Diagnostic cameras have made it very easy for us to show you what we see. We can blow up the image multiple times the actual size of the tooth so you can see it as we do through our magnified glasses (loupes). On top of that some cameras can read fluorescence within the tooth to determine if a stain is just a stain or if it is an actual cavity. There's no guessing game anymore. These cameras will highlight in red active cavity areas.
Digital x-rays are extremely low radiation and fast diagnostic images that allow us to see what is happening on the inside of the tooth. We have both intra-oral sensors, that resemble typical film applications that go inside the mouth, and the revolutionary extra-oral sensors that are great for people prone to gagging. We also have digital panoramic x-rays that are great for visualizing everything in the mouth at a glance. With each of these types of x-rays working together we can catch most dental diseases and anomalies early on in the pathologic process.
Cone Beam CT Scan
CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography) is a three dimensional radiograph that allows us to see deep into the teeth and jaw bones to see pathology and vital structures in detail that has never been possible before. We can determine the density of bone which can allow us to perform more predictable implant surgeries and extractions. We can also see infection spaces below tooth roots allowing for more accurate pathology diagnoses. Looking through the tooth allows us to visualize root structures making for more predictable root canal treatments. The possibilities are endless and the technology keeps getting better!
Digital impressions are a newer technology that keeps getting better and better. While they are best used for impression in crown and bridge cases, they are also a great diagnostic procedure to record a multitude of dental concerns over time. Shifting teeth, orthodontic progress and tooth wear are just a few of those applications. The best part about it is there is no more "goop" to get the impressions. It is a simple camera wand that takes a number of pictures and stitches them back together in 3 dimensional space.
Probably Dr. Nielsen's favorite diagnostic tool. Interproximal lights have a thin fiberoptic light that can be placed comfortably between the teeth and shine a light up through the contact where the teeth touch. This is a common spot for cavities to form. When the light is applied a cavity will show up as a shadow revealing its size and depth. We use it as a confirmation of cavities that show up on x-rays. Knowing exactly how big a cavity is allows us to treat cavities appropriately.
Dental Loupes are microscopes that are attached glasses and magnify everything in the field of view significantly. This allows us to visualize pathology like fractures in teeth much more efficiently. When we can identify these problem areas better we are able to better inform you about problems or potential problems so you can be as proactive as you wish to be in your dental health.