Dr. Mike and Dr. Darcie Briggs choose carefully which and when radiographs (x-rays) are taken. There are many guidelines that we follow. Radiographs allow us to see everything we cannot see with our own eyes. Radiographs enable us to detect cavities in between your teeth, determine bone level, and analyze the health of your bone. We can also examine the roots and nerves of teeth, diagnose lesions such as cysts or tumors, as well as assess damage when trauma occurs.
Dental radiographs are invaluable aids in diagnosing, treating, and maintaining dental health. Exposure time for dental radiographs is extremely minimal. At Yankton Family Dentistry, we utilize digital x-rays to capture this information about your teeth and jaws. With digital imaging, exposure time is about 50 percent less when compared to traditional radiographs.
Digital x-rays offer more precision since we view the image on a computer monitor, instead of holding up a 35mm film up to the light. Another benefit of digital x-rays is that they result in approximately 1/6th the radiation exposure to you.
Digital imaging also allows us to store patient images and enables us to quickly and easily transfer them to specialists or insurance companies.
For patients who need treatment such as frenectomies (a “clipping” of the tissue attachment from the lip the gum) or minor periodontic procedures or for those who suffer from canker sores, treatment with a soft tissue diode laser might be the right choice.
Laser dentistry is one of dentistry’s latest advances. The laser delivers energy in the form of light. Depending on the intended result, this energy travels at different wavelengths and is absorbed by a “target.” Dr. Mike and Dr. Darcie Briggs are certified in the use of dental lasers by the International Center for Laser Education. They both like to use them for soft tissue related procedures and feel the laser is a great addition to their practice of general and cosmetic dentistry. For soft tissue (surgical) procedures, use of a dental laser can eliminate the need for suturing and healing is often much faster.
Dr. Mike and Dr. Darcie Briggs as well as our hygienists and assistants utilize intraoral camera technology that helps enhance patients’ understanding of their mouth as well as of their proposed treatment plan. An intraoral camera is a very small camera used to take images of your teeth and gums. An intraoral camera allows us to show our patients things in their mouth they may never have been able to see before! Also the clear, precise images of your mouth, teeth and gums can help us to accurately make a diagnosis.
Intraoral cameras enable our practice to save your images in our office computer to provide a permanent record of treatments. These images can be printed for you, other specialists, and your lab or insurance companies.
Spectra Cavity Detector
Yankton Family Dentistry also utilizes Spectra caries detectors to aid in our detection of cavities. The Spectra is a small wand like instrument that uses a fluorescent light shown on the tooth to detect cavities that may go unnoticed on x-ray images. This early detection means pinpointing problems at an earlier stage. This leads to more conservation and less excavation of a person’s natural tooth structure. These images are also saved in the patient’s digital file which allows us to track changes to each tooth from one appointment to the next.