DENTAL TECHNOLOGY

CBCT

CBCT (cone-beam computed tomography) is a digital X-ray machine that uses a highly focused cone-shaped X-ray beam to capture high-quality images of your unique dentition and craniofacial anatomy. Far more detailed than standard dental X-rays, CBCT imaging creates the most complete picture of your teeth, bones, soft tissue, and neural pathways.

A CBCT scan simultaneously captures hundreds of two-dimensional images of your unique dentition and craniofacial anatomy, which are digitally reconstructed to create individual 3D images. Dr. Tyler uses these complete and high-quality images to accurately evaluate, diagnose, and plan multiple dental treatments, including dental implant restorations, root canals, and complex tooth extractions.

CBCT Scan Process

A CBCT scan is a safe and non-invasive process that is typically completed in 30 seconds or less. Similar to panoramic dental X-rays, your head will be comfortably and accurately positioned before the C-arm of the scanner rotates around your head. If additional angles are needed, your dental technician will adjust the position of your head to repeat the process, which only takes a few minutes each time.

For the best results and most efficient experience, you will be asked to remove accessories or medical devices from your face and head, including glasses, jewelry, hair accessories, dentures, and hearing aids before your CBCT scan.

During each scan, which lasts between 10 and 40 seconds, you will be asked to remain very still and refrain from speaking, swallowing, or moving your jaw. Once complete, you’ll be able to immediately resume your normal activities.

Like all types of X-rays, CBCT scans produce a very low dose of radiation, which does not linger in the body once the scan is complete. The radiation dosage of CBCT is significantly less than an equivalent medical CT scan and is generally considered completely safe for most patients.

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Formlabs 3D Printing

From organ replacements to auto parts, 3D printing has revolutionized multiple disciplines and industries, including medicine, aerospace engineering, fashion, and — you guessed it — dentistry.

3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing, as it “adds” layers of the chosen material to produce a three-dimensional object. At Duvall Dental Center, Dr. Tyler uses Formlabs’ 3D printing technology to precisely plan complex procedures, and create models and guides that will aid in the creation of your restorative dentistry.

How Dental 3D Printing Works

To make your custom restoration, night guard, or surgical guide, a member of your dental team will first take a digital impression (no gooey paste required). Your digital impression will then be imported into design software, known as CAD (computer-aided design), and Dr. Tyler will use this technology to expertly print a precise and accurate model of your mouth. That model is then used by dental labs to fabricate everything from whitening trays to dental restorations and more. 

3D printing increases patient comfort, results in more accurate models, and eliminates the need for alginate impressions.

Digital Impressions

Impressions are a three-dimensional model of your teeth that are used in both restorative and cosmetic dentistry to create custom restorations, such as veneers, crowns, bridges, partial dentures, and dental implants. Accurate impressions are essential for accurate treatment outcomes, though standard impressions (called analog impressions) are often unpleasant for the patient and are highly prone to human error.

For your most comfortable, efficient, and positive experience from start to finish, Dr. Tyler has fully integrated digital impressions to plan your cosmetic or restorative dentistry treatments.

The Difference Between Analog Impressions and Digital Impressions

To make analog impressions, patients have to sink their teeth into two trays filled with a thick, viscous, and gooey impression paste, which can trigger gagging or anxiety. Along with this often uncomfortable experience, the accuracy of analog impressions is heavily influenced by the amount of saliva in your mouth and the skill of the technician. In fact, almost two-thirds of analog impressions cannot be processed due to subpar quality, which means the patient will need to repeat the process again.

To make digital impressions, a member of your dental team will use a small, wand-like piece of dental technology, known as an intraoral scanner, to make a three-dimensional digital model of your teeth and oral tissues. Instead of gooey impression paste, intraoral scanners use light to capture high-quality images of your smile’s unique features and details. These images are then processed and compiled by scanning software to produce the impressions Dr. Tyler needs to design your custom cosmetic or restorative restorations. Our TRIOS intraoral scanners even digitally measure the shade of your teeth, allowing Dr. Tyler to further enhance the aesthetic results of your cosmetic or restorative dentistry treatment.

Along with providing patients with a more comfortable experience, digital impressions eliminate manual errors and promote the highest satisfaction with your treatment results and experience.

Digital X-Rays

The health and beauty of your smile is literally more than skin deep, often depending on factors too subtle for the naked eye to see. Tooth damage or decay rarely shows obvious visible signs in their earliest (and most easily treatable) stages. And though you cannot see your tooth roots, your smile’s stability, strength, and longevity completely depend on their health and integrity.

By revealing an inner image of your mouth’s structures and tissues, X-rays enable Dr. Tyler to effectively detect and diagnose dental issues, like cavities, fractures, and impacted teeth. For the safest and most efficient X-ray experience, Duvall Dental Center has fully integrated a range of digital X-rays for our general, cosmetic, and restorative services.

Are dental X-rays safe?

Because the dose of radiation is so low and they’re taken so infrequently, dental X-rays are considered safe for both adults and children. Along with reducing exposure through our exclusive use of digital radiography, your dental team will also minimize your exposure by providing you with a protective covering or bib. If you know or suspect you are pregnant, notify your dental team at the start of your appointment, as preventative X-rays are typically not recommended during pregnancy.

What is the difference between conventional X-rays and digital X-rays?

Like film photography, conventional X-rays create an image by developing exposed film. Conventional X-rays generate a small dose of ionizing radiation (the equivalent of taking a one- or two-hour flight) and are considered completely safe for most patients. However, thanks to the advancement of digital imaging technology, you can reduce that exposure even further with digital radiography. Digital X-rays use digital sensors to capture images of your oral tissues. These sensors are more responsive than film, which means better image quality and less radiation. In fact, digital X-rays can use up to 70% less radiation than conventional X-rays. With no film to chemically develop, digital X-rays are available immediately, easy to archive, and more environmentally friendly. Our office is equipped with a digital three-dimensional panoramic X-ray machine, giving our team the ability to capture whatever kind of X-ray Dr. Tyler needs to effectively diagnose and treat a complete range of oral health needs.

The Wand

Getting a shot of local anesthesia for a dental treatment makes many patients feel anxious or afraid, and can even hinder some patients from getting the general, restorative, or cosmetic treatment they want or need. And though it’s more of an inconvenience than a fear, many patients also don’t look forward to dealing with the distraction or embarrassment of the mouth numbness that lingers for hours after their appointment.

Technology continues to improve how patients experience dentistry, including the experience of receiving local anesthesia. With a commitment to integrating patient-centered technology, Dr. Tyler offers an advanced computer-assisted system for local anesthesia called The Wand, which offers patients many unique and desirable benefits.

Local Anesthesia, More Comfortably

Local anesthesia is commonly used to numb sensations during many general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry treatments. Traditionally delivered by a syringe, a shot of local anesthesia is known to cause an uncomfortable pinching sensation. This pinch is typically followed by a sense of pressure as the medication is injected into the gums surrounding the targeted tooth and spreads.

Using patented technology, The Wand precisely delivers the same medication contained in an injection of local anesthesia with fewer side effects. Along with delivering the medication through a very fine needle, The Wand controls how quickly the medication flows into the tissues, equally reducing the sense of pressure and pinching. The Wand also enables Dr. Tyler to identify the best location for the injection, which helps to contain the numbing effect to the targeted tooth or teeth (known as STA, or single-tooth anesthesia).

Along with greatly reducing dental anxiety and discomfort before and during treatment, The Wand also enables you to transition back into your normal daily activities following your dental appointment quicker.

Intraoral Cameras

Making decisions about treatment planning can feel challenging if you don’t have a full understanding of an oral health need or know exactly what to expect from your treatment. Intraoral cameras allow you to see your mouth and teeth through the eyes of a dentist, empowering you to make informed decisions for your individual goals and needs.

During treatment planning, Dr. Tyler uses intraoral cameras to stream real-time video onto a screen so you can better understand your oral health needs and treatment possibilities. Like digital X-rays, the images captured by an intraoral camera create a high-resolution digital record of your soft and hard oral tissues that can be easily stored and retrieved.

Virtual Consults

Discover your treatment options without leaving home.

Time is one of our most precious resources, and a lack of it is a top reason people skip out on visiting the dentist for the restorative and cosmetic treatments they want and need. Additionally, as we all find ways to stay safe and healthy during the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are seeking creative ways to minimize our public outings while still meeting our health and wellness goals.

At Duvall Dental Center, you can get answers to your dentistry questions and address your concerns from your home or office through a no-cost, no-commitment complimentary initial virtual consult with Dr. Tyler.

Digital Photography

From watching your children grow to capturing moments of your daily activities, you’re likely no stranger to the value of digital photography. Dr. Tyler uses digital photography to chronicle your cosmetic or restorative dentistry treatment journey from start to finish. These high-resolution images give you a close look at your smile’s transformation and give our office a paperless, eco-friendly record of your treatment.

Electric Handpieces

Dental handpieces are one of the most essential tools Dr. Tyler uses to remove tooth decay, polish fillings, alter restorations, and prepare teeth to receive cosmetic and restorative dentistry treatments.

Traditional dental handpieces rely on air to create the handpiece’s rotation. Though they offer high-speed rotation, an air-driven handpiece cannot deliver consistent power and makes a distinct “drilling” noise that makes many patients feel uneasy or uncomfortable.

Duvall Dental Center exclusively uses electric handpieces during general, restorative, and cosmetic treatments. Along with producing far less noise for an improved patient experience, electric handpieces also deliver a consistent speed that can be easily adjusted to efficiently complete your dental treatments.

Sterisil Water System

From your daily drinking water to the water you use to brush your teeth, clean water is essential for your health and well-being. The same is true during your dental experience, which is why Duvall Dental Center ensures you’re only exposed to the cleanest water possible during your dental visit with the Sterisil Water System.

How Sterisil Keeps Water Clean

Dental chairs are equipped with a series of waterline tubing that delivers water on demand during dental cleanings and procedures. When not in use, the water stays stagnant in the tubing at room temperature, creating the perfect breeding ground for water-borne germs and bacteria. If ingested, contaminated water can cause a wide range of undesirable side effects and illnesses.

At Duvall Dental Center, all of our waterlines are disinfected with Sterisil, a nontoxic water sterilization system. Using low levels of silver, Sterisil ensures clean dental water that’s completely safe and free from any residual odor or taste and exceeds the safety guidelines set forth by the American Dental Association (ADA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Hydrim Instrument Washer

Just like high-touch surfaces in your home or workplace, dental instruments need to be both cleaned and sanitized before they’re considered germ-free and safe for each patient.

To ensure a consistently high standard of instrument cleanliness and safety, Duvall Dental Center uses the Hydrim Instrument Washer to eliminate the majority of potentially harmful bacteria. Once thoroughly cleaned, each dental instrument is sanitized to kill any lingering bacteria, providing your dental team with instruments that are dependably sterilized for your safest and healthiest treatment.