We've invested in a new way of looking into your mouth – a procedure that's fast, comfortable, and incredibly precise. Using digital radiography, we can clearly identify all external and internal anatomical structures and accurately diagnose your dental problems. Even more amazing, we can immediately translate that information into a large, clear, accurate image, projected onto a monitor that patient and doctor can study together in the operatory. You won’t even have to leave your chair. Digital radiography’s technology improves and simplifies the way we care for our patients’ teeth, resulting in better dental evaluations and treatment decisions. As the most important member of your dental team, you need to understand the condition of your mouth, as well as our recommendations for treatment. Digital radiographs help us help you.
Traditionally, dentists used X-rays to see what the naked eye could not; X-rays were developed in a darkroom with hazardous chemicals, and then viewed on a special light board. The developed X-rays had to be stored, which required large filing systems. By far, the worst part of traditional X-rays was the radiation exposure to patients. Digital radiography has completely transformed this process.
Now, when you come into the office for X-rays, a tiny sensor is placed in your mouth to emit a small amount of radiation – up to 90-percent less than the amount traditional X-rays required. This creates a detailed image of your internal oral structures that is immediately viewable on a chairside monitor, carrying with it all the conveniences of other digitized images. We can rotate and magnify it, adjust it for contrast, and even color-code it for educational purposes. The digital images store easily and efficiently in our computer files, safe and sound. For insurance purposes, referrals, or patient education, digital X-rays can be easily, inexpensively, and accurately reproduced.
Digital X-rays offer unparalleled benefits over traditional radiographs: they’re convenient, safe for the environment, provide a great opportunity for patient education, can be transferred and copied accurately, and best of all, they’re safer for our patients.
People seldom have a clear idea of the actual status of their dental health. Even with lights and mirrors, a patient can’t see what the dentist can – that is, until now.
We use intraoral cameras, so when you visit the dentist, you can sit back comfortably in the chair and get ready for the show. The dentist or hygienist will insert a pen-sized, camera-tipped wand into your mouth. Covered with a disposable plastic sheath for contamination prevention, the wand simply takes a video of the inside of your mouth and transmits the images via cable to a computing unit. The computing unit enlarges the full-color images and sends them to a TV screen that you can comfortably view from the dental chair. Aha! There it is – your mouth on the screen. The dentist can point out problem areas and explain his recommendations for treatment, so you’ll become an informed partner in your dental care instead of a clueless bystander.
Seeing your dental problems may seem overwhelming at first, but consider the experience a first step toward a healthier, fresher smile. The camera may reveal the early stages of potentially serious problems, allowing you the opportunity to prevent small problems before they escalate. This is especially helpful with gum disease and conditions that cause damage without causing pain. The camera's honest survey can also show you how your regular home hygiene routine is paying off. The dental hygienist or dentist can recommend ways to improve your homecare based on their findings.
Did you know that oral cancer steals the life of one American every hour? We don't hear much about oral cancer, but 34,000 patients were diagnosed in 2007. Only half of patients diagnosed with oral cancer will survive longer than five years. Because it is often detected in the later stages, oral cancer's mortality rate is higher than that of cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, brain, liver, kidney, or ovarian cancer. Treatment for oral cancer often causes disfiguration and lessens the patient’s quality of life.
Thanks to an amazing new technology, VELscope, dentists and hygienists can quickly and painlessly screen for oral cancer. VELscope is a fluorescence-based identification system that detects tissue abnormalities and is used in combination with traditional visual exams.
All adults should have an annual VELscope exam because a quarter of oral cancer victims are non-smokers, don't drink, and have no lifestyle factors to heighten their oral cancer risk. Men over 40 and women between the ages of 20 and 40 are the most prone to the disease. Patients with lifestyle risks, including any tobacco use, daily alcohol consumption, viral infections, autoimmune deficiencies like HIV, and diabetes may need more frequent evaluations.
The screening involves use of a special light to illuminate abnormal cells so that they appear distinctly different from the surrounding normal tissue.
While the statistics on oral cancer are discouraging, when the disease is found and treated in the early stages it has an 80 to 90-percent cure rate. Ask your dentist about whether you could benefit from a VELscope oral cancer screening.