How Digital Dentistry Changes Lives

Dr. B-bay with patient

Digital dentistry doesn't mean letting a computer do all of the dental work you need. Instead, it's a term to broadly describe all of the dental procedures that are best performed with the help of advanced technology. Many cosmetic dentistry technology advancements in particular can drastically improve the results of the procedure while reducing complications or side effects. Yet digital dental imaging works better than traditional X-rays for all kinds of treatment, including life-saving ones. Learning about the latest digital dental advancements may not only give you a new appreciation of these leaps in treatment but also encourage you to seek out a dentist that offers only cutting-edge care.

When Did Digital Dentistry Begin?

You may think that using computers to make better images or to diagnose hidden problems is a recent development. However, the first uses of CAD/CAM dentistry date back to innovations made in 1984. With over 40 years of refinement, today's digital dentistry tools are more powerful than many patients realize. But even after decades of refinement, less than 80% of dentists are embracing these new tools. The majority of dental clinics in the US still rely on old-fashioned X-ray machines and traditional impression trays. While you're still getting good care from a skilled dentist who uses these tools, you're not getting the very best of care. Only digital tools can guarantee the highest possible quality of care while you're in the dentist's chair.

Dental Imaging and X-ray Risks

One of the greatest benefits of digital dentistry is the reduction of risk factors that come along with dental treatment. More specifically, digital X-rays and other imaging technologies are able to create clear and accurate images of your teeth and jaws while only exposing you to a fraction of the radiation required for traditional images. If you're concerned about the cumulative effect of lifetime exposure, you'll definitely want to find a dentist offering digital X-rays. Even if a few traditional X-rays are needed now and then for targeted imaging, the overall use of mostly digital methods will greatly reduce your radiation exposure over the years. Other benefits of these newer X-rays include:

  • Digital file formats that are easy to replicate, securely store, and share with other medical professionals
  • Easy long-term storage to compare how your teeth and jaw have been changing over the years
  • No degradation of the film or physical medium.

Fine Customization with Digital Design and Manufacturing

While CAD/CAM dentistry often begins with digital X-rays, it doesn't end there. Your dentist also has a wide range of tools available to them to aid in the process of creating devices like dental implants, veneers, crowns, and other prosthetics. 3D imaging allows them to get the details just right before ever sending an order off to the lab. Even at the manufacturing lab, they're using the latest computer-controlled mills to form the dental device to the exact shape and size you need. This results in better fitting and less noticeable dental devices that need less work from the dentist before they're installed. The scanning and impression process for measuring the gap in your smile is also greatly improved with the help of computer technology. Intra-oral scanners can take 3D models of the mouth and largely replace the need to bite into a tray filled with gel that might trigger your gag reflex.

Finding Problems Before They Get Worse

Between the advanced X-rays and the intraoral scanning opportunities created by digital dentistry, there's a good chance that a dentist equipped with these tools will find health issues earlier and solve them while they're still minor. Detecting the earliest signs of cavities can eliminate the need for root canals and other in-depth treatments. Tracking how wisdom teeth are growing in allows a teen patient to wait and see if they need removal or not. Creating a digital record of care encourages the dentist to take a longer view of your oral health and notice changes that might be imperceptible without these tools. With many digital dental tools reducing procedures that take multiple visits into single events of 30 to 45 minutes, you'll also find it much less of a hassle to make time for dental treatment. No matter what kind of dental health concerns you have, there are digital dental advancements tailored to your needs that can help you get better results from each treatment.

Let Premier Dental Club introduce you to the latest innovations in dental technology. Our commitment to care includes upgrading to imaging and scanning tools that give you all the information you need about your mouth and its condition. Schedule an appointment with us today to experience the different first-hand that this kind of technology can make when you're in the dentist's chair. We're proud to help Houston residents smile their best smile.

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