In the past, your local barber may have permanently pulled out a tooth that was hurting you. Nowadays, things have changed drastically. Even in the last few years, patients have gone from only using bitewing x-rays to having dental CT machines, laser dentistry for cavity removal and cavity detection wands. There are amazing advances happening in dentistry, all to make your dental experience quicker and better. Find out what they are!
Did you know that dental work has been around for thousands of years? The technology may not have existed back then like we have now, but people were very aware of their oral health. There was even orthodontics thousands of years before the common era. We know this, as Ancient Egyptian mummies had dental and orthodontic work present in their mouths.
Throughout the centuries, many philosophers such as Aristotle or the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about dental and orthodontic work. However, it wasn’t until many centuries later that modern dental work would come to be. Pierre Fauchard is the one considered the “Father of Dentistry”, but he wasn’t even born until 1678 and he died in 1761. During his life, he practiced the art of forcibly moving the teeth with forceps (yikes), where they then would heal into place. He set into motion many ideas for dentistry that are used today (minus the forceps).
In the past, a barber or surgeon would have been the one to treat your dental problems. However, the treatment would have been to pull your tooth if you were having discoloration, pain or any other subsurface problems. There wasn’t a way to detect cavities or internal infections. However, oral health infections can be serious enough to cause death if the infection is severe, which is why the teeth were removed instead of not having treatment done. In modern times, there are countless dental services you can receive for almost any oral health issue.
Dental x-rays are used in a patient’s dental cleaning and comprehensive exam appointments. The discovery of x-rays completely changed dental visits. Instead of simply guessing at what could be going on underneath the surface of a tooth, x-rays allowed dentists to actually take images of a tooth inside and out. X-rays that we use were discovered by a German physicist named Wilhelm Rontgen. While experimenting in his lab, he noticed that some fluorescent material he had was allowing certain types of lightwaves to pass through, but not others. Further investigation into what was happening led to the discovery of x-ray radiation and eventually x-ray imaging.
Soon after, the medical and dental fields exploded with possibilities of seeing and treating internal health problems. At your dental visit, you will have x-rays taken of your teeth. We have several methods of detecting cavities in the teeth. One will be through using bitewing x-rays, which are small x-ray films you bite down on that take images of that specific area of your mouth.
Another method is through laser cavity detection. With this similar but different type of technology, we use a laser light to detect subsurface cavities. Using a small, handheld wand (called a Diagnodent laser), we can use lightwave reflection to detect cavities. When the light hits your teeth, it will pass through healthy tooth enamel. Whenever tooth decay is present, the light will be reflected back. This allows us to know the exact size, shape and location of a cavity. These types of technology have changed the way dentists find and treat cavities.
Did you know that laser technology is also used to treat problems with your teeth and gums? Laser dentistry is a specialized form of dentistry that can literally use laser light to remove decayed areas of your mouth. It’s a great option for children, as laser dentistry is a virtually painless way to perform dental treatment. This is because laser light can cut and seal in the same instant. Instead of your mouth hurting from damaged nerves, nerve endings are sealed as an area is worked on. Tongue or lip ties in infants can be corrected painlessly, cavities can be drilled with a laser and laser tissue treatment on the gums is much more enjoyable.
We are one of the few practices that offer innovative laser tissue treatment. This can bring superior precision, minimized bleeding, reduced risk of infection and accelerated healing to a patient. Dental lasers require minimal to no stitches, are incredibly precise and reduce the risk of infection significantly. Advanced technology using lasers can help to:
Want to see all the advanced technology we have available at our office? You simply have to schedule an appointment for your comprehensive exam. The American Dental Association recommends having these exams every 6 months. This dental visit is a time for you to find out if you have gum disease, tooth decay or oral health problems. If you do, we have many services we can customize unique to your situation. To learn specifics about our dental technology prior to your dental visit, call Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies at (970) 223-8425!