March 06, 2005
Going to the Dentist's Office
The words "See your dentist" have traditionally struck terror into many hearts. But it's not so bad anymore.
Modern technology has redefined the dentist's office from the ground up, Shapira said. "Everyone's trying to re-invent the wheel."
For example, you can now use a new electric toothbrush that incorporates a toothpaste receptacle. Touch a button to squirt your dollop of toothpaste onto the brush.
You can relax - really - in the dentist's chair now. It's been revamped, with different cushion design and ergonomic shaping, for the comfort of patient, dentist and hygienist. Even armrests are new.
Miniaturization has come to dentistry. In oral surgery, dentists incorporate tiny microscopes to scan oral tissue. They manipulate micro-cameras that slip down the side of the tooth to capture images of the root. The process isn't pain-free; you'll need anesthesia, Shapira said.
Drill bits have evolved beyond the big mosquitoes of old. Today's instruments have supplanted the older drill bits that used to wear out due to the effects of revolving from 30,000 to 100,000 rpm.
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