Q. What is the new technology dentists are using that reduces or eliminates discomfort from shots given during a dental procedure
A. A computerized injection system called The Wand has been shown to significantly reduce patient discomfort in delivering oral anesthetics. In a study of patients who have had procedures using it, more than 80% of them reported that it was a completely painless process. Consult your dentist to see if this dental procedure is covered by your dental care payment plan.
A very thin needle is attached to a pen-sized wand and placed near the gums. A drop of anesthetic numbs the gum before the needle is inserted. There is no prick or burning sensation with this system. As the needle glides through the gum, the anesthetic continues to be released. When the needle is fully inserted, the computer slowly releases the anesthetic. This eliminates the usual cause of the discomfort of the traditional dental shot — the pressure associated with the stream of anesthetic flowing into the gum.
Q. How can early tooth decay be detected?
A. A dentist can put a “caries detection dye” on a suspicious tooth. This colored liquid helps identify the position and the extent of decay that is not visible to the naked eye. The dental procedure price may very.
Q. Are there any new prevention treatments for reducing tooth decay?
A. New prevention treatments are being studied. Research has shown that a tooth-decay inhibiting treatment can effectively eliminate the bacteria that cause tooth decay in humans. One promising treatment still in development is a caries vaccine, CaroRX, a tasteless, colorless antibody from genetically-altered plants, which is painted on clean teeth to prevent decay-causing bacteria from sticking to teeth. Planet Biotechnology, the manufacturer of CaroRX, hopes to gain FDA approval and make this product available to dentists within the next few years.
Q. What are intraoral cameras?
A. An intraoral camera is a miniature video camera that the dentist places in the patient’s mouth so that together they can view any dental problems that the patient is having. The image from the camera is enlarged and sent to a monitor for viewing.
Q. What is the purpose of intraoral cameras?
A. The purpose behind intraoral cameras is to allow the patient to see the specific area that needs treatment so that they are more likely to understand the dentist’s recommendation and accept it. Ask your dentist about this dental procedure and whether it’s covered under your dental patient financing program.