It is no surprise that technology has taken over so many aspects of the world, especially in medicine. Dentistry is no exception. The move to digital dentistry has been growing leaps and bounds. You may have even noticed a number of digital machines being used in the dental offices you’ve visited.
The most common and frequently used form of dental dentistry is digital x-rays. Not only do these x-rays give off much less radiation, but they allow for better and earlier cavity detection. Old fashioned film radiographs were tiny, sometimes too dark or too bright, and not always very clear. With digital dental x-rays, the picture can be enlarged, zoomed in, and the brightness, contrast, or clarity can be edited to better detect caries as early as possible. The actual digital sensor is also much more comfortable inside the mouth than regular films. A great advantage to digital films that was difficult with regular film is that our Coral Springs dentist can retake an x-ray right away if they notice that a specific area of the mouth was not captured in the digital dental x-ray.
A caries detection scanner is another new tool that aids in detecting the smallest, earliest cavities. These devices can provide 90% accuracy in detecting occlusal cavities on the top surfaces of your teeth that even a dental explorer cannot detect. They can detect about 80% accuracy of interproximal cavities found in-between your teeth. Some can even detect cavities before they are seen on a radiograph. Based on the reading on the device, the dentist will have a better knowledge of how advanced the cavity is and can give you the proper treatment plan, whether it be a filling, an inlay or onlay, or a crown.
An improvement in dentistry that you may have heard of outside of the dental field is 3D printing. A number of prosthesis can be made using this machine, such as crowns, bridges, dentures, orthodontic appliances, and night guards. When used with a 3D scanning machine, this method of digital dentistry allows for accurate products and faster deliveries to patients. Also, no more of that annoying impression material! No one enjoys getting impressions taken, and 3D scanning eliminates that completely.
Taking 3D scans of the mouth not only aid in creating dental prosthesis by sending the information directly to the labs electronically, but they allow the dentist to better and more accurately provide the best treatment. Orthodontists can fully visualize your specific mouth. The programs allow them to show you almost exactly how your mouth can look once your ortho treatment is complete. Periodontists can better examine your jaw to help them better plan the course of treatment for implants.
There are even machines that can eliminate the need for having temporary crowns. Whenever you need to get a crown or bridge, the dentist creates a temporary crown for you to leave with while the lab makes the permanent crown. In about two weeks, you come back and get your permanent crown placed. CAD/CAM dental machines allow for crowns to be fabricated in the office the very same day. This is a huge convenience for you as the patient to not have to come back for a second visit.
Not only can digital dentistry scan and create your dental prosthesis, but there are also scanners to choose the perfect shade match for the prosthetic teeth. Have you ever had trouble trying to decide on a color for your crown or veneer, even asking family members or the dental faculty in the office?
Sometimes it is difficult to eyeball an exact shade match, but this scanner will give a fast and precise shade.
Having a bite that is off can cause a lot of discomfort on your jaw and TMJ. There are devices that can determine what is “off” about your bite and what is causing the pain. In turn, this allows the dentist to provide you with the right type of treatment, whether it be a night guard, orthodontist treatment, surgery, or to see a TMJ specialist.
The one and only disadvantage to digital dentistry is the increased cost to the dentist to facilitate these machines and devices. However, the increased accuracy, speed, and convenience make these improvements more and more popular in dental offices. Lakeview Dental of Coral Springs offers a full range of open solutions for CAD/CAM dentistry for you.