Dr. Brunacini on Digital Dentistry
One of the most exciting and useful advancements in dentistry in recent years has been the incorporation of digital tools. Digital Dentistry is an integral part of our practice at Falmouth Dental Arts. Perhaps you read about Dr. Brunacini’s commitment to Digital Dentistry in his bio and have been curious to learn more. We decided to ask Dr. Brunacini about this innovative component of our care. Here’s what he had to say:
1. What is Digital Dentistry?
Dr. Brunacini: Digital dentistry has permeated many aspects of dentistry. For example, our patient’s dental and health information is all done digitally through our dental software. No need for paper charts! X-rays are another way that digital dentistry has changed how we do things. Digital x-rays have many advantages: convenience, drastically reduced radiation exposure, and increased diagnostic capabilities. We even have x-rays that can be seen in 3 dimensions, which provides so much more information for the team and patient. It’s also really cool! Lastly, digital impressions can now be used to fabricate crowns and other lab-processed dental prostheses. It’s all very fascinating!
2. How does FDA incorporate Digital Dentistry into its practice?
Dr. Brunacini: We have been using computer-based patient record management software for years. It allows us to better communicate with the patients directly as well as with their dental insurance companies to provide a better overall experience. We also utilize intraoral cameras (camera this fit inside the mouth) to be able to show patients exactly what we see in their mouths. We can use these digital images to help us make a treatment plan and communicate that plan easily to the patient. Being able to plan the end result for a patient prior to making irreversible changes to a their mouth helps us assure long term success. It becomes a very powerful motivator and education tool.
We are working towards implementing digital impressions for crown fabrication, but are still in the learning phase of it. We are continually developing new skills and working to implement new technologies in our practice to give our patients the best care possible.
3. What’s in store for the future of Digital Dentistry?
Dr. Brunacini: Digital Dentistry will continue to simplify and streamline the workflow. We are already seeing how the intraoral digital scanners (which create 3-D images of teeth) are getting faster and smaller so we can use them more universally. I also see potential in 3-D printing of dental prostheses for patients, which will assure a more precise fit and quicker turnaround times. It’s an exciting time and there are sure to be even more advancements in the future!
Thank you, Dr. Brunacini! Come in and experience all of our digital equipment at your next appointment! Schedule one today by calling us at 207.781.5900.
*Image courtesy of www.dentalassets.com
We can tell a lot just by taking a look around your mouth while you are sitting in our chair. But sometimes, we need to take a closer look at your teeth to get to the root of a problem you may be experiencing. X-rays are most commonly used to help us to find issues that can’t be seen with a visual exam. While these images do provide valuable information, they don’t show everything that’s going on in your mouth. Plus, they aren’t always the easiest images to help explain what might be causing an issue. That’s why you might see Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos using an intraoral camera.
What is an Intraoral Camera?
An intraoral cameral is a tiny digital camera that takes pictures of hard-to-reach areas in your mouth. Our intraoral cameras look similar to a pen and are equipped with a tiny lens on the end. During an examination, the camera is moved throughout the inside of the mouth, allowing us to see detailed images of the surfaces of your teeth, gum conditions, and other tiny details about tissues, cavities, etc. The camera also captures clear video and images of corroded or tarnished fillings, hairline fractures, bleeding gums, plaque, and other problems. To our patients’ delight, the camera is painless and can be used while you are sitting comfortably in the dental chair.
How do Intraoral Cameras work?
The first intraoral cameras were introduced back in the late 1980s and required a lot of bulky technology. Images were saved to a floppy disc and videos were saved to film and had to be viewed in a VHS player. Over the years, the design changed drastically allowing for improved function with significantly smaller equipment. Today’s intraoral cameras are connected directly to a computer and the images it can immediately be viewed by both the dentist and the patient in real time. These images can then be examined in-depth for a better diagnosis and stored for future reference.
Why do we use Intraoral Cameras?
Intraoral cameras offer numerous benefits to the patient. Dr. Karagiorgos explains it like this: “Showing our patients photographs of what we are looking at in their mouths is a great way to communicate ideas about conditions or possible treatments. Photography becomes a great tool in our toolbox to engage patients so that they feel more included in the decision-making process. It lets the patient see with their own eyes and helps make what might sound complicated much easier to understand.”
With the video and images captured by the camera, we are able to give you a better look at a particular diagnosis and to help you understand a treatment plan more completely. Instead of just explaining to you what might be happening in your mouth, we are able to show you exactly what is going on. In many cases, an issue might not present with tangible symptoms. For example, you might not have any pain in a back molar, but the intraoral camera might discover a fractured tooth. The cameras are also useful in the tooth restoration process, allowing you to see the before and after pictures of your treatment.
No matter the issue, the intraoral camera helps you make treatment decisions with confidence. Want to learn more? Let us show you what the camera looks like at your next visit! Call us at (207) 781-5900 to schedule your appointment today.