Trends in dentistry have rapidly changed just within the last few years. With technological advancements and the new “norms” of personal health due to the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020, the medical and dental fields have had to adapt and change accordingly. A couple of the technological advancements that we currently use in our practices, treatment specific, are that of laser dentistry and digital impressions with, in office CAD/CAM milling of crowns, bridges, splints, etc. Lasers can accomplish a wide variety of tasks in surgical dentistry. Personally, I use a laser almost daily in my practice to gather precision accuracy via impression of crown and bridge margins by troughing small amounts of gum tissue around the preparations so that the impression material can flow “under” the margin and show the lab perfect location of where the new crown or bridge will meet the tooth.

Less routine procedures I may perform are excisions of pathologies, such as, tumors on the tongue, gum tissues, or cheeks; releasing a tethered tongue or lip to promote proper speech as well as many other reasons, also known as, tongue and lip ties; and finally desensitizing a tooth where a patient may have “gum line sensitivity” due to recession of the gum tissue, exposing the more porous and sensitive portion of the whole tooth, the roots. Lasers come in a very large variety of shapes, sizes, and method of function; however, if you were to see one in a dental practice it will most likely be a diode laser, although the other varieties can serve the same purpose, do more (e.g., tattoo removal, etc.), and do it a lot faster than a diode.

Another, more recent addition to the practice is the iTero scanner, which is a digital impressing “wand” that can remodel your mouth three-dimensionally on a computer. Their uses serve a multitude of purposes and offer incredible convenience. Digital technology is instantaneous data transmission wherever we want to send it, and for whatever purpose that may be, whether it’s to send to our in-office milling unit for design and construction of a crown, bridge, splint, mouthguard, models, etc. made right before your eyes, or sent to a lab for similar purposes but providing different aspects of dental treatments, one of the most well know being Invisalign orthodontic treatment.

Convenience is what everyone craves when they see a healthcare provider, and some of these technological advancements in patient care and treatment planning can drastically change a person’s perception and mindset of “going to the dentist.”

So, come on in and experience the new standards of dental care!

Be safe and God Bless,

— MAJ Christopher G. Hooper, DDS

1613 Jimmie Davis Hwy Suite 1, Bossier City • 318.752.3939