Many of us have been to the dentist recently enough to remember how uncomfortable it is to get dental x-rays taken. Biting down on a sharp piece of x-ray film, while the dentist triggered the machine from behind a lead shield, used to be an unavoidable part of dental care.
Digital Dental X-Rays
However, new technologies have developed which can eliminate this type of discomfort, as well as providing better-quality images. Dental digital x-rays are a product of these technological advances.
With these, the x-ray film is replaced with an electronic sensor which emits a small number of x-rays into the part of the mouth it is pointed at while relaying information back to a computer screen, where both dentist and patient can clearly see how the patient’s teeth are doing.
So What Are The Benefits?
Digital x-rays are computer-generated images. These images require up to 90% less radiation than with conventional film-type x-rays. Instead of using the traditional silver-oxide x-ray film that must be developed and then fixed in caustic and environmentally damaging solutions, the new system takes pictures via a small electronic sensor and then instantaneously transmits a picture of the tooth onto the video monitor in the treatment room. Therefore, we can see your teeth and surrounding structures immediately.
Not only does the new digital x-ray eliminate the usual wait for x-ray film to be processed, but it is also highly sensitive so that patients are exposed to even less radiation than with conventional x-rays.
Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)
Scaling and root planing (Deep Cleaning) is a treatment to help prevent gum disease from becoming a severe problem. Having this process done allows for cleaning between your gums and teeth all the way to the bottom of the pocket. The procedure may require freezing (local anesthetic) to numb your gums and teeth. Our dental hygienists use ultrasonic instruments to conduct the procedure. Ultrasonic instruments are typically found to be more comfortable than traditional scraping methods.
What To Expect After Treatment
When we are required to use anesthesia, you may find that your lips and gums might remain numb for a few hours. The scaling and root planing treatment typically causes little or no discomfort.
Why should you get this treatment?
You should consider requesting scaling and root planing when your gums have either started to pull away from the teeth or the roots of the teeth have hard mineral deposits (calculus).
HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE TREATMENT?
With proper maintenance of your teeth good dental care after the procedure, the progression of gum disease should stop. And your gums will heal and become firm and pink again.
What are the Risks?
If you have a condition that puts you at high risk for the severe infection you may need to take antibiotics before and/or after your surgery as this treatment might be particularly dangerous for you. You may require antibiotics if you:
1. Are affected by certain heart problems that increase the risk of a heart infection called endocarditis.
2. Have a weak immune system.
3. Recently has major surgery, or has artificial body parts, such as a hip(s) or heart valve(s).
What you should consider before root planing and scaling treatment:
Although this is a simple procedure, root planing and scaling is an effective method to stop gum disease. You must maintain your teeth with regular oral care such as brushing and flossing regularly after the procedure. If you fail to properly maintain your regular dental care, your gum disease has a higher chance of progressing.
If you use tobacco products, we always recommend stopping all use to promote healing. The use of tobacco products such as cigarettes or chewing tobacco reduces your ability to fight infection and prolongs healing.
Proper daily oral home care is essential to preventing periodontal disease. Even after treatment for periodontal disease, proper home care is required to maintain your oral health.
Oral Cancer Screening
This incredible technology (developed in Canada!) can detect hidden (and previously undetectable) Oral Cancer. For more information on the VELscope System, you can visit their website at www.velscope.com. Or you can check the interesting information below.
We are proud to offer the VELscope Oral Cancer Screening System as part of your patient examination.
The VELscope System
VELscope® is a revolutionary hand-held device that provides dentists and hygienists with an easy-to-use adjunctive mucosal examination system for the early detection of abnormal tissue.
The patented VELscope technology platform was developed in collaboration with the British Columbia Cancer Agency and MD Anderson Cancer Center, with funding provided in part by the NIH. It is based on the direct visualization of tissue fluorescence and the changes in fluorescence that occur when abnormalities are present.
The VELscope Handpiece emits a safe blue light into the oral cavity, which excites the tissue from the surface of the epithelium through to the basement membrane and into the stroma beneath, causing it to fluoresce. The clinician is then able to immediately view the different fluorescence responses to help differentiate between normal and abnormal tissue. In fact, VELscope is the only non-invasive adjunctive device clinically proven to help discover the occult oral disease.
Under the VELscope examination, abnormal tissue typically appears as irregular, dark areas that stand out against the otherwise normal, green fluorescence pattern of surrounding healthy tissue.
STA SYSTEM; THE WAND
The wand system delivers a computer-regulated flow of anesthetic that provides immediate, pain-free dental freezing for all injection types. It makes your injections easier! Patients will experience no pain or numbness, and the ergonomic handpiece is comfortable for the clinician and non-threatening to patients.
CARIES DETECTION EQUIPMENT
While the explorer is still widely used to evaluate a patient for caries, cutting edge caries detection systems are changing the way some practices screen and treat patients. Capable of detecting and assessing carious lesions earlier and in more locations, some caries detection units feature lasers that cause fluorescence of the tooth while others use transillumination to see through the enamel. Regardless of the specific detection technology being used, all of these systems can help you discover caries at earlier stages when minimally invasive treatment options might be applicable. While some detection technologies are integrated into intraoral cameras, other systems are standalone units.
EARLY DETECTION IS KEY
Detecting the bacteria associated with caries can make a real difference in overall patient care. Early detection is often the key to effective caries management. Although the tooth may appear healthy on the surface, its real condition underneath the surface—especially true for fissure caries—is often hard to detect. Use of an explorer can lead to cavitation of early lesions preventing remineralization due to the surface disruption or may lead to an acceleration of the caries process when the weak enamel overlaying the demineralized area is physically broached by an instrument.
Enhanced caries detection, which supports minimally invasive treatment regimens, along with simplified case presentations, make Spectra an innovative, indispensable tool.
This offers a different view of noninvasive caries detection, enabling reliable tooth-by-tooth detection of fissure caries and caries on smooth surfaces. While other devices use numeric indicators to signal the presence of decay, it uses a color visual system with software analysis to provide a picture of the tooth with a visual representation of where tooth structure is deteriorating. Spectra is a fluorescence-based caries detection system that has received FDA clearance.LEDs project high-energy blue light onto the tooth surface. Light of this wavelength stimulates bacteria to fluoresce red, whereas healthy enamel fluoresces green.