Digital Images and Dentistry

During every dental check up at this Jacksonville, Florida dental office, Dr. Shields will examine each and every one of your teeth for signs of decay. This thorough examination is essential to discover dental caries, however there is a much better way to understand the state of your teeth and that is with digital imaging. Radiographic imagery has been used in dental offices for many years and only recently have many dental offices made the switch to digital imagery. Our 3D cone beam imaging tool is the latest in x-ray technology and is assisting Dr. Shields in diagnosing and treating not only cavities, but TMD, sleep disordered breathing, and aiding her ability to place dental implants.

Why X-Rays are Important

X-rays have are arguably one of the most important advances in medical technology. Since 1895 when they were accidentally discovered by a German physicist, Wilhelm Rontgen, they have been used across the medical discipline to see what before was only visible during exploratory surgery. X-ray machines are able to produce images of hard tissues within the human body, and over the years have been perfected to image soft tissues such as the brain, heart and internal organs. As with most film technology radiographs have been made obsolete by digital imaging, and as we enter a new era of photography and digital ability 3D imaging is making better, more comprehensive medicine possible.

Radiographs of decades past rely on small amounts of radiation to be passed through a patient in order to illuminate their bones, teeth, or soft tissues. A photograph was then taken and developed on film. These images offer excellent photo quality, but do take time to develop. Digital radiography improves upon this technology by reducing 70 percent of the radiation needed to capture the same quality images as film. The digital images produced can also be manipulated to zoom in on a particular area, and provide more than 225 different shades of grey for dentists to evaluate. This means that dentists like Dr. Shields can detect areas of eroded enamel before they deteriorate into cavities. These photos are also digitally archived and can be easily sent to other speciality dentists, like orthodontists, with ease.

The advent of 3D imaging brings digital radiography to another level because now dentists are able to capture craniofacial images and see every surface of every tooth. This enables your Jacksonville, Florida dentist to fully evaluate the sate of your oral health and help you make the best decisions when it comes to filling cavities, having teeth extracted, or performing a root canal. But, it can also assist in other aspects of dentistry.

3D Cone Beam Technology

At Smiles by Shields we use 3D Cone Beam Imaging to fully assess our patients mouths, including the surrounding bones. The radiation exposure for a 3D Cone Beam Imaging System eliminates 90 percent of the radiation required for traditional radiography. It was also designed with comfort in mind and therefore is quick and easy for the x-ray technician to capture. In a single shot this machine can capture a detailed and moveable photograph of your entire head which, when paired with the corresponding software can provide this Jacksonville, Florida dentist with a 360 degree look of your teeth, jaw, and sinuses. This comprehensive image enables Dr. Shields to understand the severity of cavities and how to treat them without removing unnecessary tissue. She is also able to see if the bone underneath an affected tooth is decaying and needs further examination. A 3D, craniofacial image provide more information than that as well. She will be able to see the jaw and mouth as a whole. This makes the quality and specificity of the work she does much higher and can, in some cases, reduce treatment time. 3D Cone Beam Imaging is helping Dr. Shields place dental implants, address TMJ issues, malocclusions, and even sleep disordered breathing. It is truly an amazing technology we are excited and proud to have in our Jacksonville, Florida dental office.

Seeing the big picture is important to us in all aspects of dentistry. From whole body wellness to the exacting and less harmful digital photographs we can take with our 3D Cone Beam Imaging system. If you are seeking a dental professional who takes your wellness into account at every appointment, contact our Jacksonville, Florida dental practice today.

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