Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How to Select a Dental Curing Light

The selection of a dental curing light that fits your style of practicing remains one of the most important equipment purchases you will make. If you have an active restorative practice, it is a device that you use virtually every time you treat a patient. The right light can help you achieve success, while the converse is true – the wrong light can make your efforts more tedious and your results less consistent.

Curing lights allow us to initiate the polymerization reaction “on demand” for a vast array of materials. However, there is, perhaps, more misinformation and hype regarding this type of equipment compared to just about anything else we use on a daily basis. Most of these controversies center on how long you have to cure specific types of restorations as well as how deep you can cure specific types of materials.

Manufacturers continue to make outlandish claims of their curing capabilities, most of which fall into the “too good to be true” category. An example is the claim that a new light can accomplish a “5mm depth of cure in 3 seconds”. Please don’t be fooled by these ads – you absolutely, positively cannot cure a composite in three seconds.

If you undercure a restoration, for example, you may not even be aware of the negative sequelae for years. Therefore, selecting a curing light and using it properly can greatly affect the performance and longevity of your restorations.
Types of Curing Lights

Use a halogen bulb as the source of light.

+ Reliable – long track record

+ Cures all materials due to wide bandwidth (400nm-510nm)

– Requires a cord due to power consumption

– Cooling fans are necessary and can be noisy
Plasma Arc

Bulb is really an aluminum oxide, high pressure vessel, which contains highly energized xenon gas (plasma) under 150psi. The inside shape is specific to reflect light arcing between two electrodes. Arc is only about 1mm long, enabling a very focused beam.

+ Very fast (when a small tip is used)

– Expensive

– Large base units

– May not cure all materials

– Requires a cord that may be liquid-filled, may be stiff, and can degenerate over time
Argon Laser

Generates light when energy is applied to an atom raising an electron to a higher, unstable energy level. Electron will return to stable level by releasing light through a medium of argon gas.

LED (Light Emitting Diode)

Special diodes (electronic devices that restrict current flow chiefly to one direction) that emit light when connected in a circuit.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How to Use Dental Intraoral Camera Effectively

An intraoral camera is a camera which is designed to be used in the mouth for the purpose of taking video or still photography. These cameras are most commonly used in dental offices, although patients can also use them at home to monitor dental health or to satisfy curiosity about what the inside of the mouth looks like. Several firms specialize in producing intraoral cameras and accessories, and others make adapters which can be used with conventional cameras so that they can be used in the mouth.

When representatives from the different companies come into the office for a demonstration, insist that the camera you’re considering be left with you for 24 to 48 hours. The trained representative makes working it look easy and teams who make a decision after a one- to two-hour demo find themselves frustrated when it arrives and the excitement dissipates. Having the camera in the office for a day or two gives team members a chance to familiarize themselves with the technology and see how well it integrates with the office software.

Not only can you use your wireless dental intraoral camera to diagnose and support necessary treatment, it can also build rapport and strengthen opportunity for future esthetic care with your patients. Use your intraoral camera proactively in the following ways:

Offset buyer's remorse by showing patients a recently restored tooth compared to a tooth in their mouth that needs similar treatment.

Show an image of the smile and ask patients what their thoughts are. If a patient is happy with his or her smile, great! This is your chance to explain the benefits of the current interval of care to maintain it. If someone is not happy, find out why, their wants, and what they would change about their smile if they could.

The business team can use these images during case presentation as well. Sending patients home with an image of a diagnosed condition attached to a treatment plan is beneficial when they are not the decision maker.

As you can see, the implementation takes time, strategy and effort. Preplanning and developing protocol will help you achieve results and improve treatment acceptance by 25%. The camera will pay for itself. Take the time to maximize it, do what it takes to get everyone on the team on board, and you will see this technology pay for itself over and over again.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Different Types of Portable Dental X Rays

An x-ray machine is commonly used piece of dental equipment in a dental office. The purpose of these machines is to see things that are not visible by visual examination of the mouth alone. Dentists can use the images produced to see the teeth as well as the bones and soft tissues around them.

If a digital radiograph is not available, there are three different types of dental x ray machine portable that are used. Extraoral imaging takes pictures from outside the mouth, intraoral imaging involves taking pictures from within the oral structure, and panoramic x rays involve a machine that takes pictures around the entire head. These machines are used for different purposes.

One type of portable dental x ray is small, light, cordless and hand-held and can travel almost anywhere considering its compact size. This type of machine is an option for almost every patient, however, it's especially useful for occasionally restless patients, such as young children, who require constant supervision and a quick x ray. It can also be a better option to use in small spaces. The device works on battery so it's important to have extras on hand in addition to a fully charged battery upon arrival regardless of where the patients are.

The other type of portable dental x ray is one that uses a power cord and is slightly larger and heavier than the hand-held device; it's also typically more durable. Each comes with a stand, which some dentists might find to be more comfortable and easier to use than a hand-held device. Some may also be able to operate as a hand-held device when using a stand isn't necessary. This type is a good option for dentists who prefer to have the features of each type.

The portable dental x ray is not only useful to patients, but also to dentists who want to be able to help patients who don't have immediate access to a dental office. Without the device, there is no doubt that quite a few individuals would go without knowing the cause of their tooth pain. Though it doesn't mean they'll seek immediate dental care, it at least increases the chances depending on the results of the x rays.