8/28/2015 12:00:00 PM | John Lombardi

For many years, traditional x-rays have provided dentists with a method of enhancing their inspection of patient’s teeth. In addition to exposing hidden tooth decay and cavities, digital X-rays can show impacted wisdom teeth and even bone loss below the gum line. Traditionally, conventional x-rays have also been used to examine the condition of previous dental work such as crowns, fillings and root canal treatments.

While it has become the standard in dental examinations, conventional X-ray technology has its limitations. Because the jaw must be positioned in a certain way to provide the clearest reading, taking the x-rays can be very uncomfortable for patients. Since traditional X-ray machines are large and bulky, images can only be taken from the outside of teeth, one side at a time.  Conventional x-rays also emit a low level of radiation during imaging. Although patients wear protective gear to shield them from it, some people are still concerned about the risk of extensive exposure.

Thanks to advancements in modern dentistry, there is now a safer, more efficient way to collect images from a patient’s dentition. Digital X-ray technology, sometimes referred to as digital radiography, offers dentists the ability to collect high-quality scans using sensors that immediately transmit images to a computer, rather than take them on film that requires processing. Sensors can be placed inside or outside of the mouth, where they receive a low-energy particle or “soft X-ray” signal from a digital transmitter. This machine emits about 90 percent less radiation than conventional X-ray devices.

As the photos are saved digitally, digital x-rays provide a permanent record for your dentist to monitor changes in your dentition and determine effective treatment. The recorded images are immediately uploaded to a computer where they can be enlarged or digitally enhanced by your dentist. This feature provides your dentist with a more comprehensive view when compared to traditional X-rays. These images also provide an excellent reference for future care, making multi-discipline dental treatment easier. There is also an environmental benefit of using digital x-rays. Unlike traditional x-rays, digital x-rays do not require chemicals to process the imaging.  

Digital X-rays are a safer, more effective alternative to outdated traditional x-rays. Ask your Foothills Ranch dentists at Lombardi Brothers Dental today to learn about the benefits of using digital x-rays. 

8/21/2015 12:00:00 PM | John Lombardi

Using a laser beam to search for cavities may seem like an idea straight out of a futuristic science fiction movie – but the future is already here. Thanks to the technology of the DIAGNOdent® laser, dentists are equipped with a safe and effective approach tooth examination below the enamel, outpacing the capability of traditional X-rays.

Catching Cavities Early
Advancements in dentistry ranging from high quality electric toothbrushes to fluoride in drinking water have many obvious perks, such as stronger tooth enamel and overall improved oral health. Despite good oral hygiene practices, some people still suffer varying degrees of tooth decay, which can cause cavities or even tooth loss. While stronger tooth enamel can make it more difficult for teeth to decay, strong enamel can also impede cavity detection when it does occur.

By using DIAGNOdent® lasers, dentists now have a two-pronged approach to detecting existing cavities as well as dental decay. As traditional X-rays only take images from the sides of teeth, many cavities go unidentified until they are visible or begin causing oral pain. DIAGNOdent lasers are handheld devices that easily fit within a patient’s mouth, allowing dentists to scan all surfaces of your teeth. The laser can penetrate the narrow spaces between teeth and in the ridges that X-rays miss, ensuring accurate scans and better dental treatment planning.

How Do DIAGNOdent® Lasers Work?
DIAGNOdent® lasers shine the laser directly on the tooth to measure the tooth’s fluorescence, or how bright the different areas of each tooth are when they are scanned with the laser. As your dentist scans each tooth with the DIAGNOdent® laser, it emits a sound that alerts him to tooth decay. The higher the pitch, the more severe the dental decay is.

The laser imaging is saved in specialized software that allows the dentist to evaluate the fluorescence and decay of each tooth. Healthy tooth structure shows up on the scans as a dark shade, while different stages of tooth decay appear in varying lighter colors. Lighter shades indicate more advanced tooth decay.

The DIAGNOdent® laser is an effective, painless approach to cavity detection. As the laser identifies areas of higher dental decay, DIAGNOdent® lasers allow patients and dentists to strategically plan dental care to prevent cavities and other dental issues. Ask your Foothills Ranch dentist today about incorporating DIAGNOdent® laser cavity detection into your next routine check-up.

8/14/2015 3:30:00 PM | John Lombardi

New and Improved Crowns: What CEREC Can Do for You

Although dental crowns are an effective way to treat damaged or infected teeth, some patients avoid crowns because of apprehensions about the time commitment. With the convenience of CEREC’s crown in a day technology, there is no need to put your tooth restoration on hold.

What is CEREC?

CEREC, which stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, is a form of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) dentistry. This advanced technology provides patients with a quick, comfortable method to receive customized porcelain crowns. The CEREC method uses a three-dimensional scanner to take digital tooth impressions. These images are uploaded to the CAD/CAM software, allowing your dentist to examine the damaged area of your tooth with the highly detailed imaging system. The software allows your dentist to see exactly where the decay is and plan according. By planning your treatment with the CAD/CAM software, your dentist is able to create a more conservative crown placement plan.

How does the CEREC System work?

Not only is the CAD software able to pinpoint where decayed matter is, but it is also capable of designing more accurate impressions than traditional trays and molds. This is because of the device’s ability to scan all surfaces of teeth, even those between your teeth. As the 3D digital scans are uploaded to a computer, your dentist is able to use the manufacturing aspect of the software to design a porcelain crown that will fit in naturally with your dentition. A porcelain block is chosen by your dentist to match the natural color of your teeth. It is placed into the machine, and once the crown is crafted, the piece is ready for a fitting. With a final polish, the crown is virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

What are the Benefits of CEREC?

Usually, the entire treatment can be done all in one appointment, saving you time, money and anxiety. This also eliminates the need for temporary crowns, which can sometimes fall out or break before the placement of the permanent prosthetic and cause discomfort within the treated tooth. These modern porcelain crowns are also more durable than traditional metal crowns. As the crowns are all-porcelain, the crown expands and contracts the same way that your teeth do, allowing you to enjoy your restoration without fear of your further damage. Since CEREC is metal free, patients are not exposed to harmful materials, such as those found in amalgam or mercury fillings.

Ask your Foothills dentist if you’re interested in learning if CEREC crowns are right for you.

12/1/2014 2:01:00 PM | John Lombardi

We're excited to announce the official launch of our Lombardi Brother's Dental blog. 
We'll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.
We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients. 
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Here's to your best oral health ever!