In 2011, dentists now have the techniques and resources to provide treatments to patients in ways they have never been able to in the past. Most dental treatments are faster and better than ever. This is largely due to technological advancements. In the rest of this article, I will be exploring the new technological dental techniques that patients can now take advantage of.
The traditional methods for replacing missing teeth involved using dentures and bridges. However, these are no longer the sole option. The technique that dentists and their patients are rapidly starting to prefer is dental implants. There are many advantages to using dental implants. They look and feel very similar to natural teeth; they don't need to be attached to other teeth like bridges; and you can't remove them like dentures.
The procedure for placing dental implants takes longer than the other methods, but it often yields better results. Treatment can last for months after the initial surgery, but patients are usually glad they went for this option. It leaves them with a tooth that looks completely natural, and which they can clean easily with a regular toothbrush.
Remember to discuss the potential risks of such a procedure with your dentist before having a dental implant. Placing implants is an invasive procedure involving at least one round of surgery, so it's best that you know about all the potential pitfalls if the procedure were to not go to plan.
Digital radiography speeds up dental appointments greatly. Once the x-ray is taken, the image appears almost instantly on the monitor: no need for time-consuming chemical processing!
X-rays produced in this fashion have many advantages. They provide far greater detail, so the dentist can see exactly what work needs to be done on your teeth. Since they are digital images, they can be stored on a computer and be easily passed on to other medical specialists who can cross-examine them. And because the x-rays can be shown on a large monitor rather than a tiny film, it is even possible for patients to see the areas that the dentist is concerned about.
Some modern dentists now undergo training so that they can cooperate with sleep physicians to provide anti-snoring devices to people who suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is a condition where the sufferer cannot sleep deeply because of breathing problems caused by the relaxing of certain parts of their throat and tongue. This creates terrible snoring problems that cause major disturbances for the sufferer's partner.
The patient wears an anti-snoring device when they go to bed in order to reposition their jaw to prevent the blockage of breathing passages. This helps the patient to fall into a state of deep sleep so they can get as much rest as they need every night.
Cross-disciplinary cooperation like this between sleep physicians and dentists is a very encouraging sign for modern health practices.
Sleep Dentistry is the term given to describe the practice of Intravenous Sedation. This is a technique that lets dental patients have procedures carried out whilst they are in a deeply relaxed state.
The sedation is very intense, so much so that some patients completely forget arriving and leaving the dental office, and have no recollection of the dental procedure. They were fully conscious during the treatment, but still have no memory of it. The intense relaxation even causes some people to actually fall asleep.
Because of the effects of the drugs used in this procedure, it is required that a responsible adult accompanies the patient afterwards to ensure their safety whilst the effects of the drugs are wearing off.
There are potential risks involved with any procedure involving the delivery of medications intravenously as well as risks associated with sedation generally. Dentists who offer this service must have the correct certification, and their staff are required to have the appropriate training and qualifications. If you are considering this treatment, your dentist will always assess you carefully especially with regard to your past and current medical history. Make sure you are fully aware of the risks involved prior to undergoing this treatment: ask plenty of questions- your dentist will answer them willingly.
Remember, intravenous sedation will not cure your dentist fears. It is however a good option for helping you feel at ease during those dreaded dentist trips. Not all local dentists provide this treatment option, so be sure to ask your nearby practitioner.
About The Author
Chris Hardwicke is a dentist in Canberra, Australia. He owns the Corinna Dental Group, which has practices in Canberra (near the Canberra International Airport) and Woden (near Woden Plaza). The Corinna Dental Group provide many general and cosmetic dental services, including teeth whitening, porcelain veneers and implant dentistry. Several of the dentists have had specific training with anti-snoring devices, and work closely with local sleep physicians to help people with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. At the Woden practice, "Sleep Dentistry" or Intravenous Sedation Dentistry is offered to patients with high dental anxiety.
Appointments can be made at Corinna Dental Group Woden on (02) 6282 2605 or Corinna Dental Group Canberra on (02) 6257 0393.