Dental technology helps your dentist diagnose dental issues and plan treatment options. Here, our Kamloops dentists explain some of the technological tools we use in dental procedures.
What is dental technology?
When you visit your dentist’s office, you might notice that dental technology, tools, and treatment have changed since you were a kid. A range of technologies now helps dentists detect and treat many dental issues.
Digital Dental Impressions
If you’ve ever had to get braces, a retainer, implant, mouth guard, or other appliance, you've no doubt dreaded the feeling of that U-shaped tray in your mouth, filled with the alginate or polyvinyl siloxane that's required to make an accurate mold of your teeth.
Many offices these days now use digital dental impressions. Digital impressions use an optical scanner to create virtual, computer-generated models of your mouth's hard and soft tissues—without the mess.
Digital Dental X-rays
Every so often, your dentist puts a large camera up to the side of your head, takes a picture, and examines the negatives of your teeth. Now, we use digital sensors instead of traditional photographic X-ray film to capture images. This results in fewer retakes, and detailed computer images of your gums, teeth, and other parts of your mouth.
Digital dental X-rays allow your dentist to get clear images of your teeth, so your dentist can make a diagnosis.
While traditional X-rays provide multiple images of your mouth, we take panoramic dental X-rays to make just one image of your entire mouth. This image includes your teeth, upper and lower jaws, temporomandibular joints (TMJ), and your nasal and sinus areas.
This gives the dentist a flat representation of your jaw’s curved structure and allows us to analyze each part of your mouth in relation to the whole.
Lasers deliver energy in the form of light. Soft tissue lasers are used in a wide range of treatments for gum-related issues, from treating conditions such as canker sores and gum disease and performing biopsies.
Dental lasers can reduce your risk of infection, potentially shorten your healing time thanks to less damage to the gums, and result in less blood loss than traditional dental surgery.
Oral abnormalities such as cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions are challenging to identify with the naked eye. This minimally invasive device screens for oral cancer using fluorescence visualization technology to detect issues.
iTero Intraoral Scanner
Have you ever dreaded holding your mouth in an awkward position while the dentist takes the images they need? That discomfort could be gone when we use an iTero intraoral digital scanner to scan your mouth. This device lets us capture three-dimensional dental images in minutes.
Using the scanner, we create accurate physical dental models for restorative dental work, such as dental veneers, crowns, implants, and Invisalign®.
If you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea or are a chronic snorer, there are different dental technologies that can be used to help alleviate your symptoms, such as oral appliances that can help regulate your breathing while you sleep.