Can AI Improve Dentistry?
As technology continues to advance at an unprecedented pace, it permeates almost every aspect of our lives. One of the most exciting developments is the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into various industries, and dentistry is no exception. AI is transforming the landscape of dental care, revolutionizing diagnostics, treatment, and patient outcomes. In this blog post, we will explore how AI is reshaping the field of dentistry and the potential benefits it brings.
AI-Driven Imaging and Diagnostics
Traditional dental imaging techniques have long been crucial in identifying dental issues. However, AI brings a new level of precision and efficiency to this process. By employing deep learning algorithms, AI can analyze dental X-rays, intraoral images, and CBCT scans to detect early signs of cavities, gum diseases, and even oral cancers with remarkable accuracy.
For instance, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) has been investing in AI research to enhance dental diagnostics. Their studies demonstrate how AI algorithms can recognize subtle dental abnormalities that may escape the human eye, allowing for early intervention and prevention of severe dental problems.
Personalized Treatment Plans
Each patient’s oral health condition is unique, making personalized treatment plans essential for effective care. AI algorithms process vast amounts of patient data to identify patterns and recommend tailored treatment options for individual patients. These recommendations are based on factors like patient history, genetics, lifestyle habits, and response to specific treatments.
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) has been actively exploring the implementation of AI to improve dental treatments. By leveraging AI technology, dental practitioners can offer personalized treatment regimens that consider the patient’s preferences and medical history, leading to improved treatment outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Virtual Dentistry Consultations
With the advent of telemedicine and AI-powered virtual consultations, patients can seek dental advice remotely. AI chatbots and virtual assistants can interact with patients, address their concerns, provide basic dental advice, and even schedule appointments. This convenience not only enhances patient engagement but also helps optimize the dental practice’s efficiency.
Several governments worldwide, including Canada and Australia, have been promoting telehealth and exploring the potential of AI in dental consultations. By facilitating virtual interactions, patients can receive prompt guidance, reducing unnecessary physical visits and easing the burden on dental clinics.
The integration of AI in dentistry heralds a promising future for oral healthcare. With advancements in AI-driven imaging and diagnostics, personalized treatment plans, and virtual dentistry consultations, these developments not only benefit patients but also optimize dental practice operations.
As AI technology continues to evolve, its potential in dentistry will undoubtedly expand. Dentists, researchers, and policymakers must continue to collaborate to harness the full potential of AI and ensure its responsible integration into dental care practices.
How Long Do Dental Veneers Last?
Dental Veneers in La Vista, NE
If you’re considering getting dental veneers or have had them in the past, it’s important to know how long they will last. Depending on the type of veneers you receive will play a part in how long your dental veneers will last. Proper care of your veneers will help ensure you get the most out of them.
Taking Care of Your Dental Veneers
Once your dental veneer procedure is done, your job is not over. Patients will need to follow proper oral health guidelines to make sure their dental veneers stay in good condition. If you want your dental veneers to last as long as possible, use the following list to stay on top of your oral health:
Daily Brushing + Flossing
You should already be brushing your teeth twice a day, but it’s always nice to have a reminder. Brushing your teeth should take around two minutes to ensure you are removing the plaque on your teeth. Patients should also be flossing their teeth once a day.
Limiting the number of sweets you consume is a good idea if you have dental veneers. You don’t have to completely stop eating sweets, but it’s important to be aware of how much you are consuming so you can be mindful of your oral health.
Regular Dental Checkups
Visiting our La Vista, NE office every 6 months is vital for making your veneers last as long as possible. During your visit, we will professionally clean your teeth to make sure they are free of any plaque and debris.
Composite vs Porcelain
The lifespan of your dental veneers depends on the type of dental veneers you received. Porcelain veneers can last anywhere from 10 to 12 years with the proper care. However, composite veneers usually only last between 4 and 8 years.
Some dental veneers can last up to 20 years if you take great care of them. Your dentist will know when the right time to replace your dental veneers is, so always ask your dentist if you have any questions about the timeline.
Know When It’s Time To Replace Them
Replacing your dental veneers is similar to the process of first getting them on. Your dentist will start by filing away and refining the bonding agent. Then, they will retake a mold of your teeth to ensure your new veneers fit just as well as your previous set. They will then create your new dental veneers and bond them back on your teeth.
Dental veneers, with the proper care, can last many years. You should always follow proper oral health guidelines to make sure your dental veneers last as long as possible. If you have been considering dental veneers, reach out to Nebraska Dental Center to get your questions answered.Call Nebraska Dental Center
Dental Membership Plans
Paying For Dental Care in La Vista, NE
Going to the dentist can be daunting, especially if you don’t have dental insurance or your insurance isn’t in-network for a certain clinic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get regular dental care. Many dental offices offer dental membership plans, sometimes referred to as membership plans, for those that don’t have insurance.
Signing up for a membership plan with your dental care provider can help make sure you get the dental care you need- even without insurance!
What Are Dental Membership Plans?
Dental Membership Plans are membership-based discount plans for dental health care. These plans are a great alternative to dental insurance, and plan members typically save between 10-60% on the regular price of dental care and treatments. By joining a dental membership plan, you gain access to member-only discounts that participating dental care providers have agreed upon. You pay the discounted rate directly to the dentist- no insurance is needed!
What Do Dental Membership Plans Cover?
This all depends on the practice, but typically they cover the following:
- Cosmetic Dentistry
- Restorative Dental Care
- Specialist Dental Care
- Preventative Dental Care
Talk with your dental office to see what they provide with their own membership plan.
Choosing a Dental Membership Plan That’s Right For You
One big plus of having a dental membership plan is that you have options. Simply by searching for the following, you can choose a plan that’s right for you:
- By savings: Choose the plan that has the best overall savings
- By dentist: Choose the plan that your dentist accepts
- By procedure: Choose the plan you want basing on your dental care needs.
Here at Nebraska Dental Center, we want to make sure everyone has the option to get dental care. That’s why our dental membership plan can help you have peace of mind when you visit the dentist. To find out more about our dental membership plan, call us at (402) 331-1695. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t get the dental care you deserve.Learn More About Our Dental Membership Plan
Bad Breath Tips During The Holiday Season
Treating Halitosis in La Vista, NE
Bad breath and the holidays don’t go well together. Nebraska Dental Center offers halitosis treatment for patients in La Vista, NE so you can feel confident in your smile this holiday season. If you suffer from halitosis – you are not alone. Below are some tips for treating bad breath during the holidays!
Hydrate Your Mouth
Water is a great help to wash away any bacteria in your mouth, which can help combat bad breath. Here are some tips to avoid dry mouth this holiday season:
- Remember to drink water during your holiday feasts. This will help you stay hydrated as well as avoid dry mouth and bad breath.
- Limit your coffee and alcohol intake – keyword: LIMIT. We know the holidays are for having fun and celebrating with your family and friends, but both coffee and alcohol encourage you to use the bathroom which can leave you feeling dry as a result. Limiting these drinks can help control the symptoms of dry mouth.
- Avoid that holiday cigar. Smoking cigars can dry out your mouth, so if a holiday cigar is a tradition of yours, try avoiding it this year.
Don’t Pass Up The Veggie Tray
There is always a vegetable tray at every holiday party – don’t skip on those snacks! The crunchy vegetables stimulate the production of saliva, which can wash away the bacteria in your mouth. When you attend your next holiday celebration, eat crunchy vegetables like carrots, peppers, and broccoli. Fruits also have the same effect, so eat as many apple slices as you want!
Skip The Eggnog
The number one holiday treat that causes bad breath is eggnog. Since the two main ingredients are dairy and sugar, and many people add alcohol to this holiday treat, it is a perfect recipe for bad breath.
Opt For Sugarless Gum
We know that reaching for a stick of gum is what most people grab first when they want to fight their bad breath. Chewing gum is still a good way of avoiding bad breath, but we suggest opting for sugarless gum this holiday season. When selecting a sugarless gum, look for brands that have the ADA seal on them.
Don’t Forget Your Gifts, And Don’t Forget To Brush!
The holiday season is hectic, but it’s important that you continue to brush your teeth on a routine schedule. Your hygiene routine is likely to be disrupted if you are enjoying late nights with friends and early mornings with family. Brushing your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day will always be a great way to combat bad breath.
No Date This Holiday Season? No Problem!
We know that not having a date during the holidays can be lonely, but Nebraska Dental Center is always here for you to schedule an appointment. We’re more reliable than a holiday date anyway!
Don’t Let Bad Breath Ruin Your Holidays
If you implement these tips we’ve outlined above, you are sure to have perfect breath for all of your holiday get-togethers! If you have any questions about halitosis, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (402) 331-1695.
Happy holidays from Nebraska Dental Center!
Learn More About Regular Dental Checkups
Tooth Decay & How To Prevent Cavities
Preventing Cavities in La Vista, NE
Cavities, often referred to as tooth decay, are tiny holes that develop in the hard surface of your teeth. They are most common in children and teenagers, but they can affect everyone including infants and toddlers. Take a closer look at what causes cavities and how you can prevent them.
Causes of Cavities
Cavities typically occur as a result of poor oral health habits but other various factors can increase the risk of getting a cavity, including:
- Dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps wash away food stuck on the teeth and it counters the acid produced from bacteria in the mouth, which reduces the chance for cavities.
- Foods and drinks. Certain foods aren’t as easily washed away from saliva, making them more likely to cause decay. Foods you should limit include: ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, cake, chips, cookies, and hard candy.
- Constant snacking or sipping. Drinking or eating frequently throughout the day results in increased bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria produces the acids that attack tooth enamel.
- Lack of fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps prevent cavities and can reverse the early stage of tooth decay. Using a fluoride mouthwash is recommended.
Regular dental visits and daily brushing and flossing are the best protection against cavities. But, cavities left untreated get larger and larger, affecting the deeper layers of your teeth. Deeper cavities result in higher chances of experiencing severe toothache and infection. So, when it comes to cavities, prevention is key. Below are some of our cavity preventions tips:
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Brush and floss twice a day, ideally after each meal.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Professional teeth cleanings remove plaque that builds up over time which isn’t removed by regular brushing and flossing. Going to the dentist twice a year is one of the best cavity prevention options.
- Dental sealants. Sealants protect the tooth enamel from harmful plaque and bacteria.
What Is The Best Teeth Whitening Option?
Teeth Whitening at Nebraska Dental Center
When it comes to getting a brighter smile, you can whiten your teeth at home or get a professional treatment. At home whitening typically includes over-the-counter products like whitening strips, pens, or toothpaste. Professional whitening includes custom-made whitening trays you take home or an in-office appointment. So what’s the best teeth whitening option for you?
Both options use peroxide bleaching agents as the main active ingredient. The difference between each option is the amount of peroxide it contains. Over-the-counter solutions use 3 – 20 percent where professional solutions contain 14 – 43 percent. Solutions with higher amounts of peroxide should be left on for a shorter amount of time. Keeping the solution on longer will dehydrate your teeth and make them more prone to sensitivity.
Professional teeth whitening options are much safer and more effective. Additionally, it ensures that all of the proper precautions are taken. So, when it comes to protecting your gums, the whitening agent only gets on your teeth.Learn More About Teeth Whitening at Nebraska Dental Center
At-Home Whitening Products
Over-the-counter products are cheaper, generally take longer to see results, and have limitations depending on your tooth color and health prior. If used incorrectly, at-home teeth whitening kits can lead to burned gums or tooth sensitivity. Always talk with your dentist to decide the best treatment option for you.
If you choose to go for an over-the-counter solution, we recommend that you use one from the list of bleaching products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.Bleaching Products with ADA Seal of Acceptance
One Year Update: COVID-19 and Dental Offices
From Nebraska Dental Center
It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic changed almost every aspect of our daily lives—including regularly visiting the dentist. However, this should soon be a thing of the past. Not visiting the dentist was one of the many ripple-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and even though it is not over, yet, things are looking up.
According to the ADA Health Policy Institute, confidence in going back to the dentist hit a new high since the pandemic started, with 94% of patients stating they are ready to go back to the dentist or they have already gone back to see the dentist, compared to August of 2020 where only 78% of patients had been back or were ready to go back to the dentist.
Continued Safety Protocols
As more and more people become fully vaccinated, the CDC has started to provide less-restrictive guidelines for these people. However, most recommended precautions, such as using personal protective equipment, have not changed for health care settings, including dental offices.
Even though we are seeing COVID-19 case numbers trending down, we still ask that you follow our guidelines for your safety and the safety of others, including:
- Do not come to the office if you have any symptoms of COVID-19
- Limit the number of people you bring to your appointment, if possible
- Wear a mask until notified that you can remove it
Per the CDC, we are regularly consulting with our state and local health departments for region-specific information and recommendations, as they monitor trends in local case counts and adjust accordingly.
We understand that you may not feel comfortable quite yet, or you have questions about the protocols we’ve implemented in our office to keep patients safe. You can review our entire list of COVID-19 Safety Protocols or you can contact us in La Vista, NE and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.Learn More About Nebraska Dental Center COVID-19 Safety Protocols
Pediatric Dental Care: Starting Your Child Off on the Right Tooth
Pediatric Dentistry in La Vista, NE
The quality of dental care a child receives while growing up can have a huge impact on their teeth — and even their general health — for the rest of their life. Dental care sets the stage for the way teeth develop as they grow, and it’s important to begin with a good foundation. To reinforce healthy brushing habits with children and make sure their teeth are coming in nicely, we recommend visiting the dentist early, with the first visit at about twelve months of age, which is usually less than six months after their first tooth shows up.
Here are a few specific reasons to take your children to the dentist early in their lives:
Baby Teeth are Important
Your child’s baby teeth aren’t disposable just because they’re temporary. They play an important role in your child’s development. Making sure their baby teeth are in order will have a positive effect long after they lose them. Baby teeth act as placeholders for adult teeth; they help your child’s jaw and gums develop in the right way. Not only that, healthy baby teeth help children learn to speak by supporting the shape of the mouth correctly. And a dazzling smile is good for their self-esteem.
Experience Calms Anxiety
Many grownups feel anxious about going to the dentist. However, if you bring your children in for a visit at about the age of twelve months, they’ll be too young to think anything bad is going on and they won’t likely be very worried. One of the best ways to help children avoid the development of dental anxiety is to begin building a habit of regular dental visits early in life. Parents who wait until children are two years of age or older likely will have a much rougher time with visits at early ages, and the children could develop lifelong anxiety about going to the dentist.
Tooth Decay Comes Early
Tooth decay can set in as soon as your child develops their first tooth. A CDC report showed that as many as 40% of children will develop some form of tooth decay before they reach kindergarten. And that decay can have a long-term effect on the health of their teeth and gums.
Nip Problems in the Bud
After children have stopped growing, it can be difficult to get crooked teeth back in order. The process is likely to be more difficult, longer and more uncomfortable for the patient than if the problems are taken care of early in life. That’s why there’s no better time to fix misaligned or crooked teeth than when your child is still growing. As soon as their teeth show signs of these problems, we can begin early to guide their teeth into the correct position.
Giving your child’s teeth the care they deserve sets them up for dental success in the future by introducing good dental hygiene habits and preventing problems from getting worse as their teeth age. If you have any questions about how to give your child the best dental care possible or would like to set up an appointment, give Nebraska Dental Center a call at (402) 331-1695. Begin proper dental care as soon as your child’s first tooth shows up and you’ll put them on the road to a healthy, beautiful smile all their lives.Learn More About Pediatric Dentistry Contact Nebraska Dental Center
Sedation: Making Your Dental Procedure as Comfortable as Possible
La Vista Dental Sedation
As we get older, we figure out that many things we didn’t like as children really were for our own good. Sometimes, we even end up liking some of those things, such as vegetables or early bedtime. But let’s be honest – sometimes when you’re sitting in your dentist’s waiting room listening to a poor eight-year-old boy throw a fit, you’re right there with him. Dental visits rarely end up being anyone’s favorite thing to do!
Even if going to the dentist doesn’t terrify you, the idea of a dentist visit can be nerve-wracking and uncomfortable for some people. About 15% of Americans are so intimidated by going to the dentist, they avoid it altogether – unfortunately for their teeth. Waiting to go to the dentist, or never going, can turn small dental issues into bigger, more complicated problems that are potentially more painful, too.
At Nebraska Dental Center, we want you to know we understand coming to see us can seem intimidating, and we are committed to making your visit as comfortable as possible. Among other things we do to welcome you to our office, we can make most procedures relatively painless, thanks to the power of modern medicine.
Usually, a local anesthetic is enough to manage your pain. However, for some people, pain isn’t the only concern. Patients who suffer from anxiety, for example, may be concerned the discomfort of a procedure will cause elevated anxiety. If that’s the case for you, don’t worry! Sedation can make your visit a breeze!
Controlling Dental Pain: Local Anesthesia vs. General Anesthesia vs. Sedation
Dentists use three primary methods to manage patients’ pain and stress during procedures:
- Local anesthesia: numbs the immediate area being worked on
- General anesthesia: makes you unconscious for the duration
- Sedative medication: calms you – dentists can choose different levels of sedative
Local anesthesia is applied with a swab or syringe directly to the skin or muscle in the area the dentist plans to work on. Some sedatives are released into the patient’s bloodstream through a needle or catheter inserted into a vein. Unlike general anesthesia, where the patient is entirely unconscious and may need assistance with their breathing and heartbeat, sedative medication can leave the patient in a semi-conscious state. This means the patient can respond to verbal commands and doesn’t need to be watched as closely.
Many sedatives leave the patient with no memory of the procedure, so they don’t have to worry they will have traumatic memories of the procedure. A combination of local anesthesia and sedative medication makes a patient’s experience both painless and more emotionally comfortable.
Oral sedatives (by mouth) often simply calm a person’s nerves a bit. These sedatives leave the patient fully conscious but help them relax during the dental procedure.
The type of sedation a dentist uses depends on the individual needs of each patient.
Going to the dentist may not ever be one of your favorite things, but at Nebraska Dental Center we have ways (including sedation) to ensure your dental visit is as comfortable as possible. If you have questions about how we can accommodate you during your visit, or if you have specific questions about any procedure, give us a call at (402) 331-1695 and we’ll be happy to ease your anxiety!Learn More About Sedation Dentistry at Nebraska Dental Center
Medit i500 Intraoral Scanner
Dental Technology in La Vista, NE
The Medit i500 is a new breed of intraoral scanner. This easy-to-use system removes the frustration of handling bulky equipment and is designed to improve a dental office’s workflow so that the dentist can focus on dentistry and you as a patient can relax knowing you’re in an office with the best technology on the market.
Here at Nebraska Dental Center, we value your time and want to give you the highest quality dental care. That’s why we have the Medit i500 intraoral scanner.
What is the Medit i500?
The Medit i500 intraoral scanner is a digital scanner that allows us to skip the messy impressions and take a digital impression of your mouth. Now, you won’t have to dread getting dental work done, because we’ve made it easy. The Medit i500 improves patient experiences and allows fast and easy transfer of scan data to dental labs, effective communication and seamless workflows, so you don’t have to wait forever for results.
Benefits of Using the Medit i500
This is a huge benefit to using the Medit i500. The scanner helps make everything from taking the impression to getting the result back from the lab more efficient.
The Patient Experience
This intraoral scanner helps enhance the patient experience. No more messy impressions and the patient and doctors both get a full 3D, high resolution representation of the patient’s mouth.
The Medit i500 has high resolution and vivid color, which allows the doctor to locate margin lines and undercuts as well as distinction between tooth structure and soft tissue. This scanner also has video capabilities, which means it has 3D-in-motion video technology that allows for rapid video-based scans without worrying about choppy results.
You can see that using a Medit i500 is a great alternative to traditional impressions. Here at Nebraska Dental Center, we do everything we can to make sure our patients are comfortable and get the best experience possible. Call us at (402) 331-1695 to schedule an appointment and see what all the hype about our new Medit i500 intraoral scanner is!See All Dental Services Learn More About Nebraska Dental Center