Technology

Technology

Modern Technology Used at Mounds View Family Dental

CEREC®

Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic (CEREC®) has revolutionized dental procedures. Traditionally, if crowns, onlays, inlays or dental veneers were required to restore damaged teeth, multiple procedures and a great deal of waiting time in-between would be inevitable. CEREC® creates these ceramic restorations within minutes in the dental office. This means that many treatments can be completed in just a single visit.

CEREC® is comprised of several computer-assisted design (CAD) tools and a milling machine that creates custom ceramic restorative devices. CEREC® can benefit almost anyone needing a ceramic restoration. This is of great benefit to nervous patients, and it can also reduce the cost of treatment.

How can CEREC® benefit me?

CEREC® can benefit almost anyone needing a ceramic restoration.  Exceptions include patients who have a prior history of breaking ceramic devices and those with a deep bite. CEREC® devices are proven to last for over 5 years, but recent research indicates that most CEREC®-created restorations last for more than 10 years.

Additional advantages associated with CEREC® include:

  • No temporary restorations
  • High-quality ceramic products
  • Minimal invasiveness
  • Less injections and discomfort
  • Fewer dental visits
  • Cost effectiveness
  • More natural tooth is saved
  • Long lasting restorations
  • Biocompatible solutions

The CEREC® System is sometimes called a CAD-CAM system. CAD-CAM means Computer Assisted Design and Computer Assisted Milling. The CEREC® system has three major components:

Acquisition device: This device is home to a high-quality camera and a medical grade computer. The function of this unit is to photograph the prepared tooth. Three-dimensional images are created of the tooth on the screen, which the dentist uses to design the perfect ceramic restoration.

Three-dimensional CAD software: This software allows the dentist to examine the tooth from every angle. It is the closest possible thing to holding the tooth in the hands and rotating it.

Milling device: This unit actually manufactures the custom restoration from the specifications entered into the computer. A ceramic block that best resembles the existing tooth color is chosen and placed into the unit.  Within minutes, the milling device produces the restoration the dentist designed.

What does a CEREC® restoration procedure involve?

The first step in the procedure is preparing the tooth for the restoration.  Depending on your particular case, the dentist will take photos of your affected teeth using one of CEREC’s® two imaging solutions.  If using CEREC® Omnicam, the dentist will take several images of the tooth, sending a three-dimensional, colored model to the CEREC® machine.  If using CEREC® Bluecam, the dentist will coat the teeth with a contrasting agent before taking images of your teeth.

These images are transposed onto the computer screen, where the dentist will view the tooth from every angle and design the final restoration.  When the design is complete, it will be transmitted to the milling unit. 
The dentist will insert a block of ceramic, matching your tooth color, into the milling machine which will then create the full crown, onlay, inlay, or veneer.  Before affixing the restoration to the tooth, the dentist will perform a dry fit to ensure comfort.  Once a perfect fit is established, the restoration will be polished and affixed to the tooth with dental cement. 

3D X-rays And CT Scans

Mounds View Family Dental is one of the select general dental offices to use 3D Cone Beam dental imaging for diagnosis and treatment planning. The 3-D Cone Beam scan provides better patient care by giving a more detailed look at existing teeth, bone, nerves and tissue. This is the latest technology in x-ray machines, providing three-dimensional and multiple cross-sectional views that allow surgical and restorative mini implant treatment planning.

Cone beam technology is an important breakthrough for dental implant therapy. Our scanner gives us a three-dimensional image of a patient’s jaws and allows for precise mini dental implant placement. With this technology we can usually place the implants and set the dentures or teeth on them during a single visit to our office.

The 3D cone beam scan is faster than traditional x-rays. We capture the digital images within seconds and transfer them to a computer with the capacity to analyze and plan the procedure. This allows us to share the images, and the treatment plan, with our patients. The speed of the scan and the immediate results allows us to better communicate the specific dental work that must be done.

This technology has more benefits for our patients. Radiation exposure from cone -beam scanners is significantly less than from hospital grade scanners. Radiation exposure from cone beam scans is often less than from a full-mouth dental series of traditional x-rays.

Intraoral Cameras

Intraoral cameras are changing the face of routine dental appointments. The intraoral camera gives the patient a unique view of each tooth – enabling them to understand diagnoses and make informed treatment decisions.

The intraoral camera is connected to a computing unit at the side of the dental chair. A pen-sized wand is inserted into the mouth, and a movie of the inner mouth is created. This movie can be magnified more than 30x to allow every aspect of the teeth to be viewed in full color. The intraoral camera is an incredibly valuable tool, which brings dentistry to life.

How can the Intraoral Camera Help?

Utilizing intraoral cameras is a completely comfortable process for patients, and provides an honest assessment of the teeth. Here are some of an intraoral camera’s main uses:

  • Dental education – Education and preventive care are highly important in dentistry. The intraoral camera can expose areas where home hygiene may be deficient. Any problems can then be resolved before complicated treatments are required.

  • Exposing hidden problems – Conditions like gum disease and oral cancer may display easy-to-miss symptoms in their earliest stages. The intraoral camera can more clearly highlight these issues to the dentist and the patient.
  • Treatment planning – No matter how well a dentist might describe a condition, it is easier to understand the issue if it can be seen. Seeing tooth decay and problem teeth helps patients understand why certain treatments are recommended for maximum health benefit and aesthetics.

  • Assessing progress – Some treatments impact the teeth slowly. The intraoral camera allows treatment to be modified along the way, if necessary, to ensure the desired results are achieved.

  • Eliminating uncertainty – One of the most common patient fears is that a dentist is performing unnecessary treatments. The intraoral camera highlights problem areas, so that individuals are less likely to refuse necessary treatment.

  • Referrals to specialists – On occasion, a patient may need to be referred to a specialist for complex treatment. If this specialist is able to view clear images of the teeth in advance, consultation times and costs can be reduced.

How will the intraoral camera be used?

The intraoral camera is the size and shape of a pen. It is covered with a disposable sheath, to ensure that no germs are transmitted from patient-to-patient. The slim wand is inserted into the mouth and rotated until clear pictures of every tooth can be recorded. The images are transmitted onto a television screen in movie format. The movie can be paused, and images of individual teeth can be magnified to allow the dentist to explain and explore any noticeable problems. One of the biggest advantages of the intraoral camera is it does not expose patients to radiation. The intraoral camera is one of the most useful and versatile diagnostic tools available.

Diagnodent®

Tooth decay can be extremely painful and puts the teeth at risk. Many extractions and restorative treatments are performed every single day because tooth decay has become too severe for the tooth to be saved.  Diagnodent® is a safe fluorescent laser that detects hidden tooth decay accurately, quickly, and in its earliest stages.

All dentists are advocates for healthy, natural teeth. Restoration devices like crowns and bridges are popular because they allow the natural tooth to remain in the mouth.  Diagnodent® accurately exposes areas of tooth decay without scratching, probing, or “opening up the tooth.”  This provides a greater chance of identifying, treating, and retaining a natural tooth without the need for expensive and time-consuming restorations.

How can Diagnodent® help me?

Diagnodent® accurately exposes more caries than X-rays and examinations.  In fact, this revolutionary diagnostic tool is over 90% accurate. Sometimes, caries “go underground” due to fluoridation.  This essentially means that lesions that once lay on the surface of the tooth bed down, and remain invisible to the naked eye.  Because Diagnodent® exposes caries earlier, more treatment options are possible.

Here are some of the other benefits associated with Diagnodent®:

  • Allows dentists to perform treatment with greater confidence.
  • Allows for the investigation of suspicious areas.
  • Completely safe.
  • Cost effective.
  • Empirically measurable results.
  • Helps reduce future dental procedures.
  • More accurate than any other diagnostic tool.
  • No exposure to X-rays.
  • No need for invasive investigations.
  • No pain or scratching.

What does the Diagnodent® process involve?

The Diagnodent® process is performed within the scope of a regular dental checkup.  It is strikingly similar to having a laser pointer aimed at the teeth.  Diagnodent® is a hi-tech tool, which first scans a clean tooth surface with a laser beam.  This scanning procedure serves to calibrate the instrument by providing information about the tooth structure.

The Diagnodent® System is actually measuring the amount of laser fluorescence within the tooth.  As each tooth is scanned, the amount of reflected laser light is recorded to produce a digital readout.  If the tooth contains little or no decay, little or no laser light will be reflected back to the instrument.  However, if a tooth contains caries of any significance, more laser light is reflected back.  High readings (compared to the tooth originally scanned) indicate that caries are present within the structure of a particular tooth.  The amount of laser light reflected back correlates with the amount of decay within the tooth.

Once we determine which teeth are suffering from decay, a plan can be formulated and treatment options can be discussed.  In most cases, the early detection of caries means more treatment options and a greater chance of saving the affected tooth.

If you have questions about  Intraoral Cameras, Diagnodnet®, CEREC®, 3D X-Rays/CT Scans or would like to obtain more information on these innovative technologies, please contact our office.

Request an Appointment

(763)432-3399

Address 5366 Edgewood Dr Mounds View, MN 55112

Email info@moundsviewfamilydental.com