Like other industries, technology has changed the experience of dentistry for both patients and practitioners. At Stadium Dental Center, we’re not into technology for its’ own sake—but when it allows us to provide your care more comfortably, quickly, and cost-effectively, we’re eager to adopt it. Here are some ways dental technology is in use in our Jefferson City office.
Digital X-rays can help us identify conditions affecting your mouth, such as cavities and bone loss. These images are invaluable in complete diagnosis and effective treatment planning.
What makes digital X-ray images preferred over traditional ‘wet film’ X-rays is the vastly reduced radiation dosage you are exposed to (equivalent to what you receive being out in the sunshine for short periods), the time savings in processing, and the ability to be viewed on a computer screen, where they can be adjusted for contrast and brightness—allowing for optimal diagnosis. An additional benefit is the elimination of chemicals used in wet film processing.
With digital photography, conditions we may find in the mouth such as fractured teeth, receding gums, and broken restorations can be displayed for you to help you better appreciate and understand the condition of your teeth and associated treatment recommendations. We can visually depict proposed treatment results on a computer or TV screen before work is begun so you can have a clearer sense of what to expect when your work is completed.
3-D (Cone-beam computed tomography) imaging
Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) imaging can help us plan for dental implants, evaluate abnormal teeth, and diagnose hidden dental trauma or unusual pathology. This low-dose imaging technology operates like traditional panoramic X-ray machines, capturing image data that provides a 3-D view of your teeth, mouth, jaw, neck, ears, nose, and throat. Though not routinely needed for most of our patients, we can obtain these high-tech studies when necessary for our patients.
The traditional process to make a permanent crown involves many steps performed by the dental treatment and dental laboratory teams. Many, perhaps most, of the dental crowns we deliver are now produced using computer-assisted design and computer-assisted manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technologies. Later this year we’ll begin using an intraoral camera to scan in the shape and relationship of your teeth to speed up this process further and reduce our reliance on sometimes unpleasant but necessary intraoral impressions.
Lasers are everywhere these days, including in our Jefferson City dental office. We’ve found our intraoral laser very useful in treating canker and cold sores, gum disease, and removing soft tissue because of pathology or surgical needs. We can reduce symptoms and shorten healing times associated with a number of dental therapies by using the intraoral laser as well as control bleeding and reduce the quantity of bacteria in diseased gum tissue.