Medical technology has been advancing at a breakneck pace for the past several decades, and dentistry hasn’t been left behind. Dental professionals are constantly looking for the newest forms of treatments and technology that will aid in providing their patients with the best possible care, and we’re going to introduce you to some of the newest advancements that have been made.
This technology employs a special form of light that our dentists use to detect dental abnormalities. VELscope is particularly effective in the detection of disease and cancer in its earliest stages as part of an oral screening.
A common concern of patients is the amount of radiation they’re exposed to during a dental exam. The newest forms of imaging technology employ digital x-rays, which not only employs 90% less radiation than traditional x-rays but provides viewable films to the dental staff immediately. These images are able to be zoomed in on for highly accurate assessments of dental health.
For decades braces have been the go-to method of straightening misaligned teeth. While effective, braces are uncomfortable and unsightly. Invisalign is an innovation in this area of dental care that provides the benefits of braces while remaining nearly invisible. Additionally, Invisalign can be removed when eating, removing dietary restrictions associated with braces.
Past techniques for whitening, reducing tooth sensitivity, tumor removal, and filling cavities have often been uncomfortable for the patient, and time-consuming. New innovations in laser technology have created painless alternatives that also aid in eliminating harmful bacteria.
Traditional dentures are often ill-fitting, uncomfortable, and prone to embarrassing mishaps like slippage. Modern dental implants provide prosthetic teeth that are nearly indistinguishable from normal teeth and are long-lasting.
This innovation uses ozone (O3) to rapidly kill bacteria and fungus painlessly. It also makes a great tool for detecting tooth decay and suppressing it before it becomes more advanced.
This cutting-edge technology is capable of detecting cavities in places that traditional x-ray techniques can’t locate. By employing DIAGNOdent your dentist ensures that no early signs of cavities go unnoticed, saving you time and money on future dental treatments.
This tool employs a special camera that provides well-defined and precise images of places difficult to see in a patient’s mouth with traditional imaging. Just one more tool to aid your dentist in a thorough and accurate assessment of your dental condition.
These are just some of the technologies that have been brought into common use in recent years in our dental offices. Every year we keep an eye out for new methods of treating our patient’s dental concerns by improving visibility, reducing discomfort, and aiding us in providing complete and thorough assessments. If you have any questions about the technology your dentist is using in your exams, don’t hesitate to ask! Curious patients are educated patients, and we love to encourage our patients to be knowledgeable about their dental care.
Dental bonding is a non-invasive procedure that adheres a composite (tooth colored) resin to the surface of your teeth. It helps to create a brighter, more aesthetically pleasing smile without the use of prosthetics like dentures and tooth implants.
This procedure is most commonly used to treat teeth that are cracked, decayed, or discolored. It can also be used to make teeth appear longer and close spacing between teeth.
Did you know?
Dental bonding is one of the most affordable and quick cosmetic procedures that can be done to improve the appearance of your smile. In fact, within one visit you could get a more attractive smile and a boost in self-confidence!
Dental bonding is a great option for individuals who want an attractive smile, but do not want to undergo an invasive procedure like dental implants. If you have minor chips, cracks, and fractures in your teeth, discolored teeth, or decay that can be built upon, dental bonding might be a great option for you.
Ultimately, it’s important to consult with the dentist to determine if you’re a candidate.
Teeth that have undergone dental bonding can still be stained from things like coffee and tea. To avoid this, it’s advisable to avoid drinking any of these beverages for at least 48 hours after undergoing the procedure. Additionally, you can extend the life of your bonding by brushing regularly and visiting the dentists every six months.
When properly cared for, dental bonding can last up to ten years. You’ll get the most out of it by following a healthy oral hygiene routine, avoiding hard candies and chewing on ice, and staying away from food and drink that could stain your teeth. If you happen to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, be sure to brush immediately afterward.
Dental Crowns are used to strengthen teeth that have been weakened by damage, cavities, or fractures. They help improve your tooth’s structure and make your mouth more aesthetically appealing. Crowns can be made from a variety of materials. Gold and various alloys are typically used for back teeth while porcelain is a better choice for front teeth as it more closely resembles your natural tooth color. But there’s a new player in the field of dental crowns. The BruxZir crown is made of solid zirconia and is incredibly strong while still maintaining the strength needed for chewing.
BruxZir dental crowns are an incredibly durable solution to your dental needs. Made out of solid zirconia, this material was design to look good yet maintain the functionality required of teeth. The strength of a BruxZir crown is actually greater than the requirements for cemented all-ceramic restorations. It’s perfect for anterior and premolars teeth because its translucency and color are as close to natural coloring as possible.
The BruxZir crown offers far more benefits that traditional porcelain and gold solutions. It looks better, is stronger, and isn’t prone to chipping and cracking. This is the best solution for those seeking a high-strength restoration without compromising a natural appearance and lifelike translucency.
These crowns last about 10-15 years. They last about as long as gold and metal crowns, however, are much more attractive.
The biggest disadvantage of BruxZir is that it has an opposite abrasive effect. If placed over a tooth whose decay was not brought under control, it could impact the tooth root and surrounding teeth.
If you’re looking for a solution to your dental needs and want a crown that’s both long-lasting and attractive, consider BruxZir. Our team at Applebaum Dental can help determine if they’re a fit for your needs, and map out a course of treatment for you.
Digital x-rays are a more streamlined way of taking dental radiographs. Like traditional x-rays, digital versions provide an in-depth view of the structures of the mouth, helping dentists detect complications and develop effective modes of treatment. Digital x-rays are capable of revealing hidden caries, bone erosion, and even tooth decay hiding beneath restorations.
Requiring less radiation and no film to process, digital x-rays have become the standard for oral imaging. These systems produce instant digital images that can easily be enhanced and enlarged for a more accurate diagnosis. The images are captured, stored, and even transmitted via in-office computers. In fact, dentists can easily print or email copies of x-rays in just seconds.
Dental x-rays make for a better and more efficient patient experience. With our most advanced three dimensional xray exam technologies, office visits are faster, patients are exposed to less radiation, but with more detailed exam findings.
Dental sealants are clear coatings applied to the surfaces of a child’s molars to prevent the development of tooth decay. They work by preventing food and plaque from resting in the grooves and crevices of molars – an area especially susceptible to cavities. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, nearly 1 in 3 U.S. children ages 6 to 12 currently have sealants on their teeth.
Did you know…
that sealants can last as long as 5 to 10 years pediatric dental patients? Depending on a child’s oral development and risk factors for tooth decay, sealants may be applied to the teeth as young as age 6. It is at this time that the first molars typically appear. Additional molars erupt at approximately age 12. If possible, sealants should be applied to a child’s teeth immediately after any molar has appeared to reduce the risk of early decay.
Sealants bond directly to the teeth, where they harden to a clear or tooth-colored coat. This makes them virtually undetectable to others. Though it is normal to feel new sealants with the tongue, most children quickly adapt to their presence.
The process of getting sealants is fast and painless. The tooth is cleaned before the dentist paints the sealant onto the enamel. The sealant will immediately harden, acting as a barrier between bacteria and the chewing surface of the teeth. In most cases, sealants will last several years before needing to be reapplied. However, regular visits to the dentist will be necessary to monitor the condition of the sealants and examine their effectiveness.
While sealants are extremely effective for preventing tooth decay in children, they do not replace other forms of preventative oral health care. Children should still brush and floss each day using a fluoridated toothpaste. Regular dental exams and a balanced diet low in sugar are also essential for good long-term oral health.
Dentures are an effective and affordable way of replacing missing teeth. Composed of a durable plastic resin and sometimes porcelain, both partial and full dentures can be fabricated to look and feel natural. Today’s dentures are custom-fit to make it possible to eat foods with confidence and speak articulately. Depending on the patient’s preferences and budget, dentures can be crafted for maximum comfort and fracture resistance backed up by limited warranties.
Did you know…
that more than 60 percent of American adults are missing one or more teeth? Approximately 10 percent are missing all of their teeth – requiring a prosthetic solution that will restore function and aesthetics to their smiles. Many of those dental patients choose partial or full dentures to replace missing teeth. In fact, it is estimated that 35 million Americans currently wear partial or full dentures – a number that is only expected to rise as baby boomers begin to reach retirement.
You may be a candidate for dentures if you are missing one or more teeth and are in need of an affordable prosthetic solution. Most denture wearers find that partial and full dentures can restore much of their original tooth function – not to mention create a beautiful, natural-looking smile. To find out if dentures are right for you, schedule a consultation with your dentist.
If you have any decayed or damaged teeth that need to be removed, they will be extracted before your dentist takes a mold of your remaining gum structure, as well as the roof of your mouth. This mold will be sent to a dental lab for denture fabrication. When the completed dentures are completed, you will return to your dentist for a final fitting.
Yes. Dentures are removable prosthetics that will need to be cleaned and brushed daily. You should also brush your gums daily to prevent infections caused by bacteria. Your dentures should be kept in water when they aren’t in use to prevent them from warping. Keep in mind that it may take some time to adjust to dentures as you learn how to use the muscles in your cheeks and tongue to keep them in place. But over time, you should begin to feel more comfortable with your new prosthetics.
A bite guard is a dental appliance custom-fit to a patient’s teeth. Bite guards serve varying purposes and are often recommended for use in patients of all ages. It is important that bite guards be professionally fit, rather than purchased over the counter, as this ensures maximum comfort and protection during wear. Professional dental guards are usually prepared in a dental lab using an oral impression taken in a dentist’s office. These guards are created uniquely to each patient to prevent discomfort, slippage or inadequate protection. There are many reasons why a dentist would prescribe a mouth guard to a patient. They include:
Did you know?
Caring for a dental bite guard is simple. You’ll need to rinse it before and after every usage using a soft-bristled toothbrush, toothpaste and cold water. From time to time, cleanse it with cold water and a mild soap. When not in use, store your mouth guard in a hard, ventilated container and keep it away from hot temperatures that could cause your guard to warp.
You absolutely need to be fit for a custom bite guard if you participate in sports or activities that put your oral health at risk. These guidelines also apply to children, who often play sports like football or participate in activities like martial arts, which can cause tooth-related injuries. You may also need a bite guard if your dentist diagnosis you with bruxism, or tooth-grinding. Over time, grinding or clenching the teeth can lead to wear and irreversible damage. Sleeping with a bite guard can protect the teeth from these unwanted side effects.
Being fit for a bite guard is simple. You’ll visit your dentist, who will take an impression of your teeth and send it off to a dental laboratory. The lab will carefully construct a durable and comfortable new bite guard that you can pick up at your dentist’s office in just days.
Yes. Although custom bite guards are made of durable materials and designed to last through many uses, they do need to be replaced from time to time. Keep an eye on your bite guard, checking it frequently for wear. Also, bring it with you to your normal dental cleanings and check-ups for a professional inspection. Be sure to tell your dentist if your bite guard no longer offers an optimal fit or if it has become uncomfortable to wear.
Like a bridge, partial dentures rest on surrounding teeth to fill in the gaps where one or more teeth are missing. But unlike a bridge, partial dentures are fully removable by the wearer. Partials are affordable alternatives to other types of dental prosthetics and are custom-made to blend in with each patient’s natural teeth. It takes a little time to adapt to new partials, but many people find that they reclaim much of their original function and aesthetics with partial dentures in place.
Did you know?
Partial dentures require gentle care and frequent cleaning. Once you get your new partial dentures, you’ll need to:
- Keep them moist at all times by soaking them in a denture solution when not in use
- Gently brush your dentures daily using a soft-bristled tooth brush
- Be careful not to drop your partial dentures, as they may break
- Avoid exposing your partial to hot temperatures that could cause warping
You may be a candidate for partial dentures if you have one or more missing teeth, and the space they once filled is surrounded by other teeth or permanent restorations. To find out more about whether partial dentures are right for you, schedule a consultation with your dentist.
If you decide to get a partial denture, you’ll need to visit your dentist to have metal clasps attached to your surrounding teeth and an impression made of the area your partial will fill. The impression will be sent to a dental lab, where a technician will fabricate a custom denture that includes a gum-colored base that will fit securely over your gums. A metal framework will be used to attach your new partial to the clasps on your natural teeth to ensure a secure fit.
Yes. Good oral health is still important – even if you have a few missing teeth. In addition to caring for your new dental prosthetic, you’ll also need to brush your gums and tongue twice daily to stimulate circulation and remove bacteria that could cause gum disease. Continue seeing your dentist twice yearly for exams and cleanings, and be sure to bring your partial dentures along to each visit. After a few years, you may find that your partial needs to be rebased to better fit the changes to the bone structure in your mouth.
Root canals are valuable dental procedures used to treat and preserve teeth with badly infected roots. The pulp is the live portion of the tooth that extends into the root and contains nerve endings and tissues. When it becomes infected, patients can experience pain, swelling and even total tooth loss unless treated. Root canals remove the damaged parts of the tooth and infected root. In some cases, an antibiotic is prescribed to help prevent further infection within the tooth. The organic portion of the tooth that remains may be restored using a cap or crown that provides a natural appearance and normal tooth function.
Many patients associate root canals with pain and discomfort.
But local anesthetics and advancements in modern dentistry have made root canals highly tolerable procedures that are often no less comfortable than getting a standard filling. Upon completion, a restored tooth that has undergone a root canal will blend in with surrounding teeth – virtually undetectable to the average eye. More than 9 out of 10 root canal procedures are successful, and most treatments last many years or even a lifetime.
You could be a candidate for a root canal if decay or damage has allowed bacteria to infect the pulp inside your tooth. A root canal could also be the right treatment for you if you prefer to preserve as much of your natural tooth as possible instead of extracting both the healthy and diseased portions of your tooth. For more information about root canals and whether they are right for you, schedule a dental exam and consultation at your earliest convenience.
If you decide to undergo a root canal, the first step in your procedure will involve a local anesthetic. Once your tooth root is numb, the diseased portion of your tooth pulp will be removed and potentially treated for bacterial infection. The tooth will then be sealed and filled before being restored with a crown.
It is normal for teeth to become inflamed after a root canal, potentially causing sensitivity for the first several days following treatment. However, normal brushing and flossing habits can be resumed immediately after treatment and restoration is complete.
Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that are more extensive than dental fillings but less so than caps and crowns. They are typically formed in a dental lab and are made of gold, porcelain or resin depending on the patient’s needs and aesthetic goals. An inlay refers to a restoration that is formed to fit the center of a tooth, whereas an onlay refers to a restoration that encompasses at least, one cusp of the tooth. Both inlays and onlays are bonded to the surface of damaged teeth and matched to the color of the surrounding teeth.
Did you know…
that inlays and onlays can serve as alternative treatments to dental crowns when you have a broken or damaged tooth? When fillings are not enough to adequately repair a tooth, an inlay or onlay can be custom-created to fit securely onto the tooth’s surface. Depending on the materials used, the restoration can be created to appear natural and will have the same function of an organic tooth. Inlays and onlays have extremely high success rates and because they are custom made for each patient, most last longer than traditional fillings.
You could be a candidate for an inlay or onlay in if you have moderate tooth damage or decay and are in search of an alternative restoration option to a crown or cap. Schedule a dental consultation for a complete examination and to find out if an inlay or onlay is right for you.
Your inlay or onlay restoration will be completed over multiple dental treatments. First, your tooth will be prepared for treatment, and an impression will be taken to serve as a mold for your new restoration. You may be fitted with a temporary restoration while your permanent inlay or onlay is fabricated. Once completed, you will return to have the temporary restoration removed and the permanent one bonded to the surface of the teeth.
Special care needs to be given to your teeth while temporary restorations are in place. It is important to avoid sticky or hard foods that could cause significant damage to temporaries. Once you receive your permanent inlay or onlay, you can resume normal eating, brushing and flossing habits.