Tooth Talk
By Dr. Gino

Tooth Talk

EMR: The Journey Begins!! Part 1: Digital Xrays

by Gino Pagano on 01/03/14

As the new year begins we begin the conversion to electronic medical records (EMR) at the office.  Step one:  digital radiography.  I thought I would share some advantages I've already found as we implement the new computer based, filmless system.  The first, and probably most significant is the reduction in radiation exposure for patients.  We switched film several years ago and were able to cut radiation in half.  By going digital, we have reduced that exposure by 2/3.  Which means the amount of radiation needed to take a routine bitewing radiograph is now 1/6 what it was when I began practicing!!  The second is instant feedback.  No more waiting five or ten minutes for films.  The x-ray is available instantly.  I imagine those minutes seem like hours if you're the one sitting in the chair with a toothache!  In addition, the image acquired is instantly available on the screen in front of the patient.  It can be viewed, magnified, and enhanced to help the patient see what I more patients squinting at a view box trying to imagine what I'm seeing through my magnifying glasses . And finally... no more chemicals.  I am able to eliminate fixer, developer, and numerous other environmentally unfriendly products involved in the old film based process from the office all together. I am really looking forward to discovering many more advantages I have not even thought of yet.  Once we get comfortable with this aspect...its on to part 2:  the paper chart...stay tuned.

"Those are beautiful crowns!!"

by Gino Pagano on 08/01/11

One might think that I would consider it a great success to hear a patient tell me they heard... "Those are beautiful crowns" after leaving my office with some brand spanking new dental work.  But in reality, that's not what I want patients to hear.  I want patients to hear "You have beautiful teeth."  The secret to doing great cosmetic dentistry is making it "disappear" in the should appear natural and not stick out.  In the photo above, the right front top tooth and the two behind it are crowns, and the left front top tooth and the two behind it are natural teeth.  I would say it's difficult to distinguish the crowns from the teeth.  I consider that a success!!  

Dentistry by me 
Lab work by Jake @ Fusion Dental Arts, Export, PA  

Difference between General Dentist and Cosmetic Dentist

by Gino Pagano on 07/11/11

So you want to improve your smile...should you find a cosmetic dentist, or can your family dentist help?  Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty of dentistry.  In other words...any dentist can call him or her self a "cosmetic dentist."  It really depends on each individual doctor's training and experience.  So how do you know if a dentist is qualified to achieve the smile you want?  My best advice is to ask to see before and after photos.  However, it is critical you see photos of work that the dentist actually did!  Sounds obvious, but lots of dentists will advertise using stock photos of dentistry they didn't do.  In my opinion this does not illustrate what that dentist may or may not be able to achieve.  Also make sure both you and your dentist have realistic goals and expectations before treatment begins.  Bring photos of a smile you like and discuss what you want to change about your own smile.  Ask your dentist if he or she feels they can meet your goals.  With some careful planning, you can achieve the smile of your dreams. 

Do I really need my teeth cleaned every six months??

by Gino Pagano on 07/04/11

This is a very common question.  The answer is...maybe.  Six months in between cleanings is an interval that has been made popular by insurance companies.  They had to come up with some standard to write into policies.  However, it is only an average.  The truth is there are patients that could go eight months in between cleanings and some that should visit once a month.  It really is based on how fast your mouth develops plaque comblined with how effective your home care is (brushing and flossing) at removing the plaque.  Once calculus forms (in about 24 hours), it can only be safely removed by scraping it off with specially designed dental instruments.  So, how do you decide...ask your dentist or dental hygienist.  Don't forget oral cancer screenings are a routine part of every dental exam, so I do not recommend going any longer than a year without being examined by a dental professional.  Of course if you notice anything unusual in your mouth such as pain, bad taste, temperature sensitivity, any swelling, or any unusual  red or white spot (with or without pain) that doesn't heal in ten days, call your dentist right away.    

Welcome to Tooth Talk

by Gino Pagano on 06/30/11

Welcome to the 1st ever Tooth Talk post.  I wanted to have a place where I could touch on dental topics of interest in an informal way.  I know what you're and interest don't belong in the same sentence.  However, every time I'm at a gathering of any sort, as soon as people know I'm a dentist there are questions.  So, I thought if someone is asking there are probably many more people wondering the same thing.  I want use Tooth Talk to just give my opinion on any and all things related to dentisty.  If there is something you would like to learn about, please don't hesitate to ask.  With that...enjoy Tooth Talk.

PLEASE NOTE:  The opinions expressed in this blog are provided for informational purposes only.  They express the opinion of Dr. Pagano, but in no way replace a thorough exam, and diagnosis by a dental professional.