CBCT Advanced Dental Imaging Technology
Digital radiographs, CBCT Imaging advancements in 2020 are now a part of Smile Design’s new advancements in dental technology.
The pace of change in all facets of life has been astounding over the last 20 years. We now have better composite material than amalgam filling, dental implant technolgoy to leverage, and different types of dental restorations. A lot of change is been due to the way that technology has impacted all facets of your life. Just think about how things have changed in just your morning routine. We now have cell phones to wake us instead of alarm clocks, you can have a smart speaker play your favorite “wake me up” song and pay for your coffee with a tap of your phone or credit card.
The technology in your car is astounding, you can have your perfect seat and mirror position with just a push of a button, not to mention some cars can avoid crashes and even drive themselves. Wow, the world has changed a bunch. This is not only true for your everyday life but also the changes in the dental field have been massive from the “old days” of dentistry. If needed, you’ll love our modern dental implant technology.
At Smile Design Dentistry, we revel in the new possibilities and continual change in the dental profession. By embracing change, we are able to better serve our patients, provide more predictable and comfortable dentistry. This allows us to provide the best possible experience when you visit us at the dental clinic.
In What Ways has Digital Dentistry Changed?
What can you see when you come to Smile Design Dentistry that allows us to provide you with the best possible care? The one you see as you check in with every visit is your digital dental record. You know that computer you check in at and update your medical history on? You guessed it, that is your conduit to your dental record. It allows us to better manage your active and historical treatment.
Gone are the days of paper records where we had to thumb through pages and pages to notes to maybe find information on what has been going on with a particular tooth. Now I can click on a tooth in your record and can see all the restorations, images, notes and history that have happened with that tooth. It gives your dentist a much better picture of what is happening in your mouth and can be a massive help in determining what may be the source of your dental pain or issue.
Using Digital Radiographs in Modern Dental Technology
The second piece of technology that you see on many of your dental visits is digital radiographs. These come in many sizes and forms; the little sensor that goes in your mouths to the large machine that spins around your head to take a variety of images. The incorporation of these images into you dental experience and diagnostics has numerous advantages. Remember taking traditional film pictures on a point and shoot camera? You would snap that picture of the wedding, anniversary or birthday, and then wait until you dropped your pictures off at target. The anticipation of going through your newly developed pictures to see what formerly was harder to discern… and the disappointment of a bunch of family photos with closed eyes was ever present.
That is not too far off from the experience with traditional dental films. Add to that the difficulty of knowing exactly where that root or impacted tooth is and there were many images that required long developing process only to find out that you missed the shot. Now we can take an image and instantly find out if we got the important focus of the dental x-ray we took and make real time adjustments to capture what we need. Oh yeah, there is also that little thing called radiation. Digital films vastly reduced the level of radiation you are exposed to in the dental office. Now you can take multiple images before you even approach the value of one traditional film image. This means safer and more consistent dentistry for you the patient!
What is Cone Beam Computed Tomography?
At Smile Design Dentistry we are very excited about the newest addition to our office – Cone beam computed tomography, or CBCT for short. We have chosen to invest in the best technology to aid in our diagnostics for your dental health. Our new CBCT from Planmecca allows us to see views of your teeth, jaws and supporting structure that just weren’t possible before. Our traditional intraoral sensor images take 3D structures (your teeth and jaw bones) and stack them like paper one on top of the other to make a 2D image. This helps us fix crocked teeth and more.
For many applications this is great, looking for cavities for instance, but for other applications this can be challenging to see what is really happening. If we are looking at some surgery sites, looking for cracks in the root of your tooth, trying to see the early signs of infection, this is where 3D imaging really aids us from a diagnosis perspective. While not indicated for every person, the 3D image can open up conversations and provide information about your dental health that just wasn’t possible before.
What is the main advantage of new CBCT technology?
Advances in the CBCT technology means that most of these images can be taken with a level of radiation that is comparable to our traditional intraoral images, reducing the radiation to you and minimizing the long-term risk while providing better diagnostic information. The next time you are at Smile Design, feel free to ask us about the machine and we can show some examples of what we can now see!
Dental Intraoral Images Using the Intraoral Imaging System
Intraoral images have also vastly improved your dentist’s ability to help educate and bring you, the patient closer to your treatment plan and the ultimate goal of “co-discovery.” What do I mean by this?
What are intraoral images?
Previously in dentistry it was a lot like going to a car mechanic. You were told you need item 1, item 2 and item 3. That was all in good but if you don’t have any experience or knowledge of cars it may seem like Greek to you. You trust and hope that the person helping you is honest and tells you only what you need. A lot of people have unfortunately had similar experiences in the dental chair. Even though our mouths and teeth are one of the most used parts of our body, most of us have very little knowledge on what is actually in that space in our bodies beyond lips, gums, tongue and teeth.
We know that you want great smiles that last for a lifetime. By using a high-quality intraoral camera, I can now show you what is happening in your mouth, no more guessing or trusting, you can see it on a large screen tv. Your dentist can give you a tour of your mouth and provide the context, background and importance for the items that are proposed in your treatment plan. This gives you an incredible amount of power in managing your dental care and dental health. It also allows you to ask questions and get clarification when things don’t make sense. It may even help you prevent an oral surgery. After the appointment, if you have questions you can call the office. if something is just not making sense and Your dentist can explain what was seen in those images and reference them to help you be the driver in your dental care.
Digital Scanning and Impressioning
We have also embraced digital scanning and impressioning at Smile Design Dentistry. What does this mean to you the patient, it is very unlikely that we will need to put all that goop in your mouth next time you need a crown or retainer! We are using the iTero digital scanner to capture impressions for your teeth to create whitening trays, bite guards, crowns, dental implant crowns, planning your braces, the list goes on and on. What does it allow us to do you may ask? Similar to old style film images, when you used the goop to take an impression you had to wait 2-5 min for it to set, pull it out of your mouth and see if it came out correctly.
If yes great, if not then you needed to go back in with goop for another 2-5 min. Now we can see almost immediately if we have it. If not then we only need to refine the area that was missed. This creates more predictable dentistry, more comfortable dentistry and a faster appointment! Who doesn’t want to spend a little less time in the dental chair.
Advanced Digital 3D CT Scan (X-Ray) for Ultimate Diagnostics
We can even take impressions that are stored digitally at your yearly visits to compare how your teeth are changing over time from orthodontic shifting to bite wear. The possibilities and potential of this technology is very exciting to monitor your long-term oral health and stability!
As I hope I have now illustrated the benefits of our ever-expanding options in digital dentistry. By using new technologies and investing in our practice to better serve you the patient, Smile Design Dentistry is able to provide you with better diagnosis, create more accurate treatment plans, deliver orthodontic treatment more seamlessly and comfortably and provide consistent beautiful results! We do all this with a focus on safe dental treatments in a safe environment.
It is our commitment to you, our patients, to continue to strive to provide cutting edge dentistry that improves the quality of care and experience that you receive.
Call us today to make an appointment and see what digital dentistry can do for you! (763) 537-1238
Dr. Brett Moore is a lead Physician at Smile Design Dentistry. He is currently furthering his knowledge of implant dentistry at the Implant MAXI program at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Moore has memberships in the following associations: American Dental Association, Minnesota Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry.