How Innovations in Dentistry are Changing Your Trip to the Dentist

Innovations in dental technology can make your trip to the dentist’s office an entirely new experience.  While the main goal of traditional dentistry is to keep your mouth healthy and free from disease and decay, many procedures created in the last decade can enhance the overall look and health of your teeth while elevating your oral hygiene to a whole new level.  This means that every trip to the dentist can be an opportunity to improve your smile as well as your overall health.  Dr. Joe Pace of Pace Dental on Pleasant Street in Vienna, Virginia discusses some recent innovations in dentistry and how they can benefit your teeth.

New Imaging Technologies

Digitization and computers are revolutionizing the dental experience.  Digital sensors and the use of computers are making it possible to generate oral images without the use of film. This allows your dental treatment to be more precise than ever and cuts down on the number of procedures you undergo. However, film continues to be the standard against which all technologies are judged.  Your doctor must balance the value of your exposure to radiation against what may be gained diagnostically.  At Dr. Pace’s practice, the professionals make their decisions based on what is best for their patients.  “We have chosen to use digital x-ray sensors to reduce the overall radiation dosage to our patients. Diagnostic photographs are taken with a digital camera or with an intraoral camera.  These images help patients to better understand their dental needs and services.  This is all done while assuring that the least amount of ionizing radiation possible is used.”

Dental Crowns & Bonding

A crown can be used if you have a tooth that needs to be restored, or if you want to fix the structure of an affected tooth. Dr. Pace says that advances in restorative materials can help create a crown that is more natural and beneficial to your mouth. Historically, dentists used gold and silver with cement to hold crowns onto teeth.  While those materials continue to be used, many dentists now prefer options like porcelain on top of metal.  However, the use of layered metal can cause teeth to appear dark and discolored near the gum since metal doesn’t let in light.  At modern practices like Pace Dental, translucent materials and improved porcelains or composite are being used.  These materials appear more natural since they match your tooth in both color and the amount of reflected light.

CEREC Technology

While there are many options for new dental procedures, the use of CEREC technology can help take each procedure to the next level.  Traditional restorative dentistry used to involve impressions and lab work that required several appointments to complete.  CEREC, on the other hand, is a same-day procedure.

CEREC allows the dentist to make a ceramic crown, veneer, or onlay in just one visit using 3D computer imaging to fabricate your tooth out of a homogeneous ceramic block.  Your tooth is made in the office and then cut specifically to fit, all while you wait.  This cuts down on the time and physical discomfort of the traditional process that involves extensive drilling, impression materials in your mouth, temporary restorations that can break, and the extensive wait for a laboratory to create the tooth (and this is not even counting the time spent on follow-up visits to fix fit and color inaccuracies). With CEREC technology, healthy tooth structure is preserved, and your dentist can create your restored tooth with materials that are both aesthetic and biocompatible.

While traditional checkups and oral hygiene routines can help keep your mouth healthy and strong, asking your cosmetic dentist about these recent innovations can help take your smile up a notch. So don’t be afraid to see what’s out there and ask about new procedures or treatment options. Your smile will be glad you took the extra step.

*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.

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