Sedation Dentist serving High Point, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and the Triad area.

Current Dental Developments

A prospective patient called myNorth Carolina dental office from Washington, DC, inquiring about the cost of five implants. I sent her to a CAT scan (CT) center to obtain a scan. After it was sent to me via e-mail, I used a’dental soft ware called Simplant to determine the size and’density of the available bone and tried several implants, virtually, in the area the implants would be placed. My’treatment coordinator contacted the patient, and two weeks later, she was in my office, getting ready for her implants!

Another inquiry came from an office three hours away.”The patient went to the CT center; I downloaded the CT’scan, did the virtual surgery on the computer, and then e-mailed the completed plan to Belgium for production of’surgical guides. Along with the surgical guides, they sent me a model of her mandible produced from the computer files. I actually used the model to practice the surgery, where the objective was to place four 8-mm implants into11mm of available bone. The surgery was completed according’to plan, and the patient was finally able to have a’denture that stayed in placed because it was anchored by implants.

Three-dimensional dental scans can also detect calcifications of the carotid artery or thyroid tumors, well as’sinus problems. They can also show complex canals and the extent of infection at the root of tooth.

Another recent development in dental technology is the use of Lasers. Lasers can be used to help treat gum disease, fill cavities without anesthesia, or help treat root canals.”They may even be used to perform gingivectomies which remove sufficient gum to give the effect of longer teeth.

New scans can make an impression of your teeth and have it e-mailed to the lab, where the scan is turned into models. This avoids messy impression materials and keeps germs away from lab personnel.

The days of dark-colored (amalgam) fillings are almost over, because the materials that match the tooth color are getting so much better. No longer do dentists have’to be bothered by rules that tell them to dispose of the remnants of amalgam fillings in a covered jar with dental fixer because the mercury vapors will be harmful to your employees. I agree with the American Dental Association and The Academy of General Dentistry as they point out in their studies that no harm has come to anyone with amalgam fillings, except for those who may be allergic to one of their components (silver, nickel, tin, zinc, copper, etc.). Many states have started to require that offices have amalgam separators to keep the materials especially mercury out of the water system. Hazardous-material’disposal services will properly dispose of amalgam in an environmentally safe way. We will still be removing millions of amalgam fillings for years to come, because they have served us well.

Ozone therapy, as well as pharmaceutical formulations, is being used to regenerate enamel in teeth. Genetic engineering of tooth materials has been studied to come up with alternatives to repair teeth.

Finally, dental offices are referring patients to other physicians as their screening examinations become more exacting.”Saliva, as well as fluids in the space between teeth and gum, can be used’to detect various illnesses. Early bone or’tooth loss can indicate problems with white blood cells, and many more developments will benefit patients.


Chapter 15: Dentures: The Last Resort