The dental field has undergone dramatic technological advancements over the last 100 years. The dental field has been around for hundreds of years, but has not been officially recognized until the mid-1800s. As you can imagine, there has been a lot of technological and medical breakthroughs over the last 200 years. Today, complicated procedures such as root canals, dental implants and full-mouth restoration are possible and are done routinely. With current medicine and equipment, the risk of dangerous complications and infections from dental procedures are rare. What kind of technological changes are happening now in dentistry? Look for the following equipment, and technology the next time you visit the dental office:
Computer Assisted Design/Computer Assisted Manufacture technologies provide dentists with a high-quality, accurate design of items that need to be made. The most common dental items that can now be created using this design technology include crowns, veneers, bridges, and onlays/inlays.
The benefit of laser dentistry is that it offers a much less invasive alternative to many procedures. The light energy that is emitted from lasers results in a shortened and almost painless healing period. This option is commonly available for the treatment of benign tumors, cold sores, crown lengthening, decay removal, gummy smile changes, dental fillings, tongue tie and speech impediment improvements, nerve regeneration for damaged nerves and blood vessels and scars, certain conditions related to sleep apnea, TMJ and tooth sensitivity.
Traditional dental sedation involves IV needles and injections. Patients who were afraid of the dentist were even more fearful because of the use of needles. With oral sedation, there are no needles and the patient remains at some level of consciousness. This low state of consciousness allows the patient to respond to the dentist while being relaxed during a dental procedure.
The dental implant procedure is now a routine procedure that offers more stability and support than prior versions. With the use of titanium, the implants are easily grafted into the jaw bone tissue, causing little or no allergic reactions or rejection. Titanium is also strong and durable. Now, there are also same-day crowns, so patients can get both the implant and the crown that goes on top of it in the same day. This is a huge improvement from traditional implants where patients must wait at least 6 months for the crown to be made.
Many people have negative views of the dental office. The needles, the smell and of course, the horrible sound of the drill. With air-abrasion, the traumatizing dental drill is a thing of the past. Air-abrasion removes decayed teeth without the use of anesthetic. This technique is done by the blasting of air pellets and aluminum oxide onto the tooth and gums.
CAT scans allow dentists to accurately place various restorative dental devices such as dentures. CAT scans work well with the 3-D imaging available with digital photography and x-rays. The combination of these technologies allow dentists to have a clear view of the bone and jaw structure of the mouth.
Just like digital photography, digital x-rays use computers to capture high-quality images of the patient’s mouth. Unlike traditional x-rays that involved a lot of bulky equipment and the exposure of potentially harmful radiation.
Intraoral cameras are tiny cameras that can fit inside a patient’s mouth. Dentists and patients can now make better informed dental decisions because they can now see and view images of what is going on inside a patient’s mouth.
Next time you need to get a filling, you now have an option for composite fillings instead of the traditional gold or amalgam fillings. Composite fillings are easier to apply, are more durable and look better. Dentists can now apply composite resin directly to the tooth and shape and color it to make it look like part of the natural tooth.
Gone are the days of low-quality, film photography. Now photography is digital, using computers to manipulate photos. Dentists use digital photography, for instance to show patients what they would look like after a certain dental procedure. This is great for the patient by helping them to determine whether the procedure is worth it or not and whether it will meet the patient’s expectations or goals.
The dental experience is not what it used to be. It involves a lot less pain, has faster service and quicker recovery time. At LeDowns Dentistry, we strive to stay abreast of the latest dental technology and best practices. Call us today to make an appointment or learn how our advanced dental technology and extensive dental expertise can give you a pleasant dental experience.