How Technology Has Changed Dentistry Forever
With each passing year, every industry is graced with new pieces of technology that make services better, faster, and, in many cases, more affordable to deliver.
The world of dentistry is no different: The days of dreading long, painful procedures that span multiple sessions are long gone with so many qualified dentists adopting cutting-edge instruments, materials, and software that make obtaining that healthy mouth and perfect smile easier than ever. In fact, most procedures can now be completed in one sitting using equipment that is available in the dentist’s office (no need to get another party involved or to wait around for weeks!), absolutely painlessly, and with full transparency, given that most technologies allow for you to digitally see exactly what’s going on inside that mouth.
Whether you’re getting a dental implant to replace a cracked tooth or making the leap to get veneers, here are three state-of-the-art technologies that you should ask your dentist about.
The Intraoral Camera
You may remember it from the days of braces: Your dentist asking you to bite into a tray full of grape-flavored goop that eventually hardens and is yanked out of your mouth to reveal an impression of your teeth. It’s messy, it’s uncomfortable, and it reminds you just how long five minutes is.
So, the entire world rejoiced with the dawn of the intraoral camera. This small, pen-shaped device takes digital images of your teeth and gums to create an entire impression. Because the camera is so tiny and can get into all the nooks and crannies at varying angles, it won’t miss a spot and, even if it does, you won’t need to re-do the entire process over again like you would with traditional impression-making. Instead, you just re-snap a photo of the missed area, and you’re ready to move on.
As you might expect, this procedure is quick, painless, and essential in both identifying and keeping a long-lasting record of your dental needs. You’ll also get a better understanding and education of the conditions your dentist identifies to you since images of your teeth and gums will show up on a computer screen that’s typically available for you to view along with your practitioner. Advanced cameras are even built-in with software that allows you to see a rendering of what your teeth may look like after the dental procedure you choose to undergo.
This technology is a must for instant, reliable, and re-creatable results that improve your experience in the dentist’s chair.
Digital and 3D Cone-Beam X-Rays
Like the intraoral camera, advanced x-ray technologies take traditional x-rays and make them more refined, safer, and convenient for dentists and patients alike.
Let’s first take a look at digital x-rays, perfect for capturing targeted images of oral areas as you relax in your chair. Instead of configuring a large and cumbersome wall-mounted x-ray machine at the perfect angle, your dentist can now use a hand-held device that takes digital images of your teeth that are instantaneously available for viewing. Not only does this nifty device save time and take clearer photos than a traditional x-ray, it also exposes patients to less radiation.
Speaking of less radiation, 3D cone-beam x-rays also ensure that patients are not over-exposed by projecting the x-ray in a controlled, cone-shaped beam. This technology is excellent for taking high-quality, dynamic photos that give your dentist a holistic and realistic picture of your entire mouth, including your bones, teeth, airways, nerves, tissues, and the intricate relationships between each and all of them. But unlike CT scans which offer comparable imaging quality, this x-ray can be taken lightning-fast. In fact, certain cone-beam x-rays can take up to 200 photos in just 14 seconds!
The CEREC System
Last but certainly not least is the Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics (CEREC) system, your reliable best friend when it comes to restoring painful, damaged teeth.
This pioneering technology is known for doing it all in a single sitting: It first takes digital images of your affected tooth and then designs a restoration, or a crown, specifically to its appropriate form and function. Then, using diamond burs, CEREC creates a metal-free, naturally colored crown out of a piece of high-grade ceramic that’s compatible with the natural tissue in your mouth right in the office—no need to make multiple trips and wait weeks for the restoration to be made in an outside lab. Finally, the ceramic restoration is bonded to your damaged tooth using dental adhesive.
And you’re done!
Start to finish, this process is completed in one visit, saving you a significant amount of time and, in some cases, cost. Crowns are typically expensive investments but, because the CEREC system is already available in the office and there’s no need to contract out to create your crown, your dentist may be able to hold down expenses. For some people, this raises questions about quality: Does an in-house machine really create durable and aesthetically beautiful crowns?
CEREC’s top-of-the-line ceramic material is not only natural-looking and comfortable but, because it’s milled, it’s much stronger than traditional dental ceramic, which is typically made layering and pressing. Plus, CEREC can also be used for fillings, making your teeth stronger and more functional, so it’s the restoration gift that keeps on giving.
Using this innovative technology, you’ll enjoy a beautiful smile and oral health for years to come!
A Family Dentistry with State-of-the-Art Technology
While cutting-edge dental technology is beneficial, it can’t do you much good if your dentist doesn’t have access to them or, worse, is not appropriately trained in their use.
Serving The Woodlands, Benders Landing, Woodforest, Spring, and the Conroe/Montgomery area, Dr. Carrie Muzny DDS and her dental team have invested in all three of the introduced technologies and more so they may best serve clients with top-quality care, comfort, and convenience.
We are dedicated to you and your family’s dental health and to continual learning, which is exemplified by our broad range of painless and efficient procedures—cosmetic, surgical, or otherwise—that can only be accomplished using the latest technology.
Visit us today to change how you view dentistry forever!
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