Cutting Edge Technology
At Clear Lake Dental Care, we stay abreast of the latest techniques in dentistry, such as All-on-4 Implants, and continually add new technology to improve our diagnostic and treatment options for our patients.
Here’s a look at some of the technology we employ at Clear Lake Dental Care.
X-rays, invented in 1895, are nothing new. While they’ve been used in dentistry for decades, some patients are concerned about the amount of radiation they’ve been received at the doctor’s office, for special screenings such as mammograms, and at the dentist. That’s why at Clear Lake Dental Care we’ve switched to digital x-ray systems. Instead of conventional films our digital x-ray systems use a sensor that the patient bites down on while the sensor transfers the image directly into our computer system where it is instantly available to the dentist or hygienist at your chair.
Digital x-rays have many benefits for our patients:
- Far less radiation — Digital x-rays use about 90 percent less radiation compared to conventional film x-rays.
- Higher quality images — Film x-rays were always constrained by the size of the film. Digital x-rays can be enlarged without losing resolution, making for a better, more precise view of the tooth’s structure.
- Transferring x-rays — If we need a second opinion or need to send your x-rays to a specialist we can transfer it with a click of the mouse.
- Environmentally friendly — Because there is no film involved, there aren’t any chemicals to dispose of. Plus, paper storage of x-rays is non-existent.
3D CBCT Scan
A 3D CBCT scan is a type of x-ray that creates highly detailed, three-dimensional panoramic images. CBCT scans, also known as cone beam computed tomography, display cross-sections of the mouth. This imaging technique allows our staff to see anything that may be causing you dental issues. These issues can include your facial structure, nerve pathways, soft tissue, and teeth.
3D CBCT scans are most common in cosmetic, restoration, orthodontic or implant procedures because of the comprehensive view it provides. Benefits of using a 3D CBCT scan instead of a typical x-ray includes:
- Minimal Radiation
- Short scan time
When we need to show you what’s going on in your mouth, we use our intraoral camera. This is a small video camera, about the size of a large pen, which provides instant/real-time images on the computer monitor next to your chair. We use our intraoral camera to show patients exactly what we’re seeing, such as a crack in a tooth or gum disease, letting you see our diagnosis. This helps our patients understand why they need a procedure which may not be exhibiting painful signs yet.
We also use our intraoral camera when performing restorations such as dental implants, crowns, and even replacing old amalgam fillings with composite resin. The before-and-after images can be very striking.
This camera is also a great tool for appealing to your insurance company. We can send digital (or printed) images directly to your insurer to verify a treatment need.
CEREC 3D System
Thanks to our CEREC 3D Design and Milling system, we can reduce our patients’ appointments when having porcelain crowns, veneers, and some bridges placed. CEREC stands for CEramic REConstruction and it has two components. The first is a fully digital, 3D software system that allows Drs. Das, Darcey, and Pham to design your prosthesis right there in the office, creating a three-dimensional model of your crown, veneers, or bridge. The second part of the system is a milling station that then takes all the data from the design and mills the crown or restoration from a single block of dental-grade porcelain.
How does this benefit you? In most dental practices, placing a crown is a two-appointment procedure. The first appointment prepares the tooth and impressions are taken. Those impressions are then sent to the dental lab for fabrication of your crown. This process can take up to three weeks, and in the meantime, you need to wear a temporary crown. When your crown is finished, you need to return to the office for the second appointment.
At Clear Lake Dental Care, we can prepare the tooth, take all the measurements we need and send them to the CEREC system. Then we design the crown, have it milled instantly, and place it — all in a single appointment.
Monitors in every Operatory
We use high-magnification loupes, usually with a mounted lamp, for added precision when performing various restorations and for diagnoses. This magnification can be especially helpful when identifying dental cavities or decay in a tooth. Loupes are also very helpful when placing implants.
You’ve heard of ozone gas in the atmosphere, shielding us from much of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. At Clear Lake Dental Care, we use this cutting-edge treatment to address caries (decay), periodontal disease, tooth sensitivity, and to protect against infection when we extract wisdom teeth.
Ozone is very powerful when treating caries because we can do less drilling, especially in early caries detection. Ozone therapy kills all bad bacteria, viruses, and their breakdown products that are usually highly acidic. These acidic byproducts form when bacteria consume food particles and sugars in the mouth. This is the initial beginning of decay attacking tooth enamel.
Ozone therapy is also very effective in reversing infections in abscesses caused by gum disease.