Every time we visit a dentist’s practice, watching them treat their patients using all their sophisticated dental instruments is so interesting. Dentists will be able to spot minute imperfections, tartar deposits, and cavities that you couldn’t. This is a result of two distinct factors - the dentist’s expertise and the unique tools that they use. Digital x-rays and intraoral cameras are the most commonly used pieces of technology by a dentist.
X-rays have been used in the domain of healthcare for several years now. They allow us to get a better view of the underlying tissues and bones that aren’t visible to the naked eye. X-rays are well-utilized in dentistry to understand the structure of the teeth, jawbone, tooth roots, and to determine the growth of any suspicious tissues in the mouth.
When dentists wish to take an x-ray of your teeth, they would want to view your teeth from several different angles. This allows the dentist to screen the teeth and determine the onset of cavities, root canal infection, impacted teeth, benign tumors, growth of the permanent teeth in children, etc. Based on the observations, the dentist can suggest suitable treatment or restorations if necessary.
Intraoral cameras have a similar use case as x-rays. They are used to get a better view of the internal features of the oral cavity that can’t easily be viewed with the naked eye. The significant difference between the two is that intraoral cameras are used to display the outer structure of teeth, gums, and other soft tissues, whereas x-rays allow us to see the interior of the teeth and jawbone. Also, an intraoral camera is a hand-held device that can be moved around in the mouth, as opposed to a fixed image produced by the x-ray.
When the dentist wants to examine a molar at the back of the mouth or the tissues of the larynx, they may not be able to view them as they are deep in the oral cavity. A few years ago, dentists made use of a dental mirror in such situations. But, all a mirror can do is reflect the image as is, and not illuminating or zooming in on specific areas. An intraoral camera can do these, and much more.
An intraoral camera is like a hand-held wand that has a camera lens at its tip. The dentist can insert it in the mouth, move it around to view the teeth, zoom in on specific areas, and also illuminate them. The best part is that the images can be produced on a computer screen in real-time. You can see your oral condition up close on a high-resolution screen, which makes it easier for the dentist to explain it to you.
Schedule an online appointment or call us at (408) 578-0240 to have a consultation with Dr. Martinez, and we'll be happy to guide you further.