Digital Dentistry

 

Dr. Vlahos and his team of progressive dental professionals strive to provide the best dental care for the patients of St. Catharines and the Niagara region.  Utilizing many new technologies has allowed us to provide advanced dental care that makes dental treatment easy and efficient for our patients and minimizes risk to the patient.  We continue to explore new technologies that will make things better for our patients.

iTero Element

The iTero Element is a revolutionary state of the art digital impression system.  The need to utilize “goopy” impression material is greatly minimized with the iTero Element scanner.  The scanner takes a 3D video of your teeth and gums and the images can be visualized immediately while scanning.  The 3D model is very accurate and can be done in a few minutes.  It is much more comfortable for patients, virtually eliminates any gagging and patients can breathe normally during the scan.  The iTero Element is used exclusively for Invisalign treatment and with the Outcome Simulator, your orthodontic treatment can be visualized immediately after a scan.  You can virtually see what your teeth will look like after your Invisalign treatment is completed!  iTero Element scans are also used in crown and bridge procedures and again make impression procedures a breeze.  These digital impressions are also highly precise and minimize the down time that your prosthetics will be processed from the lab.

Digital X-rays

 

One of the greatest advancements in dentistry recently has been the advent of digital radiography (x-rays).  The use of intra oral sensors that can capture an image of tooth or hard tissue that have been exposed to radiation and immediately display it on a computer screen gives Dr. Vlahos much information in a short period of time.  Digital x-rays offer many advantages over conventional film x-rays, some include:

  1. Up to 70% less radiation exposure to the patient. This alone makes the use of digital x-rays highly desirable.
  2. The image is obtained instantly. It also can be manipulated to extract further information such as hidden cavities.
  3. The digital image is stored on a computer which makes it easily retrievable and the quality of the image never decreases with time.
  4. Digital x-rays do not utilize harmful chemicals and lead foil to process the image unlike conventional film x-rays. Another big advantage of digital x-rays is they are much more environmentally friendly.
  5. Digital dental xrays can be readily transferred to insurance companies or dental specialities safely, securely and quickly. They offer a great convenience to the patient as far as getting estimates and reimbursement back from insurance companies.

Digital Photography

Dr. Vlahos and his team of professionals utilize high quality digital photography to take important images of your teeth and intra oral structures to help him accurately diagnose any dental issue in your mouth.  These images become part of your dental record and are vitally important information to help monitor your dental health over time.  Also, Dr. Vlahos will take the time to show the pictures and xrays of your teeth so you can visualize how things appear in your mouth.  Often, this is quite an eye opener for the patient!  He can also give you some insight on what treatment is recommended (if any) on specific areas of your mouth.  In the future, comparisons can be made to issues in your mouth currently to what they were in the past.  This is great in monitoring any tooth wear, gum recession, changes in tooth position and the condition of any restorations or prosthetics.  As with digital xrays, these images can be easily and quickly transferred to insurance companies for quicker estimates and reimbursements.  Dr. Vlahos uses Canon digital SLR cameras with macro lenses and ring flashes.  This set up allows for excellent photographs of teeth and soft tissue with high resolution.  He will present your information to you through a PowerPoint presentation of which you can receive a copy of, if you wish.  This is the best way to communicate to the patient their current oral health status and the need for any treatment.

Soft Tissue Diode Laser

 

Lasers have been used in dentistry for a very long time.  Our office uses the Odyssey Picasso diode laser  in a variety of procedures intraorally ranging from removing overgrown soft tissue,, to reshape the gums, and disinfect infected gum tissue.  They are wonderful tools in our practice and some of the procedures that our laser is used in include:

  1. Gum trimming and reshaping
  2. Treatment of lip cold sores
  3. Exposing dental implants below the gum line
  4. Remove overgrown soft tissue
  5. Help control bleeding
  6. Disinfect gum tissue
  7. Exposing wisdom teeth

The benefit of using a laser is not only can they cut soft tissue easily but they cauterize and sterilize the surgical field.  Often, there is less post operative discomfort with laser treatment as opposed to a scalpel or sharp instrument.  Ask Dr. Vlahos if a diode laser can be used in your dental treatment to see the benefits first hand yourself.

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