Today at this point in the 21st-century technology has come so far that most of the imaging procedures and surgical procedures in a dental practice can be done within the confines of the practice itself. What do I mean by this?
There are numerous things to look for in a dental practice, obviously, the primary one is to find a dentist who is extremely qualified with excellent credentials. That is not what this article is about. This article is about what to look for otherwise in a dental practice.
When you go to see a dentist, a lot of times x-rays are necessary to evaluate your mouth. Modern dental practices should have what is necessary to take x-rays of your teeth. Preferably these should actually be taken digitally so that they can be stored on a CD or a flash drive or somewhere besides a large piece of film.
In addition, let’s say you have a problem where you need to consider a dental implant or a crown or something of that nature. Would that be great if you didn’t have to go to an outside imaging center to get a CAT scan of your mouth? Modern dental practices undertake the expense of having a CT scanner in the office which can accurately evaluate the bony aspect of your dental problem. They can then do implant planning that typically represents the advanced technological capability of most other dental practices.
Another technique that modern dental practices have is a machine that allows for three-dimensional CAD/CAM imaging so that porcelain crowns can be fabricated in the office. Typically, patients previously had to bite down on some play dough type substance with the mold impression and then have it shipped off to a lab where a temporary crown come back.
This is no longer necessary in modern dental clinics. A CEREC machine is a wonderful three-dimensional imaging device that makes a software virtual image of the problem and then sends that to a milling machine which then fabricates the crown right there in the office.
Another aspect of modern dental practices is anesthesia. Traditional dental practices did not offer dental sedation for their patients. Because of this, patients often need to have multiple procedures done in multiple settings because otherwise they wouldn’t be able to handle the whole thing at one time. Dental sedation allows for multiple procedures to be performed in one setting so that it’s more convenient and respectful of patient’s time.
The culmination of all of these amenities in modern dental practices means that patients have more time to do other things besides take care of their mouths. They don’t have to go elsewhere to get a CAT scan, you don’t have to get x-rays somewhere else, you don’t have to wait weeks to get a porcelain crown made, and they don’t have to have multiple procedures over multiple settings and take time off from work.
So the bottom line is that when you’re looking for a new dental practice, yes definitely look at the dentist’ credentials but also take a time to look and see exactly what amenities the dental practice offers that will save you time and give you the most technological edge to properly taking care of your dental needs.