Accurate digital dental impressions are one of a dentist’s best-kept secret. When you think of quality dental care, chances are you imagine a skill and experienced dentist and hygienist manually examining each tooth. If you are like most people, the imaging may be the last thing you picture.
Imaging is one tool that allows your dentist to help you achieve a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. It also helps you achieve a beautiful and confident smile.
Accurate imaging helps your dentist better visualize the health and condition of your teeth, gums, and mouth. The images show alignment, wear and tear and whether there is any bone/tissue loss. This information helps your dentist diagnose dental problems early, possibly before you even notice symptoms. Early diagnosis leads to early treatment that has the best chance of success. This is why dentists recommend comprehensive dental exams on a regular basis.
Why Dentists Use Dental Imaging Technology
Dental imaging helps dentists get the information they need for diagnosis and to help develop a treatment plan that meets each patient’s needs. Imaging contributes to a better patient experience and helps patients literally see what is going on concerning their dental health.
Digital dental impressions help dental professionals diagnose and treat common issues including:
- Gum disease, more specifically whether gum recession resulted in bone loss
- Progress for orthodontic treatments including Invisalign and braces
- Impact of chronic tooth grinding
These are just a few ways that dentists use digital dental impressions. To better understand the value of imaging, it helps to understand some basic information about each situation and what dentists look for while reviewing your images.
Imaging Tools Help Dentists Track Gum Recession And Bone Loss
Gum recession is a serious threat to dental health and is one of the most common dental health concerns. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately half of adults older than 30 have gum disease. A sticky film of bacteria called plaque causes gums to become infected.
The gums recede due to inflammation and gum disease. As the gums pull back, they expose the root of the tooth leaving it vulnerable to bacteria and decay. An eventual result is bone loss and eventually tooth loss if left untreated.
Dental imaging allows a dental professional to more accurately assess and track gum recession and possible bone loss. Knowing the full extent of the problem allows the dentist to identify the most effective treatment options for the situation.
Depending on the severity of the gum disease, treatment ranges from improved daily hygiene to professional deep cleaning to, in some cases, surgical procedures. Dental imaging helps dentists evaluate the success of gum disease treatment and adjust treatment plans according to the results.
Dental Imaging Helps Track Impact On Grinding Teeth
Many people clench or grind their teeth at one time or another. Clenching the jaw is most common when under stress or feeling anxious. Since stress is part of modern life, some people clench their jaws frequently.
In addition to clenching the jaws, many people suffer from chronic grinding often at night when they are asleep. Over time, grinding wears down the teeth. If it persists the patient may need restorative care like crowns, bridges, or root canals.
Some symptoms of chronic grinding include:
- Visible wearing on the teeth
- Tender sensation in the jaw
- Jaw aches
- A noise that may disturb a spouse or someone you share a room with
If you grind your teeth, treatment may help prevent discomfort and further damage to the teeth. The best treatment for you depends on the cause of your grinding. Some common causes include:
- Tension or anxiety
- Misalignments in the teeth
- Missing teeth
- sleep apnea
Digital dental impressions help your dentist see the impact grinding had on your teeth so far. In addition, it may offer insights into the source of the problem and that insight may guide treatment choices.
Once a treatment plan is in place, imaging technology helps your dentist evaluate the success of the treatment.
Track Invisalign Progress With The Aid Of Dental Imaging Technology
Invisalign braces are popular as many patients find them more attractive and less intrusive than traditional metal braces. This treatment requires the patient to wear fitted plastic trays that change frequently as your teeth change positions. Molds and models help specialists prepare and fit each tray.
However, your dentist periodically must take accurate images to gauge whether your treatment is progressing according to the anticipated schedule.
The iTero scanner is Invisalign certified. According to the manufacturer, it assists the Invisalign treatment in the following ways:
- The imaging provides simulations of outcomes for patients
- ClinCheck setups, your Invisalign treatment plan, are three times faster with the aid of the iTero.
- Patients are seven times less likely to have fit issues than with the old school putty impressions
- Rejections of the plastic trays are less common due to the better fit resulting from accurate images
- Itero scans are quicker and more comfortable than the old school putty impressions
- Overall, it leads to better patient experiences
About The ITero Imaging Machine
Southview Dentistry is committed to following best treatment and diagnostic practices. Using high-quality equipment further enhances the treatment our patients receive. We purchased an iTero Imaging Machine to further this goal of offering the best care possible.
The iTero imaging machine is fast and accurate. It can scan an image of a mouth’s full arch in as little as 60 seconds. Additionally, this imaging device connects with popular proprietary treatment programs such as Invisalign.
iTero is known in the dental profession for offering precision imaging to aid orthodontic, restorative, and dental health treatments. The tool also enhances patient communication and understanding of their dental health. After all, people better understand what they can see.
Charlotte residents have trusted their dental health to Southview Dentistry over the past nine years. We care about all the details like using accurate digital dental impressions to provide the most effective treatment.
If you are looking for a dentist, contact us today to schedule a comprehensive dental examination.