Technology in Dentistry

Dentistry in America is experienc­ing n Renaissance! Modem technolo­gy is revolutionizing how dentistry is being delivered. Technology has im­proved almost every single aspect of the dental patient experience.

Most dental imaging, especially ra­diographs, are now digital. No more biting on a stiff piece of film, now there is a digital sensor which can take a dental x-ray and send it to a computer screen in seconds. There are also in­tra-oral cameras which can snap pho­tos of fillings, cracks, or cavities and, again, put it on a computer screen in seconds. CT-scans are becoming in­creasingly common, These 3-dimen­sional computer-generated x-ray imag­es can diagnose the smallest of dental pathology, such as a vertical crack in a tooth, n failing root canal, or an early abscess. It can even be used to locate vital nerves and arteries in order to bet­ter plan dental implant surgery.

Dental CAD-CAM milling ma­chines are becoming more common­place as well \Ve no longer must go through multiple steps and up to three weeks of waiting for a crown, now a dentist can take a digital image of the tooth, send it down the hall way to a computer-controlled mill, and make a crown out of porcelain right away. The new crown can be cemented on the tooth the same day!

White fillings, or composites, are now made of nano-sized particles. They have great strength and longevi­ty, and they polish to an amazing shine. They also have a “chameleon” effect when it comes to color and shading, meaning that they take on the shade of the surrounding tooth in which they are placed,

Dental implants, which are min­iature fixtures designed to replace missing teeth, have made many advancements as well. They come in a wide-array of lengths and sizes now, including mini, so that an implant can be found to replace almost any type of missing tooth. Previously, the im­plants needed six months to heal in a patient’s jaw; now they need only eight to twelve weeks!

All of these amazing technological advancements have made the patient experience more pleasant, convenient, comfortable and it has resulted in a much higher level of dental care.

Christopher J. Root


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