5 Ways Dental Technology Has Improved the Patient Experience
Dental technology has enhanced many aspects of our daily lives, including visits to the family dentist.
We rely on high-tech gadgets and tools more than ever before. Aside from the technology we use in our personal lives, we are also benefiting from advancements in medical technology. This can be readily seen during doctor appointments and, you guessed it, dentist visits!
Modern dentistry has come a long way over the past few decades, both in terms of the movement toward patient-focused care as well as new tools and machinery utilized by dentists. Family dentists, like the team at The Tooth Doc, incorporate these ideas and new tech into their practice to provide patients with a more comfortable experience and more effective care.
Here are 5 ways dental technology directly benefits patients during routine and treatment appointments.
1. An in-office CEREC machine allows you to leave your appointment with a beautiful, permanent new crown.
Dental crowns are certainly not new, but the technology involved in their design and creation is still evolving. Modern dental crowns are more beautiful and comfortable than ever before—and you can now have them completed in a single dental appointment.
Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics (CEREC) crowns are also referred to as same day crowns. Using a CEREC machine, your family dentist can take images of your prepped tooth, design, and create a permanent ceramic crown all within a single visit. This means you won’t need to wear a temporary while waiting weeks for a permanent crown like you would with porcelain crowns.
Best of all, CEREC crowns are just as durable and attractive as porcelain crowns.
2. Digital x-rays take detailed radiographs efficiently and with greatly reduced radiation exposure to patients.
Digital x-rays take faster, clearer, and more detailed images than traditional x-rays or radiographs. Digital x-rays also expose patients to 80% less radiation compared to traditional x-rays! Digital imagery is also less expensive, which in turn helps you save money on x-rays outside of what’s covered by your insurance.
If you consider the increased safety, lower expense, and quicker processing, digital x-rays are just as beneficial for patients as they are for dentists.
3. Intraoral cameras allow your dentist to get an up-close look at your teeth—and you get to take a peek too.
Digital x-rays and other forms of imaging are really important tools for dentists, but visual examinations are still crucial for spotting and diagnosing problems. An intraoral camera is used as part of these visual examinations to help your dentist get an even more accurate look at what’s going on in your mouth.
Compared to a small handheld dental mirror, an intraoral camera gives your dentist a better look at your teeth and gums, especially in the back of your mouth. Best of all, you also get a chance to see what’s going on too!
While your dentist is using the intraoral camera, we’ll give you an iPad so you can see exactly what we’re seeing in your mouth. This is a fantastic way to thoroughly explain a proposed treatment plan and get you more involved in your oral health.
4. Cone beam 3D imaging creates a detailed digital replica of your teeth and jaw for accurate restorative and cosmetic treatment.
Cone beam 3D imaging is another form of digital imaging that has greatly improved treatment for patients. Think of cone beam imaging like a 3D version of a digital x-ray. The imaging tool will scan your mouth with the cone beam and then create a digital 3D replica of your face, jaw, and teeth structure right on your dentist’s computer.
Cone beam imaging only takes about 10 seconds to fully scan your mouth and produces a minimal (and safe) level of radiation that’s less than that of a standard CT scan. The resulting 3D image will be virtually manipulated by your dentist, allowing them to see every angle of your real jaw or teeth structure.
This technology is extremely valuable for restorative dentistry, like dental implant surgery, where placement needs to be very precise.
5. Sedation dentistry can help patients with dental anxiety feel more relaxed and confident during dental treatment appointments.
Dental anxiety is widely recognized by family dentists today, and it shows. Not only do a growing number of family dentists practice comfort care, a form of patient care that emphasizes comfort and relaxation, but they also offer sedation dentistry.
Sedation dentistry uses nitrous oxide or oral sedatives for patients who are anxious, nervous, or otherwise feeling overwhelmed during their appointment. Nitrous oxide is the most popular option as it offers a relaxing, happy effect while also keeping patients fully conscious and aware of everything happening.
Once treatment is complete, the nitrous oxide will be turned off and you’ll be given pure oxygen to clear your system. Within five to 10 minutes, you’ll be back to normal.
See these forms of dental technology in action during your next appointment with The Tooth Doc team.
The dentists at The Tooth Doc are always proud to show patients how dental tech can make their appointment a much smoother, more comfortable experience. The best way to learn how we’ve upgraded our practice with dental technology is to see it in action for yourself by scheduling an appointment!