When you seek care at our office, you are assured that Dr. Bewley and his staff utilize the latest in technology to enhance the quality of your dental care. The doctor uses high power magnification to enhance the precision of patient care. Dentistry is micro-surgery. Using a magnified image that is similar to the one an ophthalmologist uses enables us to create dental restorations with incredibly precise fit and finish. You just can’t fulfill that level of care with the naked eye. In addition to allowing precise, close-up work, the microscope directs a beam of light directly on the teeth, minimizing glare for you. Many dentists use air-driven “hand-pieces” (the dental term for “drills”). While acceptable for many procedures, these “whiney sounding” air-powered hand pieces all have a degree of non-concentricity; they do not rotate perfectly smoothly. For the most precise aspects of restorative procedures, we use electric hand-pieces. This results in extraordinarily precise interfaces between your tooth and your new restoration (crown, veneer, or filling). This will bring more comfort to you as well. With a more precise tool, there is less vibration and less noise.
Dr. Bewley chooses carefully which and when radiographs (X-Rays) are taken. There are many guidelines that we follow, but generally speaking ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) is the guiding principle. Radiographs allow us to see everything we cannot see with our own eyes. Radiographs enable us to detect cavities in between your teeth, determine bone level, and analyze the health of your bone. We can also examine the roots and nerves of teeth, diagnose lesions such as cysts or tumors, as well as assess damage when trauma occurs. Dental radiographs are invaluable aids in diagnosing, treating, and maintaining dental health. Exposure time for dental radiographs is extremely minimal. Dr. Bewley utilizes advanced Digital Imaging Technologies within the office. With digital imaging, exposure time is about 50 percent less when compared to traditional radiographs. Digital imaging can also help us retrieve valuable diagnostic information. We may be able to see cavities better. Digital imaging allows us to store patient images, and enables us to quickly and easily transfer them to specialists or insurance companies.
Dental Cone Beam Computed Tomography, or CBCT:
This is essentially a 3D xray machine. There are very few practices in the state that are able to offer this game changing technology to their patients in house. It allows us to gain far more information than is available in traditional 2D radiographs. Advanced diagnosis and treatment planning are the advantages of this technology, at about the same radiation exposure as a full mouth series of radiographs. It allows us to find previously hidden sources of infection, identify fractures, determine if sinus pathology is tooth-related, help diagnose failed root canals and aid in retreatment if viable, evaluate teeth scheduled for extraction to minimize complications, and the list goes on.
It is also invaluable in treatment planning for dental implant procedures. It allows extremely precise analysis of your jaws, and can be combined with our CEREC optical imaging to generate guides that allow us to place implants exactly as planned on the computer, accurate to within 0.5 mm; think of it as GPS for your implant surgery. This minimizes the likelihood of an implant being placed in any location other than the ideal one.
Many patients, especially younger patients, are very familiar with the latest technology and are comfortable with the high tech practice. Computers and TV screens are their primary method of information processing. Dr. Bewley utilizes intraoral camera technology as well as high resolution photography that helps enhance your understanding of your diagnosis. An intraoral camera is a very small camera – in some cases, just a few millimeters long. An intraoral camera allows our practice to view clear, precise images of your mouth, teeth and gums, in order for us to accurately make a diagnosis. We also use a high resolution digital camera to capture photographs of relevant areas so they may displayed on an iPad or computer, giving us the ability to view small problems in a big way. With clear, defined, enlarged images, you see details that may be missed by standard mirror examinations. This can mean faster diagnosis with less chair-time for you! These technologies also enable our practice to save your images in our office computer to provide a permanent record of treatments. These images can be printed for you, other specialists, and your lab or insurance companies.
Computer Controlled Anesthetic Delivery:
The shot. Everyone hates it. It hurts, right? Not so fast! We use a device called The Wand, which allows delivery of local anesthetics that is often painless, and almost always less traumatic than a traditional injection. This device even allows us to anesthetize a single tooth for some types of treatment. In addition to the decreased discomfort, it also allows a more precise delivery of the anesthetic, which may help us to reduce the volume of anesthetic required to comfortably complete your procedure.
The CEREC Procedure
Let’s face it, very few of us have perfect teeth, free of decay and fillings. You can probably see a filling or two in your own mouth, which do just that — “fill” a cavity, or hole, in your tooth left from the excavation of decayed tooth structure. In many cases, those fillings are made of metal material and can go bad, weaken the tooth, or get additional decay under or around it. In fact, 1.2 billion of these metal fillings will need to be replaced in the next 10 years. CEREC is a method used by thousands of dentists worldwide since 1987 not only to replace these fillings, but also to restore any tooth that is decayed, weakened, broken, etc. to its natural strength and beauty. Better yet, it’s done with all-ceramic materials that are tooth-colored in a single appointment!
Exam and Preparation
First, your Dentist examines the tooth and determines the appropriate treatment. It could be a simple filling, or a full crown, depending on how much healthy tooth structure is remaining and the clinical judgment of your Dentist. Next, he or she administers an anesthetic and prepares your tooth for the restoration, removing decayed and weakened tooth tissue. This preparation is just like he or she would do for many other restorative techniques.
Then, your Dentist takes an Optical Impression of the prepared tooth. Instead of filling a tray with impression “goop” that you must bite into and hold in your mouth until it hardens, your Dentist uses a camera to take a digital picture of your tooth. This whole Optical Impression process takes only a minute or two.
Next, the CEREC machine helps the Dentist create the restoration for your tooth. The CEREC 3D software takes the digital picture and converts it into a 3-dimensional virtual model on the computer screen. Your Dentist then uses his or her dental expertise to design the restoration using the CEREC 3D computer program. Within a few minutes, your Dentist clicks a button, and the restoration design data is sent to a separate milling machine in the office. A ceramic block that matches your tooth shade is placed in the milling machine. About 10 – 20 minutes later, your all-ceramic, tooth-colored restoration is finished and ready to bond in place. Finally, your Dentist tries the restoration in your mouth to ensure proper fit and bite. The restoration is then polished and bonded to the prepared tooth. Your tooth is restored with no “temporary” or return trip necessary. All of this is done in a single appointment! Ask us about CEREC today.
What is CEREC? CEREC is an acronym…
- Chairside: The technology is in the dental operatory and used while you are in the chair
- Economical: The procedure is economical for both dentist and patient
- Restorations: The procedure restores your tooth to its natural beauty, function, and strength
- Esthetic: The restorations are metal-free and tooth-colored
- Ceramic: High-strength ceramics are used that are close in composition to your natural tooth structure.
CEREC is an advanced dental restorative system that allows your dentist to restore decayed teeth, place crowns, remove defective amalgam fillings, or place cosmetic veneers in just one appointment. This allows you to have the highest quality, most lifelike dental restorations in just one visit to the dentist…in, out, and on with your busy life.
CEREC Acquisition Unit
The CEREC Acquisition Unit is mobile and houses a medical grade computer and the CEREC camera. Your dentist uses the camera to take a digital picture of your prepared tooth. This picture is used instead of a traditional impression. This means no impression tray and material for you to gag on. The computer and CEREC 3D software converts the digital picture to a three-dimensional virtual model of your prepped tooth. Your dentist then designs your restoration right on screen using the software while you wait (and watch!). This software can assist your dentist with designing any single tooth restoration: crowns, inlays (fillings), onlays (partial crowns), and veneers. In some cases, bridges may also be fabricated. In addition, this technology may be used to restore your implant fixtures. Once your dentist has designed your restoration (usually about 5 minutes), he or she clicks a button, and the design data is communicated via a wireless radio signal to the CEREC Milling Unit.
CEREC Milling Unit
Your dentist or dental assistant selects a ceramic block that matches the shade of the tooth being repaired. He or she then inserts the block into the Milling Unit. The data from the Acquisition Unit is used to direct two diamond-coated burs to carve the block into the indicated shape of the restoration. This process usually takes 8 to 18 minutes depending on the size and type of restoration. After the milling is finished, your dentist polishes the finished filling or crown and bonds it into place.
CEREC® is a registered trademark of Sirona Dental Systems