Drs Bradbury & Amato, PC

Dentist - West Hartford

18 N. Main Street, Suite 2  West Hartford, CT 06107

(860) 561-3050
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18 N. Main Street
Suite 2
West Hartford, CT 06107

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Posts for: May, 2016


It’s important for your child’s current and future health that we watch out for tooth decay. Taking x-rays is a critical part of staying one step ahead of this common disease.

But while x-ray imaging is commonplace, we can’t forget it’s still a form of radiation that could be potentially harmful, especially for a child whose tissues are rapidly developing. We must, therefore, carefully weigh the potential benefits against risk.

This concern has given birth to an important principle in the use of x-rays known as ALARA, an acronym for “As Low As Reasonably Achievable.” In basic terms, we want to use the lowest amount of x-ray energy for the shortest period of time to gain the most effectiveness in diagnosing tooth decay and other conditions.

A good example of this principle is a common type of radiograph known as a bitewing. The exposable x-ray film is attached to a plastic devise that looks like a wing; the patient bites down on it to hold it in place while the x-ray exposure takes place. Depending on the number of teeth in a child’s mouth, an appointment usually involves 2 to 4 films, and children are typically spaced at six months apart. Frequency of x-rays depends on your child’s tooth decay risk: lower risk, less need for frequent intervals.

Each bitewing exposes the child to 2 microsieverts, the standard unit for radiation measurement. This amount of radiation is relatively low: by contrast, we’re all exposed to 10 microsieverts of background radiation (natural radiation occurring in the environment) every day or 3,600 microsieverts annually. Even two appointments of four bitewings each year is a fraction of a percent of the background radiation we’re exposed to in the same year.

This conservative use of x-rays is well within safe parameters for children. As x-ray technology continues to advance (as with the development of digital imaging) we anticipate the exposure rate to diminish even more. Prudently used, x-rays remain one of our best tools for ensuring your child’s teeth are healthy and developing normally.

If you would like more information on the use of x-rays with children, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “X-Ray Safety for Children.”

By Drs Bradbury & Amato, PC
May 13, 2016
Category: Oral Health

Are bleeding gums something you should be concerned about? Dear Doctor magazine recently posed that question to Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors. He answered with two questions of his own: “If you started bleeding from your eyeball, would you seek medical attention?” Needless to say, most everyone would. “So,” he asked, “why is it that when we bleed all the time when we floss that we think it’s no big deal?” As it turns out, that’s an excellent question — and one that’s often misunderstood.

First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “bleeding all the time.” As many as 90 percent of people occasionally experience bleeding gums when they clean their teeth — particularly if they don’t do it often, or are just starting a flossing routine. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush or floss, it almost certainly means there’s a problem. Many think bleeding gums is a sign they are brushing too hard; this is possible, but unlikely. It’s much more probable that irritated and bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.

How common is this malady? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of all  Americans over age 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease — and that number increases to 70.1 percent for those over 65! Periodontal disease can occur when a bacteria-rich biofilm in the mouth (also called plaque) is allowed to build up on tooth and gum surfaces. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, as the immune system responds to the bacteria. Eventually, this can cause gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming bacteria-filled “pockets” under the gum surface. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection, and even tooth loss.

What should you do if your gums bleed regularly when brushing or flossing? The first step is to come in for a thorough examination. In combination with a regular oral exam (and possibly x-rays or other diagnostic tests), a simple (and painless) instrument called a periodontal probe can be used to determine how far any periodontal disease may have progressed. Armed with this information, we can determine the most effective way to fight the battle against gum disease.

Above all, don’t wait too long to come in for an exam! As Dr. Stork notes, bleeding gums are “a sign that things aren’t quite right.”  If you would like more information about bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.” You can read the entire interview with Dr. Travis Stork in Dear Doctor magazine.

By Drs Bradbury & Amato, PC
May 02, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that a person's smile speaks to who he or she really is inside. Do you think your smile reflects your real self--or not? If not, Drs. Bradbury and Amato, West Hartford, CT cosmetic dentists, invite you to explore the Cosmetic Dentistrypossibility of a smile makeover.

A Smile Makeover

Does the term "smile makeover" sound expensive or too Hollywood? it doesn't have to be. In fact, Dr. Bradbury and Dr. Amato feel that even simple aesthetic changes give you a smile you'll love without investing huge amounts of time and money.

Each smile makeover starts with a comprehensive oral exam to check for dental decay, gum disease, bite and condition of restorations such as fillings and crowns. The West Hartford cosmetic dentists take digital x-rays and photos as needed to get a complete picture of teeth, roots, bone structure and overall facial appearance. If teeth are healthy, the doctor proceeds with a treatment plan aimed at improving how your smile looks.

Cosmetic Treatments Offered

One of the simplest and quickest ways to brighten tooth enamel is professional teeth whitening. Superior to over the counter products such as strips and rinses, whitening with Drs. Bradbury and Amato changes tooth color by up to 8 shades. 

Safe and long-lasting, professional teeth whitening uses potent hydrogen peroxide gel that lifts staining organic material right out of tooth enamel. By limiting staining foods and drinks, stopping smoking and performing good oral hygiene daily, teeth whitening results last indefinitely.

Another excellent cosmetic service is composite resin bonding. Using an innovative material composed of glass and acrylic, composite resin fills small gaps and mild overlapping or repairs hairline fractures and chips. The resin flows on and hardens under a special curing light. Repairs are seamless and match natural tooth color perfectly.

When damage or discoloration is more involved, porcelain veneers improve tooth shape, cover stains and even act as "instant orthodontics," smoothing tooth alignment and disguising small gaps. Made of fine dental ceramic according to Dr. Bradbury's or Dr. Amato's specific instructions, veneers also strengthen tooth enamel.

Veneers are a permanent restoration because the West Hartford cosmetic dentist removes a thin slice of enamel from the front side of the teeth receiving ceramic shells. This painless procedure allows the porcelain veneers enough space in the mouth for comfortable chewing and clear speaking. Permanently bonded with tooth-colored cement, porcelain veneers stay in place for years with good dental care at home and at the dentist's office.

Change Your Smile

It may be simpler than you ever thought possible. Why not contact Drs. Bradbury and Amato at their West Hartford, CT office? Discuss your aesthetic concerns and goals, and find out how cosmetic dentistry can work for you. Call (860) 561-3050 today!