New Optical Scanner Means No Gooey Dental Impressions

We’re all aware that great advances are ongoing in our digital age, especially in dentistry, but we’ve got big news. We just purchased and installed a state-of-the-art optical dental scanner called the TRIOS® 3Shape Dental Scanner, making us one of the few dental offices in the area with this amazing technology. The scanner allows me to provide more accurately fitting crowns, caps and bridges with just a quick scan and without taking traditional dental impressions.

So what does this mean for you? No more trays in your mouth or gooey, uncomfortable impressions that can take up to 7 minutes to set! No more feeling like your teeth are going to come out when I remove the impression. No more retaking impressions, because I can see exactly what the lab will see. The scanner ensures that we have all of the vital information necessary to make you the best-fitting, best-looking crown possible!

Using this spectacular new tool, I can make all-ceramic or porcelain fused to metal crowns, caps or bridges for you. The exact dimensions for the prepared tooth, or teeth, are recorded by this visible light scanner, fed into the computer and emailed to the dental laboratory to be made by a computer-controlled milling machine. A typical scan takes between one and two minutes. This instrument also enables unparalleled color matching to your natural teeth, or to existing crowns or bridges.

Check out a video showing the amazing speed of this technology. I know you’ll be impressed with the new experience!

Reducing the Inflammatory Response

Our bodies are amazing things! Inside all of us, many processes take place automatically. When you injure yourself, or get injured, your body makes a hormone called prostaglandin. When tissue is injured, your body starts a process to isolate the injured area by causing the area to swell through prostaglandin production. This hormone response causes swelling, inflammation and pain.

If you take an anti-inflammatory medicine just prior to or just after an injury, the amount of pain, swelling and inflammation will be markedly less. That’s why I always suggest that my patients take an anti-inflammatory just before or after I do an involved procedure like a root canal. Good options include aspirin, Advil, Nuprin or Aleve. Taking an anti-inflammatory for a couple of days reduces any pain, swelling or inflammation, and has worked very well for my patients over many years.

Are Your Gums Affecting Your Overall Health?

In the 1970s, the Mayo Clinic published research indicating that people who received regular dental care tended to live six to eight years longer than those who did not. At first it was felt that folks who take care of their teeth were more likely to take care of the rest of their bodies. But as time went on, the medical community started looking more closely at the relationship between dental disease – especially periodontal, or gum disease – and general health.

They learned that patients with gum disease had a higher incidence of heart attacks and strokes. In gum disease, which is due to poor teeth cleaning, bacteria around the gum tissue create a chronic inflammatory state of the gums, which allows bacteria to get into the bloodstream more easily. The long-term presence of bacteria in the blood puts the patient at higher risk of heart and circulatory problems, like heart attacks and strokes.

People with artificial joints, such as hips, knees and shoulders, as well as those with artificial heart valves, are at a greater risk for problems caused by bacteria in the blood. So not only do they need to take an antibiotic prior to their dental visits, but they also need to take very good care of their teeth and gums to reduce the chances of getting bacteria in their blood from gum disease.

The bottom line? As we get older, taking care of our dental needs is not only essential for healthy teeth and gums – it’s vital for our general well being, too.

CNC Makes Crowns More Precise

Until recently, the making of a dental crown or bridge had always been an exercise in old-world craftsmanship. The final restoration was a combination of the doctor’s expertise and the craftsperson’s skill in making the crown or bridge.

Today, advances in computer-controlled machining, or CNC, enable us to give our patients a more accurate fitting. CNC techniques were originally developed for the aerospace industry. The model of the prepared tooth is scanned by a laser, and this information is entered into a special computer that directs the CNC machine to precisely carve the crown. The process eliminates any human error, resulting in a precisely fitting crown or bridge.

Now as the doctor, I don’t have to worry who the lab technician is, or whether they are having a bad day. With computer-controlled CNC technology, I know I will get a consistently high-quality crown every time. This technique allows me to offer all-ceramic crowns and bridges that not only fit exceptionally well, but they also have no metal base – meaning no more black lines at the gum line. Due to the immensely strong properties of this ceramic material, I don’t have to worry about cases where there’s not a lot of room for the patient’s bite. Cosmetically, they are fantastic!

We’ve Gone Digital!

High-quality dental X-rays are essential for the accurate diagnosis of nearly any dental issue. I’m sure you’re familiar with the old-style X-ray films, which were very good and provided a great deal of information. But more recently, advances in computer technology have resulted in the development of a new diagnostic tool: digital X-rays.

All digital systems provide a dentist with excellent images. We investigated various options in great detail, and we chose to go with the DEXIS digital X-ray system for our patients.

DEXIS, in conjunction with advanced computer software, allows us to get almost instantaneous images in large sizes with amazing clarity. I can manipulate the images to zero in on areas of interest to more accurately diagnose the dental problem. With the large images, it’s very easy to show my patients exactly what’s going on and what’s needed. In fact, it’s the best patient education tool I ever bought! The system is more comfortable for our patients, and even better – it has two-thirds less radiation exposure compared to traditional dental X-rays.

Better pictures, better diagnostic quality, lower radiation…it’s a winner!