner that is inserted into your mouth to take images of your teeth and jaw. Our sensors are used in conjunction with computer technology that provides images instantly. These images can be conveniently viewed in our exam rooms during your appointment.

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WHY WOULD A DIGITAL X-RAY BE NEEDED?

During our dental exams we can only see the surface of your teeth and gums. Digital x-rays give our doctors the ability to view the roots and hidden areas of your teeth and gums. They help us to ensure your teeth are healthy, and free from infection or decay. Digital x-rays can identify issues inside your teeth quickly, and alert us for any signs of infection. This gives our team the ability to treat you promptly and avoid complications. In addition to decay, digital x-rays help us watch teeth that have not yet erupted, or monitor growth in the jaw.

HOW DO DIGITAL X-RAYS WORK?

When you visit our office for your dental exam our staff will insert a sensor or digital scanner into your mouth. This process will take images of your teeth and mouth, and will send the pictures instantly to our computer software. Digital images can be viewed immediately in the exam room. Depending on what type of x-ray is required will determine if we use a scanner or sensor to take the image. Patients can review the images alongside our doctor, and if treatment is required, we will create a customized treatment plan that works for you.

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF DIGITAL X-RAYS AVAILABLE?

Digital x-rays take images of the inside and outside of your mouth. Depending on the location of the x-ray needed, will determine what type of image is taken.

Bite Wing X-Rays

Bite wing x-rays require you to bite down on a sensor. This type of x-ray is common and can detect decay between your teeth. Bite wing x-rays are also used to evaluate the condition of the jaw bone, and to check existing restorations.

Periapical X-Rays

Periapical x-rays take an image of the entire tooth from top to bottom including the root structure. This type of x-ray can help detect an infection or abscess in or around a tooth, and can detect bone loss in the jaw.

Panoramic X-Rays

Panoramic x-rays are taken using a machine that rotates around your head. This technology provides an image of your entire mouth. We use this type of x-ray to monitor wisdom teeth, or to plan for procedures such as implants.

How Often Are Digital X-Rays Needed?

The frequency of digital x-rays is determined by each patient’s dental needs. Our team will only take a digital image if absolutely necessary, and with patient consent. During your visit we review your medical history, dental history, and any symptoms or signs that indicate an x-ray is required. Our team uses x-rays to monitor growth, detect any new areas of decay, or to evaluate gum disease.

3D PRINTING

WHAT IS 3D PRINTING?

3D printing is a revolutionary way for us to better treat our patients. We use this printing to help create surgical guides so that treatment planning is easier and more effective. The printing takes digital or impression renderings of your teeth and mouth to create a model that we can actually hold and work with when planning your treatment. The process of making a 3D model of your teeth is easy, quick and highly effective when it comes to your dental care.

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WHY IS 3D PRINTING NEEDED?

The reason we may recommend 3D printing in our office is because you’re going to be having oral surgery done. For instance, having a 3D model of your teeth and mouth can help us in determining the best placement for implants or when performing a bone grafting. The rendering is realistic and detailed, so we are able to pinpoint the different ways to complete the surgical procedure.

WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR 3D PRINTING?

Taking a 3D impression of your teeth is easy and quick. Most of our patients can benefit from 3D printing just because of how beneficial it is to their overall future dental health. Both children and adults alike can have 3D renderings done of their teeth. We will be able to recommend when and if this printing is needed during the course of your treatment.

WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED WITH 3D PRINTING?

The first step is to take impressions of your teeth and mouth. This is typically done digitally so that we have a clear view of your oral health on our computer screens. We then use a 3D printing machine to create a physical model of these impressions. We then use this model to help in treatment planning for surgical procedures. We will help to show you what to expect during oral surgery using this model as well. 3D printing is highly useful when it comes to improving the patient experience.

DIGITAL SCANNING (ITERO)

WHAT IS THE DIGITAL SCANNER (ITERO)?

The iTero digital scanning device can be used to take highly-detailed images and scans of your teeth. These digital-based impressions can be used to create restorations like veneers, crowns, bridge work and even dentures. Unlike traditional dental impressions that are goopy and uncomfortable, this scanner produces a quality image in just several minutes to provide you with the care and restorative work that you deserve.

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WHY MIGHT THE DIGITAL SCANNER (ITERO) BE NEEDED?

We may use the iTero digital scanning device whenever impressions are needed. This might be when you’re having a crown made, will need a bridge placed or are looking to have a new denture made to wear. These digital impressions provide us with a detailed image of your teeth and surrounding soft tissues. These impressions are often more advanced and detailed when compared to traditional options.

WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR THE DIGITAL SCANNER (ITERO)?

The majority of our patients coming into our office are good candidates for iTero digital scanning. The scan is painless, quick and provides us with highly-detailed imaging. In fact, we may even use this scan for pediatric patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment. You can feel confident in the technology being used in our office to take these digital dental impressions.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT WITH THE DIGITAL SCANNER (ITERO)?

First, we will sit you comfortably in one of our operatories. A small digital wand is placed inside of your mouth and swept above and around your teeth. As the image is being taken, it is displayed on a computer screen for us to view and study. We will then use these impressions to make your dental restorations, providing a more customized and comfortable fit. The scan is painless and is completely safe for all patients. You may need to have these scans done whenever we need to obtain a 3D digital view of your teeth and their positioning.

INTRAORAL CAMERAS

WHAT IS AN INTRA-ORAL CAMERA?

Intra-oral cameras are helpful in allowing us to see everything going on inside your mouth. Rather than a typical examination, this camera magnifies everything that it looks at concerning your smile. This allows us to see areas of decay, cracks, breaks and fractures as well as other intra-oral problems. The camera is safe, effective and can be used on patients of all ages.

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WHY IS AN INTRA-ORAL CAMERA NEEDED?

The reason an intra-oral camera may be needed is because we need to get a better view inside the mouth. Because the camera magnifies what it’s coming into contact with, we are able to spot problems easier and more conveniently. Likewise, we can show you the findings on the camera so that you know more about the treatment that is needed. The camera is an effective tool that we use everyday in our practice.

WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR AN INTRA-ORAL CAMERA SCANNING?

The majority of patients coming into our office can and will benefit from this intra-oral camera. The camera gives us a clear view of everything and anything going on within the mouth. This helps us to find problems more quickly and create treatment plans according to what it is that you need. The intra-oral camera can be used before, during or even after certain procedures.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE APPOINTMENT USING AN INTRA-ORAL CAMERA?

The appointment will begin by you sitting comfortably in one of our examination rooms. We then use a handheld device and place it inside the mouth. The image will show on our computer screen in the room, which allows you to see what is being done and what we’re looking at. We then scan your mouth with the camera, looking for problems and other issues. We then discuss treatment options according to what we find and what works best for you. The camera is easy to use and takes just minutes in our office.

CBCT SCANNER

WHAT IS A CONE BEAM CT SCAN?

A cone beam CT scan involves a special type of x-ray that allows us to see the details of your oral and facial health. This scan is more than just a typical x-ray, since it allows us to identify nerve pathways, soft tissue and bone before providing you with treatment. This gives us a clear view of your oral health so that treatment is easier and more effective for you. The scan takes just seconds in our office and provides us with a highly detailed image.

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WHY MIGHT A CONE BEAM CT SCAN BE NEEDED?

Most often, you’ll need a CT scan before you have oral surgery performed in our office. This is because the CT scan allows us to identify soft tissues, bone and even nerves that could come into play when performing a surgical procedure. You might even need to have this scan done if you come to us with an emergency or when we are trying to find a problem that you’re experiencing. The amount of radiation used to produce an image using the CT scan machine is minimal and considered safe and beneficial for most patients.

WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR A CONE BEAM CT SCAN?

Because we use the latest technology available in x-rays and CT scanning machines, you can feel safe and confident having this type of scan done in our office. We will review your medical and health history to determine if a CT scan is right for you. Most of our patients, regardless of age, can safely have the scan done. In fact, the scan is often easier and quicker than typical intraoral dental x-rays.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING A CONE BEAM CT SCAN?

The process will begin by placing a lead apron over your body before the scan is done. We then have you stand straight in the middle of a larger machine. You will either rest your chin or bite down on a bite bar. The machine will then circle your head, taking images as it turns around. We are provided with this image after just a few seconds and will review it to provide you with the treatment that you need. You can expect to have a CT scan prior to undergoing oral surgery.

FLUORIDE TREATMENTS

WHAT ARE FLUORIDE TREATMENTS?

Fluoride is most commonly found in dental products, like toothpastes and mouthwashes. It is designed to protect and strengthen a person’s teeth, making them less prone to developing cavities. Regardless of the amount of fluoride that you use each day, we offer professional treatments that can add further protection for your smile. Fluoride treatments are great for adult and pediatric patients alike.

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WHY MIGHT YOU NEED FLUORIDE TREATMENTS?

There are a few reasons for needing fluoride treatments. First, you might benefit from treatment because you’re more susceptible to decay. This is especially true among children and teens who might not necessarily brush and floss properly. For others, it’s a way to strengthen their teeth along with using other methods and products at home.

WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A CANDIDATE FOR FLUORIDE TREATMENTS?

We can easily determine if fluoride treatments are right for you with an exam. For children coming into our office, we may recommend that they have fluoride treatments as a way to keep their smiles looking their best. In truth, most of our patients can benefit from these treatments. You can have them done as often as they might be needed.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT DURING FLUORIDE TREATMENTS?

The treatment process will begin by having you sit in one of our comfortable dental chairs. We then work on cleaning your teeth before applying the fluoride. A liquid fluoride is then brushed over the teeth. You will be instructed on how to care for your teeth after treatment. For most patients, they’ll need to avoid eating and drinking for about an hour to allow the fluoride to fully penetrate the teeth. You can have these treatments done as often as they are needed, as some of our patients have treatment done every single time that they come into the office for either a cleaning or checkup and want to further protect their smile.

SEALANTS

WHAT ARE SEALANTS?

Sealants are thin, clear protective coverings that can be applied to the back teeth. They are meant to prevent cavities and deep staining that would otherwise occur if they weren’t in place. The beauty about sealants is that they’re ideal both for pediatric patients as well as adult patients alike. Most sealants have the ability to last for up to three years before they’ll naturally wear away.

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WHY MIGHT YOU BENEFIT FROM SEALANTS?

The reason you might benefit from sealants is because your back teeth have grooves, deep fissures and pitting. This can sometimes make it difficult to keep the teeth clean. Likewise, these areas can become deeply stained over time and be more susceptible to tooth decay. Both children and adults can benefit from having sealants placed.

WHAT MAKES A PERSON A CANDIDATE FOR SEALANTS?

With the help of a thorough examination, we will be able to determine if sealants are right for you. Sealants are great for patients of all ages, though we often recommend them to our pediatric patients who may not be able to brush and floss properly just yet. If you have older sealants, we can replace them easily in our office at your own convenience. Sealants wear away naturally in roughly one to three years after initial application.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE SEALANT PROCEDURE?

The sealant procedure is quick, simple and done within minutes in our office. We first clean and then dry the back teeth. A clear liquid varnish is then brushed over the teeth, only on the back chewing surfaces. These sealants are then dried and cured with a bright light. The process is then repeated for any other back teeth that need this type of protection. It is important that you still brush and floss your teeth normally, since sealants do not protect the front teeth or between the back teeth after they have been placed in our office.

PERIODONTICS

WHAT ARE PERIODONTICS?

Periodontics is the field of dentistry that involves the gums and soft tissue. Because gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss and occurs in nearly half of all adults, periodontal treatment often involves diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Periodontal treatment is critical for improving the look and feel of your entire mouth. This type of treatment can be needed regardless of age, and is crucial to improving your oral health.

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WHY IS PERIODONTICS NEEDED?

Most often, periodontics is needed when you have gum disease. There are a variety of gum disease treatments available, such as a scaling and root planing, laser therapy as well as the use of clear aligners that can help to deliver medication deep below the gum line. Periodontics may even be needed for other procedures, such as gum recession and the insertion of dental implants.

WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR SPECIAL PERIODONTAL TREATMENT?

We can examine your teeth and gums to determine if periodontal treatment is right for you. Using a small probe, we are able to measure the small pockets around the teeth. If these pockets are very deep, we may recommend that you begin periodontal disease, or gum disease, treatment. With early treatment, you are able to put an end to gum disease and the tooth loss that often comes with it.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING TREATMENT OF PERIODONTICS?

For periodontal disease treatment, we will typically examine the gums to determine the level of disease and the best course of treatment. For gingivitis, you can prevent progression of the condition with proper oral hygiene habits at home. This includes proper brushing, daily flossing and regular trips into the office for a professional dental cleaning. For patients who already have gum disease, there are many treatment options available up to and including surgery. Other periodontal procedures include implants and soft tissue grafting as a way to enhance and improve your smile.