I recently moved into a 60 year old row house. It is structurally sound, but terribly ugly. Foolishly, I thought that a cosmetic home renovation would be easy, simple, a piece of cake. However, once I pulled the walls and ceiling down in the basement some alarming things were revealed.

First the duct work is very low, less than 6 feet from the floor in some areas. I’d like to put a shower down there; this low duct work is quite a fly in the ointment. Worse than that, there is a wall on the first floor that is non-load bearing, and in order to realize my desired design that wall has got to go. There is one visible duct near the floor on this wall. No problem, put the duct in the floor and take out the wall, I thought. Well, once the ceiling came out of the basement what was revealed were THREE ducts in that wall, one visible, and two that go up to the second story. I am so glad that my contractors are so much savvier about home renovations than I am. Had we taken out that wall and found three ducts, with no plan, what a mess it would have been.

This is the basement of my house. Nice huh? 😉

Now that we know what is under the floor and behind the wall, we can make a plan that will work well without forcing me to live in renovation purgatory for months on end . . . I hope.

Dentistry is very similar to a home renovation in this regard. If we do not know what’s going on under the gums we cannot properly diagnose. Is there a cyst in the jaw, a tumor? Is there an infection? How long is the root? Can it withstand more treatment? Is the bone that supports the tooth healthy? Is there decay between the teeth that cannot be seen with the eye or felt with the dental explorer? We can’t really recommend any treatment above the gum line until we know what’s going on below.

Luckily for our patients Dr. Urban is as savvy as my contractors. We have the latest in digital X-Rays. This decreases the radiation exposure by up to 90% compared to the old fashioned way. We can have an X-Ray done in less than a minute, on the computer screen, and blown up so large than even Mr. Magoo could see the details. Now we can start making intelligent decisions about appropriate treatment.

This is a digital X-ray of my lower right first molar and bicuspid, I have enlarged the image so you can see the details. As you can see the part above the gum line is only half the story.

So if you need a home renovation, get a good contractor (I can recommend one) and look behind the walls first. If you need great dental care call us anytime. We are always happy to hear from our patients and potential patients.

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