Offering the latest technology allows our dentists to effectively diagnose and comfortably treat a variety of dental conditions, such as gum disease, tooth demineralization, and TMJ. With digital X-rays and intraoral cameras, we gather precise images of your mouth and use them as visual aids when explaining treatment options.
We regularly assess the techniques and tools we use to make sure patients are receiving exceptional care. Contemporary dental technology allows us to save our patients time and money while maximizing their comfort.
In the past, dentists had to rely on X-ray films and verbal or written explanations to describe their findings and recommendations for treatment. While these options were adequate, patients often had to make critical decisions about their dental care without totally understanding their condition and treatment options. Intraoral cameras enable our dentists to more effectively communicate with our patients.
Located on the tip of a handheld wand, an intraoral camera will easily fit inside your mouth. The camera can transmit real-time data for you and your dentist to review together. We will display the images on a computer screen, zoom in to see fine details, and point out problem areas when explaining treatment options. We want you to understand your diagnosis and treatment options so that you can feel good about your decisions for care.
For patient safety, we shield the wand with a disposable plastic casing, much like electronic thermometer covers, to keep the environment sterile.
Most of the time, a traditional 2D X-ray is all we need to examine a patient. But, in cases where we need to plan for a more extensive procedure (like dental implant placement), we use 3D cone beam imaging to gather much more information. This device essentially takes a CAT scan of a patient’s head, creating a highly-detailed model of their teeth, jaw, and all nearby oral structures. This helps us completely personalize a procedure to maximize success as well as someone’s comfort.
Dental x-rays reveal the structures that reside below the surface of your mouth. X-rays can tell us about periodontal disease, tooth root positioning, jawbone density, tooth decay, tumors, and abscesses or infections. By viewing your x-rays, the dentist can more accurately diagnose dental conditions and plan treatment.
Our dentists employ different types of x-rays, including:
The most conventional dental x-rays, bitewings show cavities and early signs of decay. These x-rays are usually taken once a year for adults and every six months for children.
Broad pictures of an entire tooth, periapical X-rays reveal deep problems like bone loss and infection.
With panoramic x-rays, we can see your whole mouth. A panorex film will show impacted third molars (wisdom teeth), extra teeth, cysts, and many other structures that other films cannot detect. Most dentists suggest panoramic X-rays every three to five years, unless otherwise warranted.
Do you frequently feel exhausted during the day even when you get enough sleep? Does your bed partner say you snore loudly every single night? These are both telltale signs of sleep apnea, a dangerous disorder that can rob you of not only your rest but your health as well. Thankfully, with a simple custom-made mouthpiece, our dentists can help patients in need overcome sleep apnea and stop snoring, so they and their loved ones can finally catch their much needed Z’s.
Does your jaw hurt whenever you open and close your mouth? Have you been to multiple doctors because of headaches, but they haven’t been able to help? These symptoms are common for a TMD, or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. This concerns the hinges located right in front of your ears, and due to a misaligned bite, injury, or arthritis, it can be the source of muscle tension and facial pain felt throughout the head and neck. Our team can provide multiple therapies designed to not only stop the pain, but improve jaw function as well so that patients can live their lives comfortably.
Tooth decay is not directly caused by sugar, though your mother probably told you so. For a cavity to develop, a chain of events must occur, and many factors contribute to the situation.
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body and its strength comes from minerals within the enamel. Introducing carbohydrates, that is sugary or starchy foods, allows bacteria to form an acid. This acid saps minerals from teeth, leaving tooth enamel soft. In this softened condition, bacteria invade and cause decay or cavities.
So, let’s examine when we can intervene in this process of tooth decay. We could eliminate carbohydrates altogether, but acidic beverages and foods also demineralize teeth. We could eliminate bacteria, which we try to do with brushing and flossing. However, there are 600 different types of bacteria in the mouth, so we cannot get rid of them all. The other option is to stop demineralization. Neutralizing oral acids by drinking water can help deter decay. Another option is to find demineralization before decay develops.
Our cavity detection laser, called DIAGNOdent, scans teeth to find areas of demineralization. Treating these softened areas of tooth enamel will reduce the potential for severe tooth decay in the future. If you suffer from a low oral pH or acid reflux disease, you may have more cavities than other people. Also, ask the dentist about a fluoride treatment. Fluoride attracts minerals that strengthen tooth enamel.