Thanksgiving is a time of focusing on gratitude and when it comes to dentistry, we have alot to be thankful for. Over the years, great strides have been made in dental treatments both here and abroad. Historically, dentistry was used even among the Ancient Egyptians who used a mixture of crushed pumice and ash to clean and whiten teeth. Also, ancient Greeks and Romans practiced dentistry by removing decayed teeth with forceps. They also stabilized teeth and fractured jaws with wires. Thankfully, modern dentistry has revolutionized the dental experience from what it once was to what it is today.
One of the biggest changes in dentistry lies in the technology available for dentists to use with their patients. Consider what digital imaging has done to the field. Digital x-rays gives Dr. Botero the ability to painlessly diagnose dental health with precision, speed and comfort.
Digital x-rays improve the dental treatment process making it quick and easy. By snapping multiple images at once, with instant output, digital x-rays are faster, and offer better image quality than x-rays of the past. Also, they are also safer and better for the environment. Digital x-rays expose patients to 80 percent less radiation than x-rays of the past. And, since they use digital computer uploads for viewing instead of chemical development, chemicals aren’t used helping reduce the chemicals impacting our planet. In addition, digital x-rays have the ability to be enlarged, transposed, and highlighted. Dr. Botero can use this technology to involve kids in their treatment more than ever before. Intra-oral images taken with a camera smaller than a pen can be displayed on a screen allowing children to see what Dr. Botero sees–kids think this is pretty cool.
Dental sealants work wonders at protecting teeth from tooth decay. A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surface of the tooth. It protects the tooth enamel by “sealing out” food, plaque, and bacteria.
The application of dental sealants is quick and painless. They don’t require any drilling to the enamel or dentin in order to be applied. They are also invisible so they don’t change the look of the smile at all–other than keeping it brighter!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Development, ” Once applied, sealants protect against 80% of cavities for 2 years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to 4 years. Children aged 6 to 11 years without sealants have almost three times more first molar cavities than children with sealants.”
Cultures of the past didn’t have access to the same kinds of medicines that we have today to make the dental treatment process a painless one. Gratefully, modern dentistry offers us anesthetics and medications that reduce or eliminate the pain and anxiety. Managing pain helps the whole process of dental treatment less intimidating. And in recent years, modern dental sedation began to be utilized as well to support comfort on a deeper level.
Fillings Can Match the Color of the Teeth
Historically, fillings were silver or gold and contrasted noticeably with white teeth. But today, Dr. Botero offers dental fillings that can be color matched to your child’s teeth so that they blend in naturally. Dental fillings are made of tooth-colored composites composed of ground white porcelain and durable resins. They offer durability and resistance to cracks that would often form in silver fillings before. Since composite resins bond with the tooth, they also offer a stronger structure than fillings of the past.
Crowns and fillings are necessary for the restoration of decayed teeth. They also protect injured teeth or teeth that need baby root canals. NuSmile Crowns are a metal-free option composed of an advanced bioceramic material called Zirconia. Their impressive strength gives them the ability to function as a support until permanent teeth erupt. Also, they almost never chip or crack, keep their original color, and don’t wear down like traditional crowns.
Another advancement our ancestors would have loved access to is fluoride. Fluoride has been show by more than 70 years of scientific research to prevent tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Beyond this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
According to the ADA, you can thank fluoride for why tooth decay has been markedly reduced. Because fluoride fights against cavities and tooth decay it is vital for both children and adults.
Undoubtedly, technology will continue to transform dentistry in exciting ways. Call Dr. Botero today at 813-576-0200 to schedule an appointment for your little one and to learn more about the amazing advancements they can benefit from today.