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Dental Technology: Making the Dentist’s Chair More Enjoyable

dentist looking at dental x-ray film


Nowadays, we can take talk, text, take photographs, calculate math problems, research, play games, and so much more with just our cell phones. This tiny piece of modern technology has become not only enjoyable, but a necessity for most.

Just as modern technology allows us to carry tiny computers in our pockets, it has affected the world of dentistry as well. Nowadays, modern dental technology is changing the way we once viewed dentistry. Now, more than ever dentistry is faster, easier, more comfortable, and overall more enjoyable. As Dr. Dokhanchi puts it, “technology doesn’t change the procedure; it just changes the materials you use to complete the procedure”. With dental technology, you get the same expert dental care more comfortably, quickly, and with less anxiety.

Dentist's hands examining a woman's bite and teeth

At Fox Valley Dental, we strive to provide you with the best possible dental care and experience. As such, we have updated our office with the latest in dental technology to ensure you receive the best dental care in Aurora. In fact, Dr. Dokhanchi is so devoted to dental technology, that he has written an article in Dental Economics about the importance of incorporating dental technology into the modern dental office.

So how do we at Fox Valley Dental make your dental experience the best you’ve ever had? Simple, we combine compassionate patient care with the latest dental technologies. Specifically, our office uses intraoral and CBCT scanners, and has our own CAD/CAM milling machine. Let’s take a closer look at these technological marvels to see just exactly how they affect you as the patient.

Intraoral Scanners:

Nothing is better than having a plastic or metal tray of cold, goop placed in your mouth for about a minute while it hardens and you try to remember how to breathe without gagging, right? Wrong. Although dental impressions are short-lived misery and an essential part of many dental treatments, no one enjoys them. Which is exactly why Dr. Dokhanchi has eliminated them from his practice. Instead he uses an intraoral scanner.

Intraoral scanner on a white background

Intraoral scanners obtain information about the inside of your mouth without the need for messy dental impressions. They are also more precise, quicker, and decrease the amount of waste because they eliminate the need for impression materials. Best of all, you won’t have to awkwardly sit in the dentist’s chair with goo dripping from your mouth.

At Fox Valley Dental, Dr. Dokhanchi uses the CS 3600 intraoral scanner. Without getting too technical, this intraoral scanner offers quick and accurate images of your mouth. It also comes with three different tip sizes, so he can obtain images while maintaining your comfort. Also, did we mention that your bite can be scanned in less than 5 seconds? AMAZING.

Dr. Dokhanchi notes 8 reasons why he decided to bring an intraoral scanner into his office:

  1. It makes procedures easier for patients with a strong gag reflex
  2. It makes it easier for patients who have a hard time biting correctly during traditional dental impressions
  3. It requires less storage space because is uses digital files instead of physical models
  4. It decreases the waiting period for custom restorations
  5. It limits lab error because the information is more accurate
  6. It eliminates the need for impression “retakes”
  7. It improves communication with the dental lab
  8. It enhances patient education

CBCT Scanner:

Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans are able to capture 3-D images of your teeth, gums, soft tissues, and nerve passages. They provide images that are more anatomically detailed and accurate than regular dental x-rays, which only show 2-D images of bone. With CBCT images, specific bone height, width, contour, and thickness can be easily seen in a single image.

CBCT scanners are made up of an x-ray arm that rotates 360 degrees around your head. While it rotates, anywhere from 150-600 individual 2-D images are taken at various angles. These multiple images are then compressed into one detailed 3-D image.

CBCT machine against a white wall in an office

CBCT scans are often used as a diagnostic tool when a 3-D image is beneficial for treatment planning. Some examples of when a CBCT scan may be used include:  preparing for oral and maxillofacial surgery, before having a root canal, prior to placing dental implants, diagnosing TMJ disorder, planning for an impacted wisdom tooth extraction, determining bone structure and mass, diagnosing pain, and to evaluate the jaw, sinuses, nerve canals, and nasal cavity.

At Fox Valley Dental, Dr. Dokhanchi uses the CS 8100 CBCT scanner for its accessibility, patient comfort, and because it’s user friendly. This type of machine can be used while sitting or standing and has three different programs that can be used with different jaw morphology.

Having a CBCT machine at our office is important because our periodontist places dental implants. Placing dental implants requires careful planning and treatment precision. The scans produced by a CBCT machine ensure that our periodontist has the most accurate information regarding your anatomy. This allows him to create a customized treatment plan with better treatment outcomes. Furthermore, since our machine is offered in-house, there will be no additional waiting to be referred to an imaging office.

To have a CBCT scan, you will first need to remove any metal items that could possibly interfere with the scan. These items include jewelry, eyeglasses, hair pins or accessories, and hearing aids. Then, you will be asked to sit or stand with your chin up and eyes facing straight ahead. Some kind of head stabilizer is often used to keep your head from moving. During the scan, which only lasts about 20-40 seconds, you will need to remain still. And that’s it. Simple, painless, and quick!

As you can see, dental technology already has a lot to offer patients in terms of enhancing their experience at the dental office. Already we have implemented a few key changes that allows us to offer our patients more comfortable, quick, and easy dental care. As technology continues to evolve, visits to the dentist will become more and more comfortable.

Are you ready to experience comfortable, anxiety-free dental care? Schedule a consultation with Fox Valley Dental today!

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