Published on March 13, 2014
By Timothy Gillespie
Introduction Timothy Gillespie, DMD, has been practicing dentistry in Asheville, North Carolina, ever since he earned his degree in the field from the University of Alabama School of Dentistry in Birmingham. To improve his diagnoses, and to help patients make more informed decisions on their courses of treatment, Dr. Timothy Gillespie uses several cutting-edge devices and techniques, including an intraoral camera, digital radiography, and computer imaging.
About Intraoral Cameras An intraoral camera is a lightweight, wand-like device that the dentist uses chairside to give patients a clear, magnified view of the inside of their mouths. The camera can take still or video pictures and magnify them. Thus, instead of viewing X-rays, the patient can see exactly what the dentist sees during the examination and can far more easily visualize the condition and treatment the dentist is explaining.
The Necessity for X-Rays X-rays are still necessary even with intraoral photography, because they permit the dentist to see underneath the surface of the gums, thus enhancing the ability to diagnose and treat any disorders. Digital radiography replaces traditional photographic film with digital sensors. This eliminates the film developing process, which is time-consuming and costly, and permits the dentist, staff, and patient to view the images almost instantly.
Conclusion Computer imaging in dentistry is a software-driven process that works with photographs of the patient’s mouth and creates anticipatory images of what it will look like after a course of treatment has been performed. It is extremely useful in explaining the intended outcomes of various courses of treatment to patients and helping them to envision how a particular treatment will affect their appearance.
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