Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice

The Government has recently advised the public to stay at home, and for dentists to avoid aerosol-generating treatments. In practical terms, this is most of the things that we would do. In view of this, we are cancelling all routine check-up and treatment appointments for the foreseeable future.

We are operating on an emergency-only basis on weekday mornings. Without high-protection PPE, this does put our staff and patients at some degree of risk.

If you have an urgent need for treatment and no-one in your household is symptomatic, please call 01784 253140 as early as possible in the morning for us to triage you and offer advice or an appointment if necessary.

Radiography

Radiography is the use of X-rays to obtain informaton about the patient's teeth and bones.

In dentistry, it is common to take 'bitewing' radiographs which show the upper and lower teeth on the same film and so reduce the number of X-rays the person has. These are used to check for dental decay and the loss of bone support caused by gum disease. Depending on the previous dental history, they may be taken at intervals as short as six-monthly or only every 2-3 years.

Another type of X-ray called a 'periapical' is used to look at the full length of a tooth when it it needs root filling or extraction.

The dentist will place a film in a holder and ask the patient to bite on it while aligning the X-ray tube and exposing the film. The dentist and nurse will stand outside the room while the exposure is taken. Some patients worry that the radiation involved is harmful to them but each exposure delivers a very low dose. It is permitted these days to take dental X-rays for pregnant women as the X-ray beam does not pass through the woman's womb and the dose to a baby inside is so low that it cannot be measured.

For example, 140 dental X-rays give the same radiation dose as flight to New York and 4 films are equivalent to a day in Cornwall (where background radiation is 3 times higher than the UK average).

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