What Is an Intraoral Camera?
The short answer is that an intraoral camera is a tool your dentist uses to examine your mouth in as detailed a way as possible. The instrument, which may look like an oversized pen, has a camera that takes high-resolution footage or images of a patient’s mouth and individual teeth and shows the visuals real-time on a monitor— like a camera with super zoom in powers. Intraoral cameras have incredible technological features. Your dentist can examine your mouth in extreme detail. This means your dentist can diagnose more accurately. Since the visuals from the intraoral camera appear on the monitor as they’re taken, your dentist can discuss your oral health with you while you both see the images. Your dentist can display clear, colorful images, allowing them to point out any issues and discuss them with you immediately. We typically see things like discoloration, leaking fillings, fractures, cavities, recession and lesions in much more detail than we can with our natural eyesite. From a patient perspective, it’s much easier to visualize what the dentist is saying with a picture rather than with words. The best part is that pictures give off zero radiation, they’re quick, easy and free. We also like to take them to compare the condition of your teeth throughout your time with us. So if you come back with a problem we can see the progression of a gum recession area, or bite changes, or a fracture or see that there used to be a filling in an area and it’s no longer there. It serves us as a living document of what’s in your mouth.
You’ll certainly learn a lot about your mouth! And the more you see and understand, the more confident you can be when making treatment decisions.
What is CEREC?
CEREC is a high-tech digital scanning and milling (3-D printing) device that allows our patients to have a crown or other porcelain restoration made all in one day. (Actually, it only takes a few hours from start to finish!)
CEREC uses the CAD/CAM or “Computer Aided Design” and “Computer Aided Manufacturing” technology to create your personalized ceramic crown in just one visit. This cutting-edge creates a virtual image of the tooth being worked on, so it’s very detailed and accurate. Your new tooth is milled out in our 3-D printer, of a solid ceramic block. It is then bonded to your natural tooth and blends right in with your other teeth. This makes the old method of taking a goopy impression, sending it to the lab and waiting 2-3 weeks to get it back and wearing a temporary crown in the meantime, totally obsolete.
We love this technology not only because we get to have the final product quicker for our patients, but also because we get more control over the design and materials. Our holistic office uses the most conservative and biocompatible materials we can. The crowns are designed by our highly trained dentists to be most conservative in their design. Dental labs oftentimes use paints, glazes and sprays to make the crowns look pretty, but patients end up swallowing some of it throughout the time it’s in the mouth. We are very conscious about the materials that go inside a patient’s mouth, so by making our own crowns, we have full control over the design and the materials. It’s the perfect technology for a biological, holistic dental office and we are proud and honored to have it.
What is a CBCT scan?
3D cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is an imaging technology that allows dentists to evaluate the underlying bone structure, as well as the nerve pathways and surrounding soft tissues. During a CBCT scan, the imaging machine rotates entirely around the patient’s head. In less than 5 seconds, about 150-200 images are captured from a variety of angles and compiled into a single 3D image that can be manipulated by the doctor.
CBCT scans are quick, and in most cases, a full mouth scan takes less than a minute. When having a CBCT scan taken, you can expect to be standing while an x-ray arm slowly rotates around your head. The scan should cause you no discomfort.
Some people are worried about the radiation that comes from the scan. However, they use significantly less radiation than traditional CT scanners. We have one of the least radiation CBCT machines on the market. A full image is equivalent to a full series of individual x-rays that your dentist takes during check up and cleanings every 3-5 years.
Why do I need a CBCT scan?
Now that you have an understanding about what a CBCT scan is and how it works, let’s take a look at just why you may need one. For starters, your dentist will likely recommend a CBCT scan if you are considering dental implants because it can provide a detailed picture of your bones, nerves, and soft tissues. It helps plan for the implant placement to make sure there is enough bone and enough distance from certain structures like your nerves. This allows your dentist to determine if dental implants can be safely and effectively placed.
A single CBCT scan can show potential dental issues such as infection around a tooth, bone loss, abnormal growths, facial fractures, periodontal infections, irregularities of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), pathology, cavitations, and problems with the tooth roots. We also always send our CBCT scans to a radiologist to check for any additional pathology. We like to have a second set of eyes to evaluate your image. It is the most comprehensive way to practice modern dentistry.
We have the capabilities of using a soft tissue, hard tissue and cold laser therapy. Here’s some more information regarding the differences.
What is a Soft Tissue Laser?
Our soft tissue laser is designed to remove tissue by heating it up. A highly concentrated beam of light energy removes soft tissue with unmatched precision. The small laser fiber cauterizes while it cuts to minimize the risk of bleeding and inflammation. Research shows it also kills over 99% of bacteria thus significantly reducing the risk of postoperative infection. You’ll enjoy a less
painful and shorter recovery process to restore a healthy smile quicker. Overall, a soft tissue laser gives us better control during your treatment to minimize the risk of complications. This allows us to provide a higher standard of comprehensive, holistic care by reducing room for error.
What Issues Can Soft Tissue Laser Dentistry Treat?
The Food and Drug Administration has approved soft tissue lasers to be used for both children and adults. It is a safe and effective solution to aid many dental procedures, including:
- Inflamed and infected gum tissue
- Canker sores
- Cold Sores
- Frenectomies (tongue or lip tie removal)
- Minor esthetic gum contouring
- Uncovering dental implants
- Soft tissue crown lengthening or tissue removal
- Drain oral abscesses
- Expose impacted teeth
What is a Hard Tissue laser?
A hard tissue laser can cut through hard tissues such as tooth structure and bone. Depending on several factors, the laser can be used without anesthetic for procedures such as cavity fillings. Special laser glasses are worn to protect the patient’s eye and a laser beam is sent to the area in need. This technology helps us be conservative and sterilizes the area after.
This is a cold laser therapy to improve tissue repair and reduce pain and inflammation. It is used in conjunction with other procedures that we do.
CariVu Cavity Detection Device
CariVu is a compact, portable cavity detection device that uses patented transillumination technology to help identify new cavities, recurrent carious lesions and cracks on all surfaces of the tooth.
What makes CariVu unique?
o Uses transillumination technology that makes enamel appear transparent while porous lesions trap and absorb light, making cavities appear dark on the screen.
o Allows the clinician to see through the tooth, exposing its structure and the development of any carious lesions
o CariVu images read like familiar X-ray images
o Uses non-ionizing radiation (it’s not an x-ray) which is ideal for children, pregnant women and patients who are Xray averse.
o It is taken like a picture, so it can be stored in your patient chart and referenced or compared throughout a period of time.
o It’s simple to use.
Talk to one of our expert team members to see if CariVu can be used for your mouth. We aim at comprehensive, conservative care and would love to help you take care of your smile.