Dental X-rays have come a long way. Todays dental X-rays are safer, faster, more comfortable and more informative than the X-rays of years past. Digital X-rays, one of the latest and most advanced dental technologies, produce high-quality images of your teeth that can be viewed instantly by you and your dentist on a LCD monitor. Digital X-rays reduce radiation by up to 90% and provide exceptional diagnostic information to ensure that potential problems are caught in their earliest stages. Intraoral photography is another alternative to traditional dental X-rays. With intraoral photography, problems such as cavities, fractures and discolorations in the teeth are captured through clear and sharp photographic images that are taken with a 35mm or digital camera.
The digital impression system uses digital imaging to make your dental impressions. Wired to the digital impression system is a dental instrument that contains a tiny camera known as an intraoral scanner. Unlike the digital camera you have at home, the intraoral scanner takes multiple pictures of your tooth and the surrounding area; then it compiles the data to create a three-dimensional model of your dental restoration.
Once your tooth is prepared, it takes only minutes for your dentist to scan the area and create your dental restoration right on the computer screen. The final image is e-mailed to a technician to prepare the mold, who in turn sends it to a dental lab to create the final product. Digital imaging allows for the impressions to be sent to the lab immediately, resulting in a shorter turnaround time to produce your dental restoration.
Laser dentistry relies on several types of lasers, including those used for hard tissue (like teeth) and those used for soft tissue (like gums). One type of dental laser used specifically for cutting soft tissues in the mouth is called a diode laser. A diode laser can be used to correct a wide variety of dental problems including:
Canker Sores – Diode lasers can almost immediately reduce the pain of a canker sore breakout. Lasers can even reduce the recurrence of future breakouts.
Gum Disease – Diode lasers are used to remove diseased tissue and reshape the gums. The result is easier access to certain parts of the gum for improved oral hygiene.
Gum Reshaping – A diode laser can be used in soft tissue crown lengthening to reshape the gums and expose healthier tooth structure. This provides a stronger base for restorations such as a dental crown. The laser can also be used cosmetically to reshape the gum line and create a more balanced smile.
Laser Root Canal Therapy – The diode laser produces enough heat and pressure to melt away the infection within a tooth’s root without using drills or hand files.
Soft Tissue Care – Diode lasers are used to prevent gum disease from occurring in the first place. Diode lasers can remove tooth decay on the surface of a tooth’s root by removing the gum covering it up. The diode laser helps decontaminate deep gingival pockets that harbor the bacteria that can cause gum disease. And because the diode laser beam kills bacteria, it is also often used to sterilize areas of the mouth before or during treatment for cavities or a root canal.
More and more orthodontists, oral surgeons and other dental specialists are using a new dental imaging technology called 3D cone beam scans – and for good reason. 3D cone beam scans produce high-quality 3D images of teeth, teeth roots, jaws and even the skull. These 3D images allow dental professionals to identify potential problems that oftentimes go unnoticed with traditional dental images. 3D cone beam scans have benefits for patients, too: they emit far less radiation than traditional dental X-rays!
Dental visits will never be the same, thanks to the development of high-tech dental technologies such as the CAD CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing). With CAD CAM technology, dentists can take high-quality images of the teeth and use those images to design a premium dental restoration on a computer – all in one visit! CAD CAM takes less time, reduces discomfort and produces outstanding results.
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