Glenbrook Dental | Technology

Latest Innovations

Digital X-Rays

Latest Technology

Bitewing x-rays are the most common x-rays taken in dentistry. We use them to find cavities between the teeth, tartar on the roots, worn-out fillings, and the receding bone levels of periodontal disease. Digital x-ray sensors are quite sensitive, so the amount of radiation exposure is very low.

A panoramic X-ray is a single photo that captures an overall view of your teeth, jaws, and surrounding areas. Digital X-rays have advantages over film X-rays. Because there are no chemicals to process, you see your image faster. This computer image can be enhanced for a better diagnosis.

Imaging Equipment

Radiation & Medical

We learn a lot about your oral health through a visual examination of your teeth and gums. But even with 20/20 vision, there are things that can’t be seen with the naked eye. A digital x-ray sends signals to a computer, which translates into large, crisp, electronic pictures of your teeth and supporting bone. The pictures can be enlarged and colored for clarification and are stored in your file for future reference.

The digital radiograph makes it easier and less expensive to detect, diagnose and plan treatment long before problems become visible to the naked eye. We will recommend digital radiographs periodically, and as you need them. It’s the best and safest way to guard your smile against unexpected problems.

  • What is radiation?

    Traditional dental x-rays are minimal radiation, equivalent to about five minutes of strong sunlight. Digital x-rays require 90% less radiation than traditional ones, making it even safer for all patients and staff.

    Radiation is best described as energy moving through space, and it can take many forms, including visible light, x-rays, gamma –rays, microwaves, and radio waves. Radiologists use low dose radiation in the form of x-rays to create images of different parts of your body. High doses of radiation can also be used to treat certain types of cancer.

    Where does radiation come from?

    Radiation is all around us. The two main sources of ionizing radiation are from natural background radiation and medical exposure (CT scans and x-rays). Natural background radiation comes from the Sun (cosmic radiation), the Earth (mostly Radon gas), and from naturally radioactive substances in our body. Natural background radiation exposure accounts for an average of 3.1 mSv/yr with variations depending on where you live. The average radiation exposure to individuals in the US is 6.2 mSv/yr which includes natural background and medical imaging.

    What are x-rays?

    X-rays are a type of radiation used in medical imaging much like a camera uses visible light to create an image. X-rays pass through the body and create an image on film based on how many x-rays get absorbed and how many pass through. These films are commonly referred to as “x-rays,” but x-rays are actually the type of radiation that is used to produce the image. Studies that use x-rays include plain films, fluoroscopy, and computed tomography (CT scans).


Oral Cancer Screening

Glenbrook Dental | VELScope Oral Cancer Screening

We are now offering VELscope, a ground breaking new technology showing promise in detecting oral cancers at an early stage. VELscope was developed by the BC Cancer Agency as a simple hand held device that is non-invasive. VELscope uses a bright blue light to highlight any changes in your mouth that a dentist could not see with the naked eye. During your dental examination we will shine this light over your tongue, cheeks, and lips. Healthy tissue will fluoresce or glow, while unhealthy tissue will absorb the light and show as a dark shadow. The blue light of the VELscope defines the borders of a cancerous lesion that would otherwise be invisible. If a suspicious lesion is detected, a referral to a dental or medical specialist can be made and a biopsy can be taken, or the area can be closely monitored. The goal is to detect these changes early. If it’s caught early, oral cancer has an eighty percent survival rate. Risk factors for oral cancers include smoking, chewing tobacco, alcohol abuse, and a history of other cancers.

  • What are the signs and symptoms of oral cancer? In the early stages there are no signs because there’s no discomfort or any obvious changes. The symptoms of oral cancer that you want to inform us about include:

    • A mouth sore that doesn’t heal or bleeds easily.
    • A persistent white or red patch in the mouth.
    • Lumps or thickening of the mouth, throat, or tongue.
    • Difficulty with chewing or swallowing.

    According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, someone dies from oral cancer every hour of every day in the United States alone. This cancer, found in the mouth, lips or throat, is often highly curable if diagnosed and treated early. The experts agree that early diagnosis pushes the five-year survival rate to an astonishing 80 percent. Unfortunately, in its early stages, oral cancer can go unnoticed.

    Dr. Kenneth Magid, a professor at New York University College of Dentistry, states on the Oral Cancer Foundation website “The problem, for the most part, is that early oral cancer looks like everything else. It looks like a million other injuries and changes in the tissue in the mouth. It’s a red spot or a white spot. We see them all the time.” But using the VELscope to detect oral cancer can make abnormalities stand out like a sore thumb.

    At Glenbrook Dental, we are providing VELscope screening with each annual exam at no additional cost to our patients. In addition, the VELscope screening only takes one to two minutes.


Laser Caries Detection System

Glenbrook Dental | Diagnodent Laser Caries Detection System

Diagnodent is a valuable technology in aiding the detection of decay at the earliest stages, enabling us to preserve tooth structure by restoring only the small decayed portion of the tooth. Diagnodent uses Laser Fluorescence Technology to detect below the surface cavities. Studies have proven that this technology is the most accurate and reliable method for diagnosing when combined with x-rays.

At Glenbrook Dental, we are finding Diagnodent very useful in detecting the sub-surface cavities that were previously difficult to diagnose. While the top surface of the tooth is hard, a cavity which has already penetrated a small portion of the enamel can grow undetected in the soft dentin layers. The undetected decay in the lower layers of a tooth can grow until the damage is severe enough to be seen on a dental x-ray.

  • Diagnodent is also useful for checking teeth that we are unable to see with x-rays (i.e. children under 2 years of age, people with extreme gag reflexes, malpositioned wisdom teeth). Suspicious areas can be monitored easily to avoid “surprise” deep cavities or toothaches.

    When used in conjunction with x-rays, we can detect cavities when they are smaller. Therefore, fillings can also be smaller, preserving more healthy tooth structure.

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