About Our Advanced Dental Technology

Is having the latest and greatest technology really that important? At Heck Family Dentistry, we evaluate the importance of various technologies on a case-by-case basis. Since our commitment is to providing you with the best possible dental care, we ask the question, “Does it allow us to provide better care for our patients?” If the answer is a resounding “yes,” we invest in it.

Our Dental Technology & Equipment

The following bullet points provide you with information about some of the dental technologies and equipment in our office. In short, we believe these technologies allow us to provide you with the best dental care. They also provide the best system of communication for our staff.

• Digital radiography 2D

Digital radiography 2D refers to the normal “bite wing” X-Ray taken on routine visits to the dentist’s office. This X-Ray is the best tool to detect cavities between teeth. By using digital X-Rays instead of the old film X-Rays, we drastically reduce radiation exposure such that lead aprons are no longer required. However, to promote optimal safety, we still use them.

• Digital radiography 3D

These images replace old “panoramic” X-Rays, taken to identify cysts, tumors and unerupted teeth such as wisdom teeth. In addition to providing a more detailed view of those things, 3D X-Rays reveal infections and other issues not visible in 2D. Therefore, there is better diagnosis capability. In addition, these X-Rays can help to surgically guide and plan implant placement.

• Nomad

This is a portable low-dose radiation exposure device.

Dental assistant, Ellen, using the portable Nomad X-Ray device
Dental assistant, Ellen, using the portable Nomad X-Ray device
• 3D virtual software

3D virtual software provides implant surgery evaluation, as well as planning and surgical guide fabrication.

• Centrifuge

This device, used after surgery, creates a super “Band-Aid” from the patient’s own body, aiding in the healing process.

• Diode lasers

These tools aid in minor surgeries to bypass bleeding or sutures. In addition, they can help with gum re-contouring (making the gums more attractive).

• Diagnodent

This cavity-detecting laser helps validate suspected cavities or find clinically undetectable ones.

Dr. Heck using an intra-oral camera inside a patients’ mouth
Dr. Heck using an intra-oral camera inside a patients’ mouth
• Intra-oral camera

We use this small high tech camera inside the mouth to educate and document all treatments. While we respect that some patients do not want to see what we do in their mouth, many patients want to know what was going on and why the procedure needed to be done. This is our favorite part. We are always delighted to enlighten you and show you treatments we perform. You can see before, during and after photographs of their treatment. We will share as much information as you want to know.

• Heart rate & oxygen monitors, blood pressure cuffs

We use these vital instruments for sedation. In addition, they allow us to evaluate whether you are healthy enough to undergo dental treatment.

Dental X-Rays

In addition to our 3D imaging technology, we also provide you with dental X-Ray technology. Dental X-Rays are helpful in diagnosing damage and disease that isn’t clear in a routine dental exam. X-Rays provide us with detailed views of your tooth that can reveal cavities and the overall health of the tooth and bone. Our dentists recommend taking routine X-Rays annually. Routine X-Rays allow us to detect problems early before they become more serious.

Depending on your oral health history, we may take additional dental X-Rays on an as-needed basis. The frequency of X-Rays is based on a number of factors including age, health history, disease risk as well as signs or symptoms of oral disease.

What X-Rays Detect

• Bitewing X-Rays

Bitewing X-Rays can detect decay between teeth and can also serve to detect gum disease by monitoring changes in bone density.

• Periapical X-Rays

Periapical X-Rays show entire teeth from the crown to below the root. These X-Rays are used to detect problems with a tooth’s root structure as well as problems with the surrounding bone structure.

• Panoramic X-Rays

Panoramic X-Rays show the roots of the teeth, the mouth and jaw, as well as nose and sinuses. These X-Rays can display bone fractures and abnormalities as well as impacted teeth, tumors and infections.

• Cone Beam Computer Tomography X-Rays

CBCT X-Rays show all of the hard tissues in the mouth 3-dimensionally. These X-Rays help us evaluate sinuses, cysts, tumors and airways, as well as all the anatomic parts in 3D format.

Dental hygienist, Sierra, using the 3D Cone Beam technology for comprehensive X-Rays of a patient’s mouth

What to Expect When You Get X-Rays

While dental X-Rays are safe, they do require a low level of radiation exposure. We take the necessary precautions to ensure that the radiation levels you are exposed to are as low as possible. We will ensure that your body receives the minimal amount of exposure by covering you in a lead apron.

Pregnancy

If you are pregnant or breast feeding, please tell us prior to being X-Rayed. If X-Rays are necessary, the technician will take all proper precautions to avoid exposure to you or your child.

Gag Reflex

If you have a sensitive gag reflex, be sure to tell us ahead of time so we can ensure your maximum comfort.