Word of Mouth
? Faster caps and crowns -- With CAD/CAM 3-D technology, a machine called Cerec 3 designs a piece that fits into or onto a damaged tooth and sends the image to a milling machine that produces it in 15 minutes, eliminating the need for a second office visit.
? Digital X-rays -- A sensor placed in the mouth produces an image on a flat-panel screen, which the dentist can enlarge to show the patient. This technique eliminates the radiation of traditional X-rays.
? Lasers -- A device called a KaVo DIAGNOdent signals when it encounters an abnormality, often catching cavities that don't show up on X-rays. Other lasers are used to cut teeth with more precision than a drill and to make incisions in the gums.
? Dental implants -- Natural-looking titanium teeth are individually inserted into the patient's jaw, replacing bridges that are placed on top of the two surrounding teeth and require special flossing underneath.
? Sleep treatment -- Orthotic appliances similar to mouth guards are made in dental offices and can help alleviate snoring and mild to moderate sleeping disorders.
? Ozone treatment for dental decay -- Dentists are awaiting U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of a new treatment, already used in Europe and Australia, to detect decay early before it makes a hole in the tooth.