The Wonders of Modern Dentistry
Just as technology has improved other areas of healthcare, new developments in dental care have brought incredible patient benefits. Using advances like tooth-colored filling materials and dental implants as a means of replacing missing teeth, today’s dentist is able to help patients in ways that simply were not possible even a few years ago. Modern dental care also allows dentists to detect and correct minor problems before they become more significant. Patient comfort is another benefit of modern dental care. Thanks to modern developments, a visit to the dentist today is a comfortable and pleasant experience. The end result is that through the wonders of modern dentistry, everyone can have a healthy, attractive smile and enjoy the benefits of excellent oral health throughout his or her lifetime. Following are examples of modern dental technology (because these are emerging technologies, they are not yet available in all dental offices).
Smile, you’re on TV! Advances in modern video camera equipment have allowed dental manufacturers to develop very small video cameras for use in the dental office. With a camera about the size of a pen, the dentist can film the mouth and present it as an image that is magnified 10-40 times natural size on a monitor. This technology allows the patient to see exactly what the dentist sees and is a tremendous aid in diagnosis and patient education. The intra-oral camera allows the dentist to see things that may not appear with a traditional x-ray and can help the dentist detect minor problems before they become more significant. The camera is also very effective at helping the patient see how they are doing with their home hygiene care. This often results in more effective brushing and flossing.
Microscopes and other Vision-Enhancing Tools
Many dentists today wear little surgical telescopes that look like funny eyeglasses. These usually have a small light source attached and allow the dentist to see things in your mouth magnified many times their natural sizes. The use of very powerful microscopes is also a technology available in some dental offices today. These microscopes and other vision-enhancing tools allow the dentist to see things that cannot be seen with the naked eye and result in even earlier diagnosis of dental problems.
Pain-Free Dental Visits
Itâ€™s true â€“ modern dentistry can be a pain-free experience. New developments in injection techniques and technology allow the dentist to deliver anesthesia without pain. The modern dental office strives to make every visit a comfortable and pleasant experience. From toddlers who come in for their first visits to the dental office to experienced patients who may have not visited the dentist in a while, patients with special needs are welcomed. Most dental offices are well-trained to provide positive experiences to all sorts of patients.
Cosmetic Dentistry and Video Imaging
A beautiful smile is not limited to the Hollywood set! Cosmetic dentistry refers to dental treatment that helps patients look their best. With the wonderful advances in dental materials that look amazingly natural, you can now have the smile of your dreams. Cosmetic dentistry can provide a brighter smile, fix crooked or stained teeth, fill in spaces between teeth, and correct other appearance issues. Some dental offices use new video imaging technology that allows you to see how you would look with your new smile (with before and after images), which can help the dentist design a smile that is perfectly suited to you.
Air abrasion cavity preparation allows the dentist to remove decay from a tooth without using a drill. This is done with micro-fine abrasive particles that remove any decay and prepare the tooth for the filling material. Because the abrasive particles can be controlled very precisely, anesthesia is not needed in most cases. Another benefit of air abrasion is that the precision provided by the micro-fine particles allows the dentist to remove only the decay, resulting in the preservation of tooth structure. While air abrasion is best limited to small areas of decay, this method of treatment can provide attractive benefits.
New digital technology allows dentists to capture and store diagnostic pictures with a computer. Benefits include instant viewing capability and the ability to easily enlarge images for greater clarification. In addition, digital radiography allows for the electronic transmission of images to colleagues, such as dental specialists, or to insurance companies. While digital radiography is not yet a total replacement for traditional film x-rays, improvements in this technology are occurring rapidly and it’s likely that digital pictures will become common in the dental office.