Using technology to give you the best experience at the dentist
We’ve come a long way from the first computers, which took up entire rooms and had only a fraction of the computing power of the phone in your pocket. In fact, the average iPhone has over a million times more RAM and 100,000 times the computing power of the computer used to guide the Apollo 11 mission to the moon! Nowadays, we rely on technology in our daily lives to help us communicate, add items to our grocery lists with a simple verbal command, and even to save lives. It’s affected every area of our lives, including dentistry. Dr. Miedema uses a wide range of amazing, cutting-edge dental technology that allows her to provide you with the most comfortable, convenient, and effective treatments available in dentistry today. Here are 10 ways we use technology to make our patients’ experience the best.
1. Fewer Appointments
Modern technology can reduce your treatment time, allowing Dr. Miedema to complete treatments that previously took multiple appointments in just a single visit to our office. The best example of this is single-day crowns, which can be designed, milled, and placed on your tooth all on the same day using the E4D Dentist system—all right in our office. Before this technology was available, getting a crown would take at least two appointments over the course of several weeks because your impression needed to be sent to an outside lab, which would use it to create your crown and would then mail it back. Now, you can even make an emergency dentist appointment for a severely broken tooth and walk away with a permanent crown that same day!
Same-day crowns don’t sacrifice quality, either, because they’re made from the same porcelain material as traditional crowns. As a result, you can rest assured that your crown is just as durable and beautiful as a traditional crown would be. The E4D Dentist system can also make veneers, inlays, and onlays, but the milling process does take time, so it’s generally best used when you’re only getting one restoration.
2. Accuracy of Impressions
For decades, dental impressions were taken using a putty that needed to sit on your teeth for a few minutes while it hardened to fit the shape of your bite. The resulting impressions of your teeth could be inaccurate, largely because of the air bubbles that could develop and distort it—sometimes so much that your dentist had to retake the impression! Thankfully, technology like the E4D Dentist system includes digital scanners that make the putty completely unnecessary—Dr. Miedema simply passes a wand that’s a little bigger than an electric toothbrush over your teeth to create a high-quality, 3D image of your bite. In just a few seconds, the scan produces much more detail than even the best putty impression could manage.
3. Increased Comfort
At Tory Hill Dental, we invest in technology that makes procedures more comfortable for our patients. One example of this is the AIRFLOW handy air polishing unit that allows Dr. Doyen to remove plaque in a safe, comfortable, and mess-free way. It’s gentle enough to be used on restorations, veneers, and orthodontic brackets. Not only does it remove more plaque from the crevices in your teeth than traditional polishing, but it removes stains and discoloration as well!
4. Removal of Less Healthy Tissue
Dental lasers are cutting-edge pieces of technology. They can be used on both soft and hard tissue and allow dentists to save more healthy tissue when they’re treating cavities or gum disease. The concentrated beam of light that makes up a dental laser is incredibly precise and accurate. It works by seeking out water molecules; since decaying tissue has a higher concentration of water, the lasers are able to specifically target decay without harming healthy tissue. In contrast, when dentists use traditional tools like drills or scalpels, they have to remove a little bit of healthy tissue to ensure they’ve gotten all of the decay. Keeping more healthy tissue is always better for your oral health, so lasers allow Dr. Miedema to restore your oral health with the least impact on your tooth structure or natural gum line.
5. Much Better Pain Management
Dentistry used to be infamous for being painful, but modern anesthesia makes dental procedures—even tooth extractions and dental implant procedures—completely painless. Localized anesthesia is the most commonly used anesthetic because it completely numbs the immediate area while allowing you to stay conscious and alert throughout the procedure. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, oral sedation, and IV sedation are all different types of anesthesia that can also be administered during a dental procedure to prevent you from experiencing any pain. Additionally, dental lasers reduce or eliminate the need for anesthesia altogether by cauterizing as they cut, preventing your nerve endings from sending pain signals in the first place.
6. Faster Healing Times
As less invasive or shorter treatments are developed, the time you need to spend healing also decreases. When you get a single-day crown, for instance, you’ll only need to get numbing shots and recover from a sore tooth once instead of twice. The biggest difference in the length of time you’ll need to heal, however, can be seen with dental lasers. These advanced tools cauterize as they cut, which results in less bleeding, swelling, and pain both during and after the procedure. It also sterilizes the tissue it’s cutting, reducing your chances of getting an infection, and actively encouraging healing. All of these factors together mean that you’ll heal faster and more comfortably when Dr. Miedema uses a dental laser.
7. Long-Lasting Treatments
Over the decades, the materials, creation processes, and treatment methods used for dental restorations like crowns and veneers have changed, helping them last longer than ever before. When veneers first appeared in Hollywood, they only stayed on stars’ teeth for a couple of hours—long enough to film a scene, but by no means a permanent fix for their smile. The porcelain material modern dentists use, however, is incredibly durable and stain-resistant. In fact, it’s even more stain-resistant than your natural teeth are! Modern veneers are so effective and durable that they can last 15 years with great oral hygiene, and other treatments have improved in similar ways.
8. More Natural-Looking Restorations
Improvements in materials and technology help dental restorations look more natural than ever before; it’s often completely impossible to tell the difference between a natural tooth and a tooth with a tooth-colored filling, veneer, or crown. The resin used for tooth-colored fillings and the porcelain used for veneers and crowns are both capable of matching the gloss and color of your natural teeth perfectly, allowing them to blend in with your smile. The accurate digital scans used to create your restorations also play a role in helping your restoration look more natural, as your dentist is able to very closely re-create the tooth you lost or design a new tooth—or an entirely new smile—using the 3D model of your teeth. They can even design your new smile to complement your natural facial features, making it seem even more beautiful and natural.
9. Less Radiation Exposure
Digital x-rays are more convenient because they’re much easier to store and they allow Dr. Miedema to see the image of your teeth right away instead of requiring you to wait for the image to develop. Perhaps more importantly, digital x-rays expose you to less radiation than traditional x-rays do. Traditional x-rays don’t expose you to dangerous levels of radiation, but it’s always better to get as little radiation exposure as possible—and digital x-rays allow you to do just that.
10. Greater Connection to Your Diagnoses
This wide range of dental technology allows Dr. Miedema to explain your diagnosis more thoroughly. Using tools like an intraoral camera, which allows her to wirelessly stream images or videos of your mouth directly to a tablet or TV in the room, she can even show you the issue he’s talking about in real-time. Additionally, you’ll be able to have a much more hands-on approach to choosing and designing features of your restorations. All of this helps you to understand and play a greater role in your diagnosis and treatment.
Advances in dental technology are making dental treatments more comfortable, convenient, affordable, and accurate than ever before, ensuring that you can get the treatment you need with as little stress as possible. Finding a “dentist office near me” or “family dentist near me” that specializes in using cutting-edge technology can improve your experience and get you the best possible results. If you’d like to learn more about the technology that Dr. Miedema uses to give you high-quality, comfortable treatment, you can check the “Dental Technology” section on our website or call our Buxton dentist’s office with questions.