Florida Periodontist Dr. Frederic J. Norkin discusses new technology such as digital x-rays, Tekscan, and high resolution digital photography to plan treatment for patients.
We use a number of tools for diagnosis and treatment. Those include digital radiography that allows us to take X-rays that are at the lowest possible radiation dose for our patients. We are also able to use what’s called a “T” scan, a Tekscan, and that essentially is a tool that we use to digitally check a patient’s occlusion—in other words, their bite.
Most dentists use what is called articulating paper that just makes marks on teeth but does not tell much about the biting force. Particularly when we are dealing with patients with implants, bite and biting force are critical. It is not just a matter of seeing where the patient bites but, most importantly, how hard and whether the bite is balanced properly. We can use this digital technology, the “T” scan, to make sure that we can deliver a balanced and protective occlusion for our patients. This technology really improves our treatment outcomes, particularly when dealing with patients with full arch and full mouth restorations.
In many instances, we also use digital impressions, so that we can take accurate impressions of our patients without having to necessarily take conventional impressions that require us to fill trays and sometimes trigger the gagging reflex in patients. Digital impressions are appropriate in some instances but not, unfortunately, in every instance yet. When we use it, however, it is exceedingly accurate.
We also photograph many of our cases. Diagnostically, photographs are tremendous for us to be able to observe a patient’s lip line and smile. A photo lets us see where we are starting from and, very importantly, it allows us to share this information with the patient.
Many people have guarded smiles, particularly when they have a broken down dentition, and we try to retract the teeth and see areas that they do not ordinarily see. Digital photography with high resolution and magnification allows us to have a clear indication of how to rebuild their smile their confidence.
We are always on the forefront of these new technologies to better serve our patients.
Dr. Frederic J. Norkin
South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry