Modern dentistry is always evolving, changing, and creating new ways to make treatment more efficient and comfortable for patients. It's an exciting time to be a dentist, and Dr. Call stays on top of the latest technology and techniques through continuing education and equipping her office with tools to make your experience pleasant and stress free.
Same Day Crowns
We use a CEREC machine that makes your crown in our office so that you can leave with it the same day! These appointments tend to be a little longer, because we are combining two appointments into one visit, but most patients enjoy being able to relax in one of our operatories while the crown is being made.
Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) Scans
A cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan utilizes a cone-shaped X-ray system to take up to 200 images of your mouth in less than a minute. With this system, an X-ray arm rotates around the patient's head, taking images as it moves. Once the process is finished, the images are stitched together to create a 3D image of your teeth, jaw and neck areas.
A CBCT scan shows teeth, bone, soft tissue and nerves together, so dentists and dental surgeons can make more accurate diagnoses. A CBCT scan can help dentists diagnose:
- Tooth decay
- Bone structure needed for implants
- Bone loss
- TMJ disorders
- Abnormal growths
Providing a wider perspective and a more detailed image of your oral cavity and the surrounding structures, a CBCT scan can sometimes be an alternative to full mouth (FMX) or panoramic (PANO) X-rays. It's often preferred by modern dentists because the scan uses less radiation, and it provides more detail from a wider perspective than standard X-rays.
Digital x-rays are an invaluable tool that helps us see what's going on internally with your teeth and oral health. Digital imaging technology emits less radiation than traditional x-rays equipment, and it's also safer for the environment because no chemicals are required for developing.
Digital X-rays take an image of your teeth and jaw at various angles to help the dentist see your bone and tooth structure in detail. This enable your dentist to screen for and diagnose any disease, cavities or problems that may be hidden to the naked eye. Digital X-rays are usually part of a regular dentist visit and need to be updated periodically in order to monitor your oral health.
There are four general types of dental X-rays you may need:
- Periapical: This is used when the dentist needs to focus on one tooth. It shows a close up view of the entire tooth, from the crown to the roots.
- Bite-wing: This x-ray is commonly used to screen for cavities in between the teeth and to screen for bone loss due to periodontal disease. It shows the upper and lower teeth at the same time and how they fit together.
- Panoramic: For a wider perspective, dentists may use this kind of X-ray to show all of the teeth and how they fit in with the surrounding oral cavity, including the jaw, jaw joints and the sinus cavity.
- Occlusal: One of the most common X-rays for use on children, as it shows the floor of the mouth and how the teeth are coming in. It can be used to predict future problems in alignment and development.
Using a Digital X-ray System in Modern Dentistry
A digital X-ray system requires little more than a sensor that has a wire on it that connects to a computer system. The sensor is placed where it needs to be in the mouth, and the dentist takes an X-ray. This image shows up immediately on the computer screen and can be then be interpreted by the dentist.
Digital X-rays are an important diagnostic tool for dentists, and because they use a low dose of radiation, they're much safer than traditional film X-ray. When dentists decide to use digital X-rays, it's often to prevent future dental problems that could be detrimental to your health. They play such a large role in modern dentistry that many dentists opt to use X-ray imaging before ever seeing the inside of your mouth.
Some of the most common uses for digital X-rays include:
- Diagnosing cavities that are visibly hidden such as between two teeth
- Locating the point of infection or other dental problems
- Predicting the probability of future dental problems in children
- Determining a patient's need for braces now or in the future
Your x-rays are readily available on the monitors in our treatment rooms so Dr. Call can discuss any pertinent treatment needs with you right away.
Introducing the Intraoral (IO) Camera
An intraoral camera is a miniature camera that can be easily inserted into the mouth. Its small size makes it easy to maneuver around the tongue and jaw-line without making the patient uncomfortable. Many dental offices now use intraoral cameras during examinations in order to document conditions in the mouth such as cavities, broken teeth and gingivitis. These close-up, color images are then easily shared with the patient so that they can visualize the disease or problems that the dentist may see in their mouth. Intraoral cameras can show details that aren't visible on x-rays; it can reveal cavities that may have formed around crowns, small cracks in and around teeth and bacteria that may be leaking from old metal or plastic fillings. An intraoral camera has a number of advantages:
- Real-time images. It can transmit real-time images directly to a computer that can be immediately view by the dentist and patient.
- Illumination. It includes a light that can illuminate the darkest corners of the mouth.
- Radiation-free. An intraoral camera doesn't need radiation to capture an image of your teeth.
- Zoom. Dentists can zoom in to see problem teeth more clearly, giving them a better idea of the most appropriate diagnosis and plan of action.
- Savable. Just like X-rays, the images from an intraoral camera can be saved and reviewed in the future to denote changes in the structure or development of your teeth.