Modern dentistry has come a long way from the dental world of the past. No longer do patients have to suffer at the hands of dentists who use crude instruments and little or no advanced pain management or painkillers. These days it is more likely that the dentist will use futuristic dental tools that not only make the dental procedures less painful, but more effective and faster as well.
One of the most modern tools in the dentist office these days is the computer. Computers and computer monitors are even used right at the dentist’s chair, so that computerized cameras can take pictures of the teeth and gums and X-Rays images can be projected in clear view right in front of the patient. The computer can display dental records and photos of the mouth from previous visits, and having these computer images right in front of the dentist’s chair helps the dentist work and also helps him or her to communicate with the patient and explain procedures.
Air abrasion tools are another modern fixture in many dentist offices. Instead of using an old fashioned conventional drill, the dentist can now use a high-speed air drill. This type of drill can remove plaque and debris, open up and clean out infected cavities, and help to smooth over rough spots in a chipped tooth. Because the tool uses air – plus tiny bits of aluminum oxide – to do the abrasive drilling work, the procedures are far less uncomfortable and noisy than ordinary drilling techniques. If the dentist is expert with an air abrasion tool there is no real pain at all, the work done is much more precise and pinpointed, and the recovery time after a procedure is shorter. Patients do not even have to have anesthetics or painkillers when an air abrasion tool is used effectively and expertly in lieu of an old style dental drill.
When extreme surgery to cut into bone is necessary, the ultra-modern piezosurgery tool – which deploys 60,000-per-second sound waves to cut through bone – may be used. The FDA has approved use of this cutting edge tool for dental surgery, and usually the sound waves slice so fast that there is not even any bleeding or pain involved. Cuts are more exacting, less invasive, and safer for the patient.
Another great tool that some dentists have in their office in Clear Creek in Anchorage is a computerized machine that sculpts dental crowns. In the past, dentists had to measure for crowns and then send the measurements out to a special laboratory where experts would carve and shape the new artificial teeth by hand. The process was painstaking, expensive, and time consuming – but was not nearly as accurate as work now done by computer sculpting. These days the dentist who has one of these newer devices can plug computer data about the exact measurement specifications of the crown into it, and then tiny robotic arms shift, turn, and swivel around the crown, carving it perfectly. The process can be done within an afternoon, and the patient can have an entire crown installation done during a single visit to the dentist. This saves time, money, and the discomfort and inconvenience to the patient that is caused by delays and imprecise sculpting.