At Advanced Dental Associates, we use cutting-edge dental technology to provide you with safe, fast, and effective results! Explore the different types of dental technology in our San Antonio, TX office that we use to diagnose and treat our patients.
Our Dental Technology in San Antonio, TX
The dental technology we use in our office includes but is not limited to:
Laser dentistry is a popular treatment for tooth decay, gum disease, lesion removal, and teeth whitening. As technology advances, laser treatments are becoming more prevalent in the dentist’s office. Here at Advanced Dental Associates, we provide laser dentistry to ensure our patients have the best care.
In the past, most dental professionals used traditional X-ray systems, which require film development. These days, we use digital x-rays due to their many benefits. A digital X-ray is safer and much quicker than its film predecessor. If the image becomes blurry, we can instantly retake a new one. Digital x-rays are a crucial diagnostic tool that helps us better understand the inner workings of your mouth, specifically the teeth, roots, and alveolar bone.
When you have a problem with your mouth, you need an exam. During your exam, the inside of your mouth is looked at. However, this isn’t all. Another part of helping to diagnose different oral health concerns is taking X-rays. X-rays are the images that let us see your jawbone and the roots of your teeth. At Advanced Dental Associates, we take these necessary images with digital radiography.
Digital Radiography vs. Traditional X-rays
Radiography has been around since the early 1900s. Traditional X-rays use film to capture images. Once the photos are taken, they have to be developed. This is done in a darkroom using chemicals. The photos have to be adequately treated, or else they could be overexposed or ruined, resulting in the need for additional images.
Digital radiography is different. Instead of film, the images are captured digitally. Instead of needing to be developed, the captured images are displayed within seconds on a computer monitor. They no longer need to be developed, which saves time. Digital images also mean no chemicals, making it a more environmentally friendly process. One of the most significant benefits of digital X-rays for concerned patients is a significantly reduced exposure to radiation.
Intraoral vs. Extraoral Radiography
Intraoral X-rays are the ones that are taken from the inside of your mouth. These are the X-rays most people think about when they think of dental X-rays. There are a few different types: bitewing, periapical, and occlusal. When a digital intraoral X-ray is taken, an electronic sensor is placed into your mouth. This sensor allows us to capture your necessary images.
Extraoral X-rays are those that are taken outside of your mouth. These images are not as common but may be necessary for specific situations. Digital extraoral X-rays include imaging, such as 3D cone beam X-rays, CBCT, and panoramic X-rays.
When are Digital X-rays Needed?
Digital X-rays are an essential part of dentistry. These images are taken during comprehensive exams performed on new patients and patients who have not been seen in quite a while. For most healthy adults, routine X-rays are only needed once a year. Children typically require more so that we can monitor the growth of their jawbone and their teeth.
X-rays may also be necessary if you come to the office with symptoms. In such cases, the images can help diagnose the cause of your symptoms so we can then recommend the appropriate treatment.
Is Digital Radiography Safe?
Your safety and comfort are a top priority. When performed correctly and with the necessary safety precautions in place, digital X-rays are very safe. One of their most significant benefits is that your radiation exposure is significantly reduced. A lead vest is placed over your chest and abdomen to help further protect you from exposure.
While safe, it is recommended that women who are pregnant avoid getting X-rays. Some situations may be necessary, but we will review your case to determine the best course of action.
3-D Cone Beam CT Scan
A cone beam CT scan is a diagnostic tool that produces a 3D representation of your teeth, gums, nerve pathways, and underlying bone structure within a single image. We typically utilize cone beam CT scans when a regular X-ray is insufficient. Cone beam CT scans are ideal for surgical planning, diagnosing TMJ disorders and tumors, and evaluating bone structure and tooth orientation.
An intraoral camera is a handheld appliance that is shaped like a wand. The tiny camera at the tip of the appliance takes hundreds of pictures per second to capture an in-depth and accurate image of your mouth. This image sometimes creates a digital impression of your teeth and gums. A digital impression is beneficial for same-day dental crowns.
Many patients are interested in learning more about an intraoral camera, this dental technology, and its use during dental appointments. This camera can help our dentists better view the patient’s mouth and let the patient know what is going on.
Why are Intraoral Cameras Used?
The mouth is a dark place with areas that can be hard to see, even with all the lighting and mirrors at a dentist’s disposal. It is beneficial to have dental technology that can easily maneuver and record the mouth.
It is a great educational tool as well. Because the video feed is shared with the patient, they can see the condition of their mouths and how well they care for them. It also allows the dentist to show exactly what a procedure will entail beforehand so the patient is prepared and knows what to expect.
An intraoral camera can also save a patient from severe damage. Because the mouth’s condition is displayed clearly on a large screen, any signs of periodontal disease, tooth decay, and cavity development are as clear as possible. Dentistry always aims to catch problems as soon as possible to prevent them from becoming problems that can have lifelong damaging effects or require the patient to spend money unnecessarily.
For example, with an intraoral camera, we can see any small cracks in a tooth or filling and provide recommended action. The smaller the procedure, the less the cost will be. While dentistry is indeed a business, we want the best for our patients at the end of the day.
What is the Experience Like?
The camera will be covered with a plastic sheathe to maintain cleanliness. This camera is placed in your mouth as our dentist holds and points the camera where they want to view it. Both you and the dentist will be able to see what is on screen at the same time. They will then discuss the topic to inform you or ask what kind of procedure might work best for you.
Intraoral cameras have helped to improve our team’s relationship with our patients and have made it easier to provide proper treatment and maintain patients’ oral health, even during routine dental exams. At Advanced Dental Associates, we want our patients to feel comfortable during the dental exam and welcome their involvement in caring for their oral health.
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.
An ultrasonic scaler is a device used to clean teeth in a process called scaling. It is a dental instrument in which one end is attached to the chair and main water, and the other is attached to a special metal hook-shaped nozzle through which water flows. The dentist holds the instrument from the end attached to the chair, and the nozzle interacts with the teeth.
It’s called an ultrasonic scaler because it combines ultrasonic vibrations with pressurized water to clean your teeth. An ultrasonic scaler is an essential dental tool that every dentist owns.
What is Scaling?
Scaling is a process in which excess plaque is removed from the surface of the teeth and any exposed root. After that, the surface of the teeth and exposed roots are smoothed over so that the gums attach to them better and prevent periodontal disease.
An ultrasonic scaler is the instrument dentists rely on to clean the teeth with a stream of pressurized water carrying ultrasonic vibrations. When a skilled dentist cleans your teeth, they use a stream of water to chip away any plaque or tartar from your tooth surface.
What Dental Problems Need Scaling?
Severe gum disease might require scaling to remove excess plaque and tartar. The following are symptoms of periodontal disease:
- Foul Smelling Breath
- Pain in Gums
- Gum Bleeding
- Receding Gums
- Loose Teeth
- Difficulty Chewing
If you are facing any of these issues or suspect you are suffering from periodontal disease, you can schedule an appointment at Advanced Dental Associates by calling (210) 655-2753 for a checkup. Our dentists will be able to find the cause of your discomfort and give you a solution.
Benefits of Scaling
Scaling has many benefits. Here are just a few:
Prevents Tooth Loss
Scaling prevents permanent tooth loss by stopping the accumulation of harmful plaque or tartar on the tooth or root’s surface. If plaque and tartar are allowed to develop unchecked, it slowly destroys the tooth causing complications such as:
- Tooth Decay
- Bad Breath
- Advanced Periodontal Disease
- Yellowing of Teeth
Prevention is Cheaper
Preventative care, such as scaling, stops gum disease and tooth decay in its tracks. It is much better than paying for advanced procedures once your teeth or gums get damaged. For example, a root canal or implant is much more expensive than a routine scaling. In the long run, prevention is much better than cure.
Feel and Look Great
Scaling cleans and smoothens the surface of your teeth for a whiter, brighter smile and better breath. Get a scaling to prevent tooth loss and serious periodontal disease, and look great with a bright smile. An ultrasonic scaler is a marvel of dental technology that cleans your teeth by combining high-pressure water and ultrasonic vibrations. It’s used to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth.
Schedule Your Appointment
If you want the best professional dental care, call (210) 655-2753 and schedule your appointment today!