Published on December 11, 2017, Updated on December 11, 2017
At Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, Dr. Hardy has equipped the office with the latest technology to maximize the comfort and effectiveness of your dental care. One way we achieve this is with digital x-rays, which offer improved precision in your treatment planning and treatment experience. Intraoral cameras also allow us to fully involve you in treatment. By using intraoral cameras, we can show you what is going on in your mouth and you can see what the dentist sees. Dr. Hardy uses intraoral cameras to capture images that are then transmitted to a small screen at your chair for your viewing and discussion. Learn more about how this technology can benefit you!
When you think of diseases or ailments, you may think of big names such as “cancer” or “diabetes”. What you may not think of is “cavity”. You may also know the term “cavity” by other names such as “tooth decay” or “dental caries”. All of these terms are used interchangeably to describe the decay of your tooth enamel over time. According to studies, tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic disease among children and adults.
Millions of people have had them and many have untreated cavities right at this very moment. You may even have a cavity and not be aware of it. In fact, approximately 91% of people between 20 and 64 have dental caries in their permanent teeth. Cavities take time to cause you pain or sensitivity. This is generally when a cavity has become large. How does one start though? You can blame plaque for your cavities. Plaque is a sticky, acidic substance that is made in your mouth every time you eat or drink. The sugars in the foods you eat mix with bacteria in your mouth, and plaque forms. That plaque sticks to your teeth and starts its work eroding away your tooth enamel.
Your teeth are some of the hardest parts of your body. However, even the strongest materials can become weak over time. That’s what plaque does: it sits on your teeth, eroding way your tooth enamel until a tooth becomes weak. Then cracks and fissures in your teeth allow that plaque to seep inside, where tooth decay will spread rapidly. Without detection or treatment, that tooth decay will become larger and larger until your tooth becomes compromised.
Tooth decay is difficult to find if you are simply looking at your teeth. As a dentist, Dr. Hardy can use a probing tool to find areas of sensitivity or discoloration that may indicate you have a cavity. However, it would be a shot in the dark without the help of technology. In our office, we use digital x-rays to image your teeth inside and out and to detect the presence of cavities. In the past, many dental offices used x-ray equipment to take images of your teeth. This involved radiation passing through your body to get a readout of your teeth, and often, patients had to wear protective radiation coverings. Some dental offices still use this type of x-ray imaging. However, we know there is a better way.
We use digital x-ray imaging at our office. This is very similar to traditional x-ray imaging. Patients bite down on a digital sensor much like the old bitewings used for regular x-rays. However, with a digital sensor, once the x-ray is administered, the image is immediately sent to our computers. This means we can view your x-ray immediately instead of having to wait for the x-rays to develop. Digital x-rays also emit up to 90% less radiation than the previous imaging method. We love providing you with images of your teeth so that you can understand your treatment better. That is why we also use intraoral cameras during your office visit.
Intraoral cameras are cameras that are used inside your mouth (hence the term “intraoral”). This device is a small, handheld tool that’s equipped with a tiny camera at the tip. Dr. Hardy uses the intraoral camera to capture images that are then transmitted to a small screen at your chair for your viewing and discussion. Some patients will put off treating a cracked tooth or getting a cavity filled or other type of dental treatment. It’s hard to explain the importance of a patient receiving treatment immediately if the patient can’t visualize what is going on in their mouth.
Intraoral cameras are a perfect way for patients to view what is going on in their mouth as the dentist works. Intraoral cameras are especially beneficial for children who want to know what is going on during their dental visit. Dr. Hardy can use this camera so that children can watch a screen and see all their teeth and have Dr. Hardy explain their treatment to them. It’s also a better way to teach them about problems with their oral health because they can see what Dr. Hardy is talking about. Children and adults alike can benefit from seeing their teeth, especially in areas that they never get to see in the back of the mouth.
Seeing the dentist is fundamental for keeping your mouth healthy. When you see plaque or food stuck on your teeth, you have an urge to clean them. Intraoral cameras help you to see places that aren’t normally seen so you can better understand your mouth. For patients who fear the unknown, intraoral cameras are great for helping them see what is going on while they receive any type of dental service. If you would like to have Dr. Hardy use his intraoral camera at your next visit, simply tell us! If you would like to schedule your comprehensive exam to receive your x-rays and to check for tooth decay, call Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics today at (720) 887-6003!