Health & Safety

December 6, 2013

Exam keeps eye on enamel

Airmen are informed they have a dental appointment once a year. Some show up to this appointment not knowing what to expect. Well, it’s time to shed some light on Airmen’s annual dental appointments.

Before poking around mouths, there are a few things the dental squadron needs to know. This is where the medical history form comes into play. You fill this out to let clinicians and dentists know what medications you’re taking as well as any allergies you may have, which is vital to keeping you safe in case of an emergency.

Upon completing this form, Airmen may be sent to take X-rays to provide the dentist a view of the teeth that cannot be seen with the eyes. Teeth have a strong outside shell called enamel. This shell protects the vital parts of the teeth. On an X-ray, the enamel shows up bright white because of its density. When the whiteness is compromised, a dark shadow appears which means the enamel is less dense and decayed.

Once the shadow passes through the shell into the vital part of the tooth, a filling needs to be done to prevent the decay from reaching the nerve of the tooth. In some cases, the decay can be reversed. This is done through remineralizing the enamel by applying fluoride.

Once the dentist reviews the X-rays and checks for cavities, it’s time for the real work to begin. Anyone from an airman first class to a technical sergeant or a civilian hygienist may clean your teeth. Regardless of rank, all technicians are well trained and fully qualified to complete the job. They will begin with some scraping and a water-spraying cleaning machine to remove hard deposits from teeth that a toothbrush cannot. It does this by vibrating at ultra-sonic speeds to loosen material that doesn’t belong on the tooth. The water keeps it from overheating. This contraption will not cause harm to teeth or gums.

The next step for some is polishing, which has only one purpose: to remove staining that is too large to scrape with hand instruments. A common misunderstanding is that it makes your teeth whiter. Someone who has no staining will not benefit from polishing and unneeded polishing can actually cause damage to the enamel. Think of it as using very fine sand paper on the tooth. If there is no stain to remove, only microlayers of enamel are being removed. This can add up after years of polishing and may eventually cause sensitivity.

The final step to the appointment is flossing and rinsing. Though it may seem uncomfortable, this process is relatively quick and easy.

At this point your appointment is over and you have successfully fulfilled your annual requirement. With regular brushing and flossing you can maintain your oral health.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

EOD called out for expertise

Courtesy photo The 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team recovers military ordnance July 4 from the rubble of a burnt down building at an auto repair facility in Phoenix. The Luke EOD team recovered nume...
 
 

Strong followers challenge authority

It’s not surprising that when I tell subordinates to challenge authority, I often get a look of confusion. Admittedly, this is a step used to provoke thought. Obviously, we don’t need subordinates undermining their leader’s authority. My intent is not to create insubordination — it is to underscore the importance of strong followership. Great leaders...
 
 

Travel access, opportunities not to be ignored

Possibly one of the greatest and overlooked gifts we have in the military is our ability to travel. More often than not, we are stationed at bases around the world where we have the access and opportunity to travel and see the local sites. However, it happens way too often that we ignore those opportunities....
 

 
Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann

Thunderbolt joins elite Thunderbirds

Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, took this photo March 15 during Luke Air Force Base’s Open House and Air Show. She had no idea at the time that just a few months later she would b...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Wanted: Airmen selfie videos The Air Force wants to hear from Airmen with unique stories about what led them to the Air Force, who are proud of their job and how it impacts the Air Force mission, or work in an exceptional unit. The 2014 American Airman Video Contest is open to all Airmen who...
 
 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Airman 1st Class Anna Valdez 56th Contracting Squadron Contracting specialist Hometown: Moscow Years in service: One Family: Husband, Phil; mother, Natalia; and father, Oleg Education: Russian State University of Trade and Economics bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics Inspirations: My parents demonstrated excellence and success in a loving environment, taught me to never give up...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin