Advanced Technology in Richardson Tx
Many dental technologies don’t directly affect patient experience in a noticeable way, but intraoral photography may be the most impactful technology for patient care. Rather than describing or explaining what we see, intraoral photography allows us to show patients their smiles from our perspective. This means patients have a better understanding of the issue, they become more active partners in treatment planning, and patients feel more confident in the options they choose to repair or improve their smiles. These images are captured using a small, pen-like, camera that can easily be positioned within the mouth and provides clear images of patients’ dental structures.
Intraoral photography has made it easy for our team to show patients the parts of their teeth above the gum line for better patient education and treatment planning, but what about the underlying dental structures? X-rays have been used for decades to give dentists and patients a better understanding of how the underlying supportive structures of teeth function, but they were difficult to capture, time consuming to develop, and were only viewable with a specialized light board. Digital x-rays are easier and safer to capture, exposing patients to significantly less radiation, and the high-definition images are immediately available on any computer for easy storage and transfer.
Digital x-rays give our team a picture of how the underlying dental structures in specific sections of the smile are working, but for more advanced treatments, we need to see the whole picture and how teeth fit together. That’s where the CT/Conebeam scanner comes in. This system allows us to have a complete, panoramic image of the teeth and jaw and how they work together. More and more often, CT/Conebeam scans are being recommend as part of regular diagnostic care every three to five years, and in addition to this preventive maintenance, we may utilize these comprehensive images as part of the treatment planning process for Invisalign orthodontics, TMJ dysfunction therapy, and dental implant placement.
In the past, we captured physical impressions of patients’ teeth by having them bite down on a putty-like substance. These impressions were used by our trusted dental lab technicians to create custom restorations. However, these impressions were not able to capture the smallest pits and grooves in patients’ smiles and they took time to ship to our lab slowing the treatment process. That’s why we utilize a digital impression system. Not only does this digital scan capture even the minutest crevices in teeth allowing for more precise restorations, digital impressions are available via computer right away so our dental lab can get started on the custom restoration sooner.