DIAGNOSTIC AND EDUCATIONAL
Our practice has been using digital x-rays for several years now. Their benefits include instant viewing, easier image manipulation, much less
radiation and it is easier for the patient to see their problems as the image can be enlarged to fill an entire computer monitor. Images can quickly be sent to other specialists and insurance companies. Digital, rather than film x-rays, also eliminates the use of hazardous developing chemicals in our practice that are harmful to the environment.
Intraoral Camera Exams
Being able to see a close up photograph of your tooth to illustrate such problems as a cracked tooth or a large leak in a filling can be very enlightening to a patient. No longer do you have to take our word for it, many conditions are evident when seen on a large screen along with periodontal disease, abscesses, poor oral hygiene, and hidden esthetic issues you can’t see with ordinary magnification in a mirror. We have been using various forms of this technology for almost 20 years.
Laser Cavity Detection (Diagnodent®)
Many times cavities on the biting surfaces of teeth are not visible on xrays and even can’t be felt with instruments such as our “pick” or explorer as we call it. By directing a small laser beam into the tooth surface, the Diagnodent can quantify whether a tooth actually has a cavity that warrants immediate treatment or whether the tooth can be monitored over time. Advantages are not treating teeth needlessly and at the same time keeping us from overlooking an existing problem that could get worse. Accuracy is reported to be over 90% compared to other methods which may only be 50-60% accurate. Using this instrument also allows us to treat beginning cavities much more conservatively, often without drilling or anesthesia.
Digital Patient Education
Many times a patient has a question about a procedure that is difficult to describe. This is where digital education excels. A short video on an iPad often answer questions that are hard to comprehend until it is seen, heard and described on screen. We have available over 200 presentations from crowns to implants to TMJ therapy. We believe an informed patient will make better choices that will greatly benefit their overall dental health.
Since implementing the use of electric handpieces or “drills” in our practice, many people who hate the sound of the drill are much happier. Because the motor gets an electric boost rather than being fully air driven, noise reduction during treatment is drastically reduced.
Picasso Lite Soft Tissue Laser
This laser can accomplish small surgical procedures, instead of a scalpel, and often without the need for local anesthesia. Its indications are limitless and it is a tool that we are finding more and more uses for every day.
Our chain of sterilization procedures is second to none. Instruments are ultrasonically cleaned after use, handpieces are oiled and flushed, and all instrument setups are wrapped before going into one of our state of the art autoclaves. When cycles are completed, instruments remain surgically sterile just like in a hospital environment until ready for use. Ask us for a tour!
Digital ImpressionsWe are very excited to incorporate Digital Scanning Technology to our process for taking impressions for most crowns and bridges and soon to be used for partials and dentures. Gone are the mess, discomfort and inconvenience of multiple goopy impression trays. We are taking a 3D image of the teeth with a hand-held wand that captures the image to a computer monitor. The file is sent electronically to a dental lab, which converts the digital scan to a model via 3D printing. Although our temporaries still require a tray impression, the process is streamlined into much shorter chair time and much quicker turnaround time; and its really cool to watch!