Are you taking good care of your teeth? Believe it or not, good oral care can have major implications for all sorts of aspects of your health, and dental problems that are left untreated can turn into serious complications that can even be life-threatening in some situations. Even if a dentist appointment is one of the last things you want to see on your calendar, you have to know that maintaining clean and healthy teeth needs to be a huge priority for you and your family. Fortunately, the science and technology of dental care is constantly changing and advancing. It’s just drills, gold fillings, and dentures anymore. If you’ve got cavities, periodontal disease, broken or missing teeth, or anything else that necessitates a trip to the dentist’s office, you should read up on some of the amazing new things dentists can do for you these days. Here’s a few that you might have missed hearing about if it’s been awhile since you lowered yourself into a dentist’s chair.
- Sedation dentistry
Getting sedated isn’t just for major procedures like wisdom tooth extraction anymore. For people who have high levels of anxiety about getting their teeth worked on, there are a variety of medication options dentists can use to put you in a state where you can comfortably get through the procedure—even if it’s just a cleaning. Dentists trained in sedation dentistry practices can help you safely reach the right state of relaxation and awareness you need.
- Clear-aligner braces
You don’t need a mouthful of hardware to straighten your teeth anymore. Clear-aligners like Invisalign can help straighten out your smile with transparent aligners that fight snugly over your teeth. Computerized scans of your teeth are used to create the aligners, and every couple weeks you get a new, adjusted aligner, until your teeth have moved into the position they’re supposed to be. They’re more comfortable than traditional metal braces, easier to clean, and don’t limit the foods you can eat.
- CEREC crowns
Getting a crown can be a time consuming process that requires multiple appointments, but CEREC (“Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics”) dental restorations use computer-aided design and manufacturing to put a crown on a damaged tooth in a single day. Dr. Chan, a dentist in Rancho Bernardo, recommends CEREC crowns as an effective way avoid issues with temporary crowns that can all complicate the process of getting a traditional crown, and ensure that your permanent crown looks and fits perfectly.
- Dental implants
Dentures and bridges are no longer the only options for replacing a missing tooth. A dental implant procedure installs a titanium post in the bone, functioning as a “root” for an artificial tooth that can be placed on top of it. This new tooth stays in place and won’t come out, unlike dentures, and doesn’t require grinding down neighboring teeth in order to anchor it into place, like bridges do.
- Laser dentistry
You might not want to think of your mouth as the setting for a sci-fi war zone, but dentists can use lasers to treat a surprisingly wide range of problems! Laser treatment can remove decay and prepare cavities for fillings, clean and reshape gums, zap away lesions, tumors, and canker sores, whiten teeth, and more. Best of all, it’s quick and painless.
- Intraoral cameras
No longer does your dentist have to stick a mirror halfway down your throat to get a good look at what’s going on in the back corners of your mouth! Intraoral cameras can take clear, well-lit, close-up images of any nook and cranny your dentist wants to see, producing digital pictures that patients can see as well.
Keeping your teeth in good shape before decay and disease can set in and cause major problems is so important, and modeling good dental care habits for your kids will set them up for a lifetime of advantages when it comes to keeping their choppers healthy! Make sure they know that mom and dad do everything they need to do to take care of their teeth too, and if you have to get a procedure done, show them what it is and why you have to have it so they can really understand that there’s a reason you’re always bugging them to brush, floss, and get regular checkups. There’s sure to be even more incredible leaps forward in dental care technology when they’re all grown up, but for now, make sure you’re informed and educated about all of the state-of-the-art ways dentists have to help you today.