The chair and the drill may soon be the only things that people will remember about going to the dentist's office since their last dental visit. Space-age technology employed by some dentists invites patients to a new dimension in health care with available options, reports the October issue of AGD Impact, the newsmagazine of the Academy of General Dentistry.
"Greater patient knowledge and input is creating a new image in dentistry," reports Douglas Mougey, DDS, FAGD, spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry. For example, the intraoral camera is a miniaturized camera which takes patients to a whole new world and allows them to view the inside of their own mouth.
Also, with imaging programs, any defect can be corrected on the computer screen. A patient can see their teeth straightened, a gap replaced by a new tooth or see the results of bleaching. "Imaging is really a diagnostic tool," explains Dr. Mougey. "It helps the dentist go through each step to make any correction in the mouth before the procedure starts. Patients get to see how they will look with a new smile."
High Tech Operatory Equipment
New technology is opening up a world of possibilities for dentistry.
Digital Radiography - Low radiation, instant image A sensor wired directly to a computer, when placed in the mouth delivers X-ray like images for diagnosis.
Management Software - Accurate bookkeeping and instant information. A software that provides computerized appointment books, insurance forms, and clinical records. Electronic clinical charts are tied in to administrative records for easy updating of appointments and insurance forms.
Air Abrasion - No anesthesia required, decreased patient anxiety. Air abrasion uses an aluminum oxide compound to "sandblast" decay away. Ideal for the use on children because it is painless and thus anesthesia may not be needed.
Imaging Software - Filling the gap in David Letterman's mouth.Take a picture of your patient's teeth. As they watch, you can show them how the teeth look whitened, you can fill in a gap or if your patient has crooked teeth they can be treated to a picture of themselves with a brand new smile!
Intraoral Camera - "I have a cracked tooth? Show me!" Now, you can! A camera small enough to view inside the mouth and take pictures of the teeth. Enlarge a picture of a tooth 34 times its actual size so that the patient can see in living color the reason it's a good idea to brush.