An important part of an exam is a visual inspection of your mouth. Some parts of your mouth are a bit more difficult to see than others. Traditionally, a mirror has been used. While it can be effective, it is still limited. Additionally, you have to sit there with your mouth open for extended periods.
An intraoral camera is a modern alternative to the mirror. This handheld device is about the size of a large pen. It has a small optical camera on one end and is attached to a computer on the other. When we move the camera around in your mouth, we can see your teeth, gums, and other intraoral tissues in real time on a computer monitor. We also can take stills. This allows us to take a closer look at the structures in your mouth without you needing to keep your mouth open for too long. We can zoom in on different areas of the image and enhance the image for greater clarity.
X-rays are also an important part of oral exams. These images show us the roots of your teeth and your jawbone and can help us to diagnose root damage, bone damage, and cavities between teeth. Traditional X-rays have been done using radiation. Images then needed to be developed in a separate room, which required time.
Today, we take images using digital X-rays. This technology allows us to take images digitally, greatly reducing your radiation exposure. A sensor, which is attached to a computer, is placed inside your mouth. We position it to take the necessary images. The X-rays we take are then displayed almost immediately on a computer monitor, eliminating the need for development. We can manipulate the images for a closer look at different areas of your mouth.
CBCT is cone beam computed tomography. This type of imaging technology enables us to capture a 3-dimensional image of your mouth and the structures within it. We can see teeth, bone, joints, ligaments, soft tissues, and more. With this type of technology, we can diagnose a variety of different issues and formulate more effective treatment plans.
CBCT scans are incredibly quick and completely painless. A cone-shaped X-ray beam rotates a full 360 degrees around your head. It takes less than 60 seconds to complete. As the beam rotates, it captures a series of images. Once complete, the images are pieced together to generate a single 3D picture of your mouth. We can then rotate the image and manipulate it different ways to get the best view possible. Read more about CBCT
Dental impressions are used for many different purposes, including making restorations such as dental implant crowns. Traditionally, taking an impression has required biting down on messy impression putty. Not only is the putty messy, but it also is not always the most accurate. Today, we can take images digitally. Your teeth are scanned, and then the impression is then displayed on a computer monitor. We are then able to use specialized software to design custom restorations and more.
Using the latest dental technologies, we can provide you with the incredible, high-quality treatment you deserve while improving the outcome of your procedures. For more information on the technology we use in our office, call Treasure Valley Oral & Facial Surgery at (208) 994-6227 today.