We stay informed of technological advances in dental medicine by working closely with our vendors to bring in new equipment when appropriate. We also pursue continuing education opportunities that update our skills and knowledge of new technology.
Our state-of-the-art equipment allows us to provide the most effective treatment in the safest manner possible. The advanced technology our office utilizes assists in the treatment process in a variety of ways, including examination and diagnosis and planning and performing treatment.
The two most commonly taken radiographs in the dental office are annual bitewings/periapicals and a panoramic view.
Annual bitewing and periapical radiographs are an important component of your dental care. These allow us to examine changes in your teeth that are not visible to the naked eye. They also allow inspection of hidden areas of your oral cavity, such as the points at which the teeth meet.
At Ocean View Dental Care, we use digital x-rays exclusively. The benefits to our patients and staff members are numerous. The images are captured instantly via computer software, eliminating wait time. Since they do not require processing, there is no need to have a dark room or take personnel off the floor. Of course, the biggest benefit here was getting rid of the potentially harmful chemicals.
The hygienist or dentist can rotate the images on the screen to look at different areas. They can also zoom in to get a closer look at a particular structure and change the lighting if needed to improve the image. Consider the difference between looking at a physical picture from an old film camera to today’s digital images. Just as you can improve the clarity or lighting of an image and can enlarge it or zoom in, we can do the same with digital radiography images.
In addition, digital radiography exposes patients to lower amounts of radiation than traditional x-rays. We do, however, still take all appropriate precautions to protect sensitive body parts while taking the x-rays. Also, because we can improve images on the computer screen, fewer retakes are needed. This, of course, also reduces exposure to radiation.
Moreover, digital files allow for easy storing and sharing. Therefore, we won’t lose your files in case of an unexpected disaster, like fire or flooding. And we can easily provide your files to specialists if an outside referral is needed, eliminating your need to pick up films and deliver them.
A panoramic x-ray is taken every five years. Unlike the bitewing x-rays, which present a piecemeal representation of the jaw, the panoramic x-ray captures the entire oral structure. This includes all the teeth, jaws, and sinuses, as well as the lower nasal area, in a single image. This type of x-ray can be useful in diagnosing problems such as bone malformations, tumors, cysts, impacted teeth, and some infections.
If you are experiencing certain symptoms, your dentist may recommend a panoramic x-ray instead of bitewing x-rays.
One of the most important treatments that patients receive at a dentist’s office is prophylaxis—the preventive teeth cleaning provided by a dental hygienist. If a patient has minimal calculus (tartar), it may be possible to clean the teeth quickly using traditional scaling instruments.
However, other patients may benefit from an ultrasonic scaling system, such as Cavitron. This system cleans the teeth far more quickly, especially when a patient has significant tartar accumulation. Cavitron also has less of an impact on the patient’s teeth, and less pressure is applied to the teeth and jaws. This improves patient comfort and allows you to get in and out of our office in a quicker appointment.
Lasers are another way in which technology can enhance dental treatment.
Lasers can be used to activate bleaching gels in teeth whitening treatments. This means you can achieve the desired effects much more quickly than with the gel alone. With laser-accelerated teeth whitening, we can complete your treatment in as little as an hour. You can get a whiter, brighter smile on your lunch break!
Dr. Pichak Kelk also uses lasers with some of her periodontal treatments. The laser allows her to perform minimally invasive gum surgery. The advantages are vast, including increased patient comfort, fewer complications, faster healing, and improved accuracy. It also means no cutting, which eliminates the need for stitches. These are only a few of the ways in which we integrate technology into our practice.
Have you ever had impressions of your mouth made? Did it involve messy, unpleasant putty-like goo put on trays you had to bite down on? Do you know how long you had to keep that stuff in your mouth? Chances are high it seemed much longer than it actually was.
Today’s dental technology allows for a much-improved process. It’s a win for everyone, as the impressions are more precise, and it is much more comfortable for patients. It also eliminates the need to repeat the gooey process if the impression is not good.
At Ocean View Dental Care, we take impressions digitally using the TRIOS system. While some dental practices continue to use the outdated way to make dental impressions, we believe our patients are worth this advanced technology.
With the TRIOS system, the dentist uses an intraoral scanner in the oral cavity to capture the specifications of the teeth structures. That data is then relayed to a CAD/CAM software system that creates a three-dimensional image of the teeth. That image can be moved around on the screen to view the impression from different angles for more accurate treatment planning purposes.
Also, we can easily and instantly upload the image to the lab. This is more efficient than having to send impressions in the mail.
In summary, digital impressions lead to more efficient, precise, predictable treatment results while being more comfortable for patients.