Technology—Meeting Your Dental Needs
X-rays are a primary tool for early identification of dental problems. Detecting issues with x-rays before they become problems can save you money in the long run by preventing the need for more extensive, expensive procedures or surgeries. X-rays are primarily used to detect:
• Internal tooth decay
• Cysts (fluid-filled sacks at the base of your teeth)
• Tumors, both cancerous and non-cancerous
• Impacted teeth
• Teeth that are still coming in
At Prins Dental, we use digital x-rays, which have several advantages over traditional film-based x-rays. Digital x-rays allow us to take x-rays with 1/5 of the radiation that you would receive from with traditional dental x-rays. The worry of exposure to excess radiation is eliminated.
Large on-screen x-rays make patient communication more effective. The immediate observation of the images on the screen allows us to discuss your dental health quickly and accurately.
Digital radiography has greatly enhanced the practice of dentistry. At Prins Dental, we use an enhancement process called ClearVu. This process allows the patient and the doctor to see images of the teeth in higher resolution on a large format for easier detection of problems, all while decreasing the radiation exposure to the patient. The process we use further defines the radiograph, resulting in clinically meaningful images that are sharp, detailed and rich in contrast.
Images are available instantly after exposure, eliminating the wait and effort spent developing and mounting x-rays. If an image needs to be retaken, it can be done immediately. Digital format also allows us to send and receive your images electronically for consultation that can be presented to you quickly.
This process is also better for the environment as it doesn't use photo chemicals and film, thus eliminating waste. A digital x-ray is safer, faster and more accurate.
If you consider yourself somewhat of an anxious dental patient and are seeking extreme safety and comfort, you might consider looking for dentists who have incorporated laser dentistry techniques into their practices and treatments. It is estimated that 6 percent of general dentists own a laser for soft-tissue applications.
Benefits of Laser Dentistry:
|Procedures performed using soft tissue dental lasers may not require sutures (stitches)
|Certain laser dentistry procedures do not require anesthesia
|Laser dentistry minimizes bleeding because the high-energy light beam aids in the clotting (coagulation) of exposed blood vessels, thus inhibiting blood loss
|Bacterial infections are minimized because the high-energy beam sterilizes the area being worked on
|Damage to surrounding tissue is minimized
|Wounds heal faster and tissues can be regenerated
Procedures With Laser Therapy:
|Tooth Sensitivity: Dental lasers may be used to seal tubules (located on the root of the tooth) that are responsible for hot and cold tooth sensitivity
|Excess tissue removal (hyperplasia)
|Pulpotomy (primary tooth abscess)
|Crown Lengthening: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue (soft tissue laser) and bone (hard tissue laser) to expose healthier tooth structure. Referred to as crown lengthening, such reshaping provides a stronger foundation for the placement of restorations
|Gummy Smile: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue to expose healthy tooth structure and improve the appearance of a gummy smile
|Muscle Attachment (Frenula): A laser frenectomy is an ideal treatment option for children who are tongue tied (restricted or tight frenulum) and babies unable to breast feed adequately due to limited tongue movement. A laser frenectomy may also help to eliminate speech impediments
|Mucocele removal: fluid-filled bumps on inside of lips and cheeks
|Benign Tumors: Dental lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of benign tumors from the gums, palate, sides of cheeks, and lips
|Canker Sores: Low-intensity dental lasers reduce pain associated with canker sores and minimize healing time
|Nerve Regeneration: Photobiomodulation can be used to regenerate damaged nerves, blood vessels, and scars
|Teeth Whitening: Low-intensity soft tissue dental lasers may be used to speed up the bleaching process associated with teeth whitening
X-rays give us a clear view of what we can't see such as decay between the teeth. An intraoral camera gives you, the patient, a view of what the dentist sees. An intraoral camera is a device that is about the size of a toothbrush. Broken fillings, fractured teeth, decay, or any other dental problem can be viewed so that we can discuss with you any treatment needed. With a clear understanding of your dental needs, we can decide together what the best treatment is for you.
Dexis Imaging Suite
Dexis Imaging Suite is a collection of enhancement tools that help us detect decay early. Improvement techniques are used on x-ray images so that we can show our patients areas that we need to focus on for decay prevention. The growth of most early decay can be slowed, remineralized, or completely arrested. With clarification or colorizing, these early areas of decay are easy to detect.
This collection of tools also allows us to better show the extent of more serious dental decay, show fractures, cysts and infection that may be present. Dexis Imaging Suite is another form of communication that will provide a more precise view of decay that is present and allow us to provide the most accurate and conservative dental treatment possible.
The use of digital photography in our office is another form of communication. Photography can be used to take photos of your teeth and smile, and allow for us to project it on the monitor before us. This form of communication can then give us the ability to further explain your dental needs and what you as the patient are concerned about regarding your teeth or smile.
The photos can also be used to communicate to our dental laboratory just exactly what you want to see in your new smile design. The photographs are also useful to show before and after results of your new smile.
The advantage of digital cameras is the instant, digitalized availability of photos. Digital photos are suited for immediate data transmission to the lab or a colleague. Similarly, they can also be instantly integrated into the practice's software and stored.
As the treatment plan is considered, sharing of images allows the restorative dentist, surgeon, orthodontist, and technicians to view and collaborate on the best possible treatment for you. The finest results can be achieved through a multidisciplinary approach. That's the beauty of great records and photographs. The diagnostic process can be shared, saving time and money, without compromising results.
We use ultrasonic scalers for most adult dental cleanings. These devices use ultrasonic vibrations to help break down the plaque and calculus on the teeth that cause gingivitis and periodontal disease. The ultrasonic cleaners create microscopic bubbles that implode on the surface of the tooth, killing microbes and removing plaque and tartar in the process. Our instruments use a thin tip to better navigate in the periodontal pockets to help maintain optimal gingival health.
|The procedure only uses water. No chemicals are used
|It can remove tartar buildup in hard-to-reach areas, with no damage to the tooth enamel
|Manual scaling often uses pressure for cleaning, while the vibration produced by the scaling tip of an ultrasonic scaler is barely perceptible. This makes ultrasonic cleaning suitable to those with sensitive teeth
|The cleaning process is faster than manual scaling, making your visit more comfortable
After your teeth have been cleaned with the ultrasonic cleaner, your teeth will be hand scaled to check for any residual deposits and then polished.
Your Comfort In Mind
At Prins Dental we understand that some patients have had traumatic experiences in dentistry or have other anxieties about their treatment. Dr. Prins strives to make each patient comfortable and to meet your individual needs. For our patients with anxiety, sedation dentistry with nitrous oxide may be the answer.
Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you relax.
Nitrous oxide, sometimes called "laughing gas," is one option Dr. Prins may offer to help make you more comfortable during certain procedures. It is not intended to put you to sleep. You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions he may have. Dr. Prins will ask you to breathe normally through your nose, and within a few short minutes, you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide. You may feel light-headed or a tingling in your arms and legs. Some people say their arms and legs feel heavy. Ultimately, you should feel calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed.
For more information, visit www.mouthhealthy.org