• June 14, 2015

It’s often said that “A picture is worth 1,000 words”. So how much is 1,000 words? It’s actually not very much (you can do this experiment at home, kids): 1,000 words is a little more than one and a half pages of text on standard-sized printer paper. Your dentist at Shorewood Family Dental (serving the local Shorewood, IL area) believes that you deserve more than a high school essay when it comes to the information we use to make recommendations about your oral health!

Instead of one picture, how about hundreds? If a single picture is worth 1,000 words of information, how much is a digital, 3-D image worth? We’ve made serious investments in advanced digital imaging so that you will know that when we make a diagnosis, or recommend a reparative procedure or preventive treatment, it’s the right choice, because we can see it all and take into account even tiny details that lesser imaging technology wouldn’t even register.

Digital X-Rays

Most of us are well-accustomed to the X-ray, the workhorse of diagnostics for dentists. It’s a technology that’s been around for years and has allowed us to learn incredible things about teeth, gums, and the bone structures and tissue that make up your mouth. X-rays have also allowed us to make better diagnoses, providing clarity that had never been possible before.

The thing is, X-rays have long needed an upgrade. Thanks to the advent of digital technology, X-ray images can provide greater information than ever before; we can also manipulate the images to get a close-up look at a potential problem, or figure out exactly what kind of treatment or dental restoration will end pain in a specific area. Digital X-rays are also easier for us to share within and outside our practice, allowing us to collaborate with the rest of your healthcare professional team if necessary.

CT Scanner & Cone Beam Scanner

Also known as a CAT scan, involves sitting quietly with a feline friend until he comes up with a diagnosis.

Sorry, we couldn’t resist. A CT scanner (which actually is sometimes called a CAT scan) is a piece of diagnostic imaging equipment that takes hundreds of x-ray photos, which are then combined to create a 3-D image of your oral cavity (or any other part of the body we run through it; CT Scanners are used in many areas of medicine). This is accomplished by an x-ray camera that physically moves around your head; as it moves, it takes x-ray images which are cross-sections.

This is used to achieve high precision diagnosis of complex problems, such as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), and to create treatment plans.

We also employ a similar device known as a cone beam scanner; a cone beam scanner creates a cone-shaped beam of x-rays for even greater levels of precision in diagnostics and the creation of treatment plans.

Digital Impressions

Most of us have had a dental impression taken before. The most common type of dental impression is made using a dental tray, filled with a gooey substance. This is placed in your mouth, and after a long while of sitting very still, the substance will set (like plaster might) and create a mold of your teeth. These physical molds, besides being uncomfortable for the patient, are prone to serious inaccuracies. This is because it doesn’t take much for mistakes to happen (movement from even a normal or mild gag reflex can slightly change the position of your teeth in the tray, distorting the mold).

Also, these molds are about as large (or sometimes even a little larger) as the oral cavity that they are meant to represent, and they’re solid; in fact, they’re almost like small statues of your mouth! While that might make an interesting paperweight, they’re difficult to store, so if you have a dental restoration that malfunctions (such as a dental crown), you have to make a new impression to fabricate a replacement.

Digital impressions, taken with an ITERO intraoral camera, are much easier to store and manipulate (just like any digital file) and they are much more accurate than physical impressions. It’s also much faster and more comfortable for you!

Picture Perfect Oral Health Awaits!

Learn what it means to get dental care in the 21st century! Shorewood Family Dental can provide care to your entire family in a way that only a full-service dental practice can!

Give us a call and make an appointment! We’d love to meet you and your entire family. Dial
(815) 768-1615 today!