The complex devices all around us — from long-range satellite links in our cars and offices to powerful computers in our handheld gadgets — prove beyond a doubt that we live in a technology-driven world. In the field of dentistry, new technology is constantly changing the way diseases are diagnosed, routine procedures are performed, and illnesses are prevented. Although they may seem unfamiliar at first, new and improved dental technologies offer plenty of real benefits for patients. Here's a look at some of the latest examples coming soon to (or now appearing at) a dental office near you.
- Cone Beam CT Imaging. What's better than an x-ray of your teeth? An on-screen, movable 3D representation of your jaws! By taking a series of x-ray “slices” and stitching the images together with a powerful computer program, cone beam CT imaging creates a virtual model of your mouth. It can be used to find disease, plan procedures, and visualize internal structures that formerly wouldn't have been visible without surgery.
Dental Implants. Tooth replacement took a giant leap forward with the widespread use of dental implants — today's preferred method of replacing teeth. Dental implants are small titanium posts that replace the root part of your missing tooth. A realistic dental crown is then attached to the implant for a replacement tooth that looks and feels exactly like what nature gave you.
- Digital X-rays. Diagnostic x-rays have long been invaluable to dentistry. The emergence of digital technology in the past decade, however, has made dental x-rays safer and even more useful. Digital technology cuts radiation exposure to patients by as much as 90% over traditional x-rays. And there are other advantages, including the elimination of waiting time for pictures to develop, and sharper images that can be enhanced instantly to show detail.
- Florida Probe. Florida Probe enables clinicians to collect probing measurements, document bleeding and suppuration, record recession, mobility, plaque accumulation, furcations, and even record minimal attached gingiva, all unassisted while the patient listens.
- Intra-Oral Camera. A picture is worth … plenty when it comes to helping you understand your dental examination, diagnosis, and treatment! With these tiny cameras, you can see what the dentist sees on a small chairside monitor. The images of your teeth can be saved as stills or video — or even printed out — so you can see exactly what's happening in your mouth.