It’s no secret. Going to the dentist isn’t at the top of your list when it comes to fun things to do. More than 60% of people are scared to go to the dentist because they fear pain during or after a treatment or even the “frightening noise of the dental drill.”
But not all dentist’s offices are the same. Some, like Ponderosa Dental in Missoula, invest in the latest dental technology to ensure that patients are taken care of as quickly and comfortably as possible.
New Dental Technology at Ponderosa
For Accuracy & Speed: Cone Beam CT Scanner
The Cone Beam CT scanner (or Dental cone beam computed tomography) allows us to take 3D scans of your teeth, bone, soft tissues, and nerve pathways. It’s a type of x-ray equipment that comes in handy when regular x-rays aren’t sufficient. With 3D images of your mouth in hand, our team can design surgical cases and implants before your procedure to ensure the utmost accuracy, patient fit, and procedure speed.
For example, let’s say you’re getting dental implants. Before the procedure, we would take a Cone Beam CT scan of your jawbone to see the bone in 3D. Then, we use a computer program to design the surgery, so we know the exact size and location of the implant that is best for your mouth. Lastly, we create a surgical guide based on your CT scan that places the implant precisely where it should go based on the computer’s calculations.
For Less Mess, More Comfort: Digital Scanner
Do you remember visiting the dentist and having impressions made of your teeth? In previous years, your dentist would fill a tray with dental putty, put it in your mouth, and you would bite down until impressions were left in the goop. That’s the traditional way to obtain dental impressions.
Nowadays, however, we employ a digital scanner that allows us to take accurate digital scans of your teeth without bulky trays and icky goop. Digital impressions are highly accurate, take less time to process, and are more comfortable for you—the patient!
For Same-Day Crowns: In-Office Milling Unit
An in-office milling machine allows us to make dental crowns in one day, so you don’t have to go through multiple procedures and wear temporary crowns while you wait for your permanent ones.
Here’s how it works. First, we’ll use a digital scanner to take a digital impression of your mouth. This image is sent to a computer, where we design your crown to fit your mouth perfectly. Once the design is finished, we insert a small porcelain block into the milling machine, and the process begins! The machine “mills” the base crown, and our team hand polishes and colors it to give the surface a more natural appearance. The crown is cured in a special oven and polished once again. Then, the crown is ready for your mouth! Thanks to our in-office milling unit, you can get a crown in as little as one day!
For Nightguards, Aligners & More: 3D Printer
You can make almost anything with a 3D printer, even in a dentist’s office!
Dental 3D printers “feature a light or laser that polymerize a liquid with the computer-guided precision required to produce small objects with intricate details,” explains the dental distributor Benco.
Dental 3D printers can be used to make all sorts of useful things for both dentists and patients. At Ponderosa Dental, we use our 3D printer to make custom solutions for you, including:
- Surgical guides for implant placement
- Aligners to straighten teeth
- Nightguards to help treat TMJ
- Crown and bridge models
- Patterns for casting and pressing
- Splints or dentures
Dental Technology at Ponderosa
The right dental technology can speed up your office visit, improve procedure efficiency, and ultimately save you time and money. Less time in the dentist’s chair means more time to do what you want! Count on Dr. Dan to only use technology that improves your experience. Call now for a dental checkup and cleaning! We promise—your experience will be quick and comfortable.