• Patient Education

Visiting a Modern Dentist: Improvements In Dental Technology

The bad news is summer has officially come to an end. The good news is there is never a better time to focus on self improvement and catching up on your to-do list. Visiting the dentist for your bi-annual cleaning and check-up is the best way to keep overall dental costs low while keeping your teeth and smile in top condition. At the core of a good dental appointment is the technology our dentists use to make your time in the chair quick and comfortable.

We’ve come a long way from pulling teeth to cure a tooth ache, but dentistry continues to evolve every year and it’s already a very different experience for most adults than it was growing up. Improvements across the board to preventative care, sedation and pain relief, restorations and cosmetics make just about every procedure you undergo safer and more reliable. Even the experience of visiting a 123 Dentist clinic has improved, from check-in to transferring your files.

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Making Your Appointment

It used to be that to make a dentist appointment you had to call the clinic you wanted and wait for the receptionist to schedule you in. These days, the process is streamlined online. You can request an appointment for any clinic right from this website and beyond that, many 123 Dentist member clinic websites offer appointment forms. You can also contact clinics via email and request a callback. Patients can still request an appointment by phone of course, the process is even easier than ever before with our 24/7 emergency hotline.

Visiting Your Member Clinic

123 Dentist clinics are more than just conveniently located, professional and trustworthy, they’re also state-of-the-art. Many clinics offer wifi in reception, television and a few offer tablets with pre-loaded applications. And there’s still the old issues of Maclean’s and People, if you prefer. Once inside our operatories you’ll often find ceiling mounted televisions, some with Netflix so you can catch up on the show you were already in the middle of. Not every 123 Dentist member offers every option, but you can enquire as to the amenities of a clinic when you book your appointment.

Preventative Dentistry

VELscope is a BC developed Oral Cancer screener, which helps to save lives and detect early signs of cancer. Our dentists shine a blue light into your mouth and can highlight developing lumps that could be cancerous. From there our dentists can refer you to a specialist and begin treating tumours before they spread.

DIAGNOdent® is a relatively new device that many of our dentists use to detect cavities. Unlike traditional tools, DIAGNOdent can detect cavities that are not yet fully formed. The advantages of early detection range from saving money, time and avoiding uncomfortable fillings. DIAGNOdent can even detect cavities that an x-ray cannot.

Intraoral Cameras give patients a new level of insight into their oral health. They’re used to take high definition pictures of hard to reach places inside the mouth and are shared with patients to help educate them. It also helps our dentists identify problem areas that previously remained unseen by the naked eye.

Digital Radiography, or Digital X-Rays offer a faster alternative to traditional x-rays. As an added bonus they use less radiation, up to 90% less in fact. The pictures are instantly transferred to a nearby computer for quick analysis and the improved resolution on the computer allows our dentists to see more clearly than ever before. Almost all 123 Dentist member clinics offer Digital X-rays.

HealOzone is another fast, painless way to eliminate tooth decay. Concentrated blasts of air containing ozone (O3), which is a common, natural gas, effectively kills bacteria and fungus. HealOzone is a great tool to detect and get rid of any early signs of tooth decay before it progresses to a more advanced stage.

Restorative Dentistry

Laser Dentistry is probably the most important advancement in dentistry in the last two decades. Since 1994 when lasers first became a part of the regular dental experience, our dentists have been using laser technology in a variety of treatments from early detection (see above) to reshaping gums, whitening and cleaning. Laser dentistry even removes the need for local anesthetic and a traditional drill in some cases and lasers are used to remove benign tumours after they are detected.

Invisalign offers an alternative to traditional metal braces. Remember how frustrating it was to get stuck with braces in junior high? With Invisalign you can remove plastic trays while eating and hide the fact that you even have braces at all. Invisalign doesn’t replace traditional wire braces in every case, but it does work well. Most of our member clinics offer Invisalign and many offer free consultations, so talk to your dentist now!

Night Guards aren’t necessarily new technology, but the effectiveness of them is greatly improved, with custom, moulded plastics that fit better and protect your mouth better. Prices on this type of sleep aide have also dropped make a big difference for anyone suffering from a clenched jaw and in some cases breathing issues.

Nitrous Oxide and (Intravenous) IV Sedation—Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, can calm a patient down to a point that they are relaxed but can still interact with their dentist. On the other hand, IV sedation puts a patient to sleep completely so that they are unaware of what happened during their dental session. This is usually recommended for patients who are fearful of going to the dentist or for procedures that are painful such as wisdom teeth extraction.

Dental implants and the surgery to required to replace a missing tooth with a realistic and functional false tooth have been around for a while, but the ability to replace multiple teeth more quickly and with fewer complications is improved every day. Implants are screw-replacements for the root portion of missing teeth. New procedures are being introduced as we write this that will make future implant procedures even easier.

After Your Appointment

Once you’ve cleaned and repaired your teeth with one of our dentists, we recommend booking cleanings every 6 months.  Daily brushing and flossing is important, and Electric Tooth Brushes and Water Picks are just some of the at-home options for dental technology, but even still, nothing compares to a professional cleaning with a dentist and in the long term it’s more affordable than fixing problems caused by bad habits and neglect.

If you move to a different area in the lower mainland, we can help. Your patient file is now digital and transferable across the entire 123Dentist Network. That means when you visit another 123Dentist clinic on the other side of town or Canada, you still have the same dental records and history on hand for the dental team to use in treatments. Getting to know your new dentist has simply never been easier, and dental technology is a big part of that.

The Next Big Thing

There are hundreds of advancements coming in the next few years alone, from small improvements to existing procedures to whole new therapies and treatments. 123 Dentist clinics will soon introduce improvements to implant procedures, and in the distant future we have the possibility of growing new organic teeth and repairing tissues without the need for porcelain or composite fillings. Whatever the future holds, it’s never looked brighter for your smile and your future oral health.

Tell us what dental technology you are most happy about OR what you’re looking forward to seeing in the future. Is there a technology we didn’t touch on here that you’d like to know more about? Let us know at connect@123dentist.com.