Digital Imaging: Its more than just X-rays

In todays age of cloud-based and technology driven dental offices, digital x-rays are no longer the new kid on the block.  Digital x-rays raised the bar for the standard of dental care. They allow use to take x-rays at lower radiation, take less x-rays because software allows use to change the contrast or invert the image to aid in reviewing the x-ray.  New technology has allowed use detect and diagnose dental issues with little to no radiation and more accuracy.

image3One such technology that we utilize at Soft Touch Laser Dentistry is CariVu by Dexis, which is a caries detection device.  It is used in conjunction to radiographs. The CariVu device utilizes near-infrared transillumination technology to produce images that look very similar to x-rays but from a top-down view.  For example, the image shown here shows a cavity between the two teeth, that when compared to the x-ray of the same tooth looks like a suspicious area. This technology can help us see how deep the cavity is and allow us to watch a cavity to determine if we should treat it.  It can also help us detect and evaluate fractures in the tooth. Since the technology does not utilize radiation, we can use it on young patients and those who are adverse to radiation. If a area looks suspicious a x-ray can then be taken for more information.


image1We also utilize an intraoral camera to aid in our detection and diagnosis of dental problems.  The intraoral camera can take photos of problems we can detect and see with our magnifying glasses and display them on a screen 20 times its magnification.  This is helpful for both the doctor and the patient to have a discussion about a tooth and visually see the issue in front of them. It also helps the dentist and our staff communicate with the patient’s insurance company.  Saved images can be stored in the patients electronic health file and emailed to the insurance company along with x-rays. We can also utilize the photos to communicate with our lab technicians to provide shade matching and other usefully information.

Having differently and new technology at our fingertips allows us to provide exceptional and comprehensive dental care to our patients.  Each bit of information acts like a puzzle piece, from x-rays, to models, to photos helps us treat our patients with the ultimately goal in mind, their overall health.  Focusing on doing what is right for our patients is our mission and providing them with not just a dental home but also a dental education.