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Ask Dr. Santiago! A monthly look at trends in dentistry

Dr. Robin Santiago

Enjoy New, Comfortable Dental Technology in 2012  
If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you may be surprised at the amazing tools that are available to your dental team.  And, the benefits of these tools seem to be endless.  Don’t miss out on these beneficial technological developments in dentistry!

Dentistry Has Gone Digital
Digital records allow us to store your health and treatment information safely and securely, and to access it at a moment’s notice. By keeping your information current and accessible, we can take better care of you!  Plus, a digital system benefits the environment by using less paper and less space.  Digital radiographs not only expose you to 80-90%  less radiation, they give us instant X-ray images of your teeth.   In combination with high definition digital cameras and monitors, technology savvy dentists can use these images to show you exactly what we see, and to help explain your treatment.  This way, you can make educated decisions about your care.  The images are stored in our computer system and we can electronically send high-quality copies to other doctors or insurance providers. Multiple copies ensure that everyone involved in your care has the necessary x-rays always at hand, eliminating delays and lost x-rays.  All of this results in faster, more seamless care for both you and your family!

Comfortable Dental Lasers Have Transformed Dental Visits
Thanks to technology advances, you will likely encounter several different types of dental lasers at a single appointment.  Lasers are used to painlessly detect cavities before they can be seen by the naked eye.  Special dental lasers can be used to reshape gum tissue so gently, that many patients don’t even require anesthetic.  Lasers are even taking the place of drills, which means less discomfort and anxiety for patients of all ages.  Imagine…no more numbing and faster recovery time.  You can get right back to your normal life even faster than you thought possible!

Digital Scanning
Taking impressions has undergone an amazing transformation in comfort and accuracy.   iTero™ is one such  device that takes digital impressions of your teeth.   iTero™ takes a 3D image of your teeth and gums without trays and messy putty.  The resulting computerized image is more accurate and is used to help design flawless restorations like crowns, bridges, veneers, and even some dental implants and Invisalign. The better the fit, the longer lasting your restorations will be!

Advances in Cancer Early Detection
VELscope® is an advanced system that aids in the early detection of oral cancer, using tissue fluorescence – an optical phenomenon that causes abnormal tissue to appear dark in contrast to the bright green glow of healthy tissue.  Too often, oral cancer is diagnosed late, when it is more dangerous and requires more aggressive treatment. VELscope® helps us see any suspicious areas, and often with the help of a laser, we can biopsy the area, catching any instance of cancer very early in its development.

These examples are only a snapshot of the exciting ways dentistry is changing for the better. Just knowing these comfortable, effective tools exist will make your healthy smile easy to achieve and put your mind at ease.

Dr. Robin Santiago was recently named a Top Dentist 2011 by Hartford Magazine. She and the dental team at Beautiful Smiles love to see healthy smiles come true for people of all ages. Dr. Santiago and her team are available for questions and are currently accepting new patients at their West Hartford Center office. They can be reached by email at or by phone at 860-232-4511.  You can “like” Dr. Santiago and her team on Facebook  – at   Beautiful Smiles by Robin Santiago, DMD. – where they provide ongoing dental tips and insights.
A complimentary Smile Evaluation can be scheduled, at your convenience, by contacting the office.

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