Technology improves our lives in many ways, from making it easier to connect with long-distance family and friends to streamlining everyday tasks like buying groceries or getting around town. Technology has even revolutionized your trip to the dentist! At VIP Smiles, we are proud to use the latest technology and tools to make your time in the office better and to make your treatments faster and more effective. To learn more about advances in laser dentistry, cavity detection, and other services, continue reading, then call VIP Smiles today to make an appointment with our cutting-edge team!

Advanced Cavity Detection

Cavities are one of the most common problems discovered during a dentist appointment. Caused by sweet or acidic foods along with poor brushing habits or techniques, cavities are a form of tooth decay that can deeply impact your oral health and your overall health. Faster, more accurate cavity detection means we can help patients prevent further decay and find a solution sooner. Fortunately, there are several advances that are making great strides.

The Original Method

The original method for detecting cavities includes very little technology. A dentist will visually examine your teeth and gums and may use tools to probe the softer areas to detect any tactile changes. They may also use dental X-rays to search for shadows indicating cavities. We still believe that these kinds of examinations are important to a patient’s oral health, but at VIP Smiles, we also take advantage of other, more advanced techniques.

CariVu: Infrared Cavity Detection

One more way we can look for cavities is with CariVu technology. The CariVu cavity detection system includes a small, lightweight tool and utilizes near-infrared light. Similar to a dental X-ray, this system creates images where healthy teeth appear to be almost transparent and cavities are marked by dark, shadowy spots. Our dentists will often display these high-quality images alongside X-ray images to find problems more quickly and accurately.

Aside from the simple, comfortable process and fast turnaround time, one great advantage of CariVu is the lack of radiation. It makes it a very safe technique for children, pregnant women, and any other patients with concerns about radiation.

DIAGNOdent: Laser Cavity Detection

Another way our dental professionals use technology to improve upon a technique that often relies on the naked eye is by using DIAGNOdent. This cavity detection system uses painless lasers to examine your teeth and reports a numeric score to our team. That score will let us know how healthy your teeth are, even if there are no signs of decay on the visible surface.

DIAGNOdent is easy to use and 90% accurate, making it one of the best cavity detection systems available! At VIP Smiles, we use it to find – and treat – tooth decay as early as possible so we can save more of your natural teeth, and in turn, save you time, money, and discomfort.

To experience our high-tech cavity detection services for yourself, call VIP Smiles today to schedule your appointment!

 

Custom Dental Crowns in One Visit

Detecting cavities is only the start. Addressing tooth decay can come with its own complications — and technological solutions. One way dentists treat tooth decay is with dental crowns, and new advances have made this treatment option easier than ever.

What Are Dental Crowns?

A dental crown, or cap, is an important factor in maintaining your oral health if one of your teeth is seriously damaged or decayed. It’s an option for when dental inlays, onlays, or fillings are not the best solution, and it covers all of the tooth above the gumline. Your dentist will likely recommend a crown if you have a cavity too large for a filling, the tooth is cracked or worn, you recently had a root canal, or you are looking for a solution to certain cosmetic concerns. A crown can not only improve the aesthetics of your smile but also its function and your overall health.

If you have never needed a dental crown before, then you may not know how uncomfortable and time-consuming the process typically is. Crowns need to be custom-made in order to properly fit your teeth, which means you often have to begin the process with messy molds and impressions. Then, the crown has to be manufactured according to those specifications, and patients are sometimes asked to wear a temporary crown in the meantime. VIP Smiles currently has a technology that can change every step of that process.

About CEREC Dental Crowns

CEREC is an advanced process of creating crowns that utilizes computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing – CAD/CAM – systems to streamline the entire process. With CEREC, the professionals at VIP Smiles can design, create, and place your crown in just one visit!

The process begins with digital impressions and computer imaging to determine measurements for your crown. Then, we can use in-office equipment to not only create the crown, but also custom match it to the shade of your smile so it looks just like any other tooth. Our dentists will place the dental crown and secure it, and you’ll be able to walk away with a confident, healthy smile that same day!

Learn if you are a good candidate for dental crowns and start with a visit to our dental office to see Dr. Shad, Dr. Richard, or Dr. Clive Ingram! We’ll do our best to make you feel at ease in our office and comfortable with whatever procedure we determine is best for the future of your smile. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

 

Simple and Painless Dental Fillings

When people avoid the dentist, it’s often because they’re worried about the possibility of invasive procedures like dental fillings or root canals. Given how those procedures have been handled in the past – with shots and drills – we don’t blame you! As important as dental fillings are for your health and comfort, anything involving a drill often makes people cringe. Thanks to air abrasion and microdentistry, the VIP Smiles team can leave the drill behind and still effectively treat your oral health concerns!

The Importance of Dental Fillings

Fillings are used to address cavities and tooth decay — or, more accurately, they are used to protect the area where tooth decay has been eradicated. At your appointment to get a dental filling, your dentist will start by addressing the cavity and clearing away the decay to prevent further problems. They will then fill in the open space to protect the vulnerable area from future decay and discomfort.

The Downsides of Drilling

The part of the dental filling process most people dread is when the dentist removes the existing tooth decay, because this is typically done with a drill. As you might imagine, using any kind of hardware on your teeth requires anesthetic, and many dentists administer a shot to numb the area before drilling, which can be equally unpleasant for many patients. Then, the drilling process can take 20 to 30 minutes with a disruptive amount of noise and even an occasional burning smell. It’s no wonder that dentists sought another way to perform dental fillings!

The Advantages of Microdentistry

At VIP Smiles, we ditched the drill in the 1980s with the advent of microdentistry and air abrasion, and we have since used these new techniques to place thousands of dental fillings. Air abrasion technology allows us to use a tool similar to a tiny sandblaster to remove tooth decay quickly, easily, painlessly, and precisely. No anesthetic shots or hardware store tools needed! In just two to three minutes, we can clear away tooth damage with a blast of incredibly fine aluminum oxide particles, leaving more of your natural tooth intact and creating a healthy space where we can place the filling.

If you have been avoiding the dentist office because of the drill, then come visit VIP Smiles! We value your comfort in every aspect of your appointment, which is why we strive to use the latest technology and techniques to make sure you spend as little time as possible in the chair and in discomfort. Restore your oral health and regain a smile you can be proud of with a visit to the Doctors Ingram today!

 

Treat Cold Sores and Canker Sores

At VIP Smiles, we can do more than take care of your teeth, especially with help from technological advances like laser dentistry. If you have had a cold sore or canker sore before, then you know how painful it can be, and topical treatments or mouth rinses don’t always offer the relief you need. That’s why the VIP Smiles team has been utilizing laser dentistry to help you feel better within minutes!

Cold Sores vs. Canker Sores

While laser dentistry can be used to treat both kinds of lesions, we do want to point out the difference between cold sores and canker sores. One type is caused by injury, allergies, stress, or other factors – canker sores – and one type is caused by a contagious virus — cold sores.

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, most often form on the lips, cheeks, or chin. Caused by the herpes simplex virus, cold sores can quickly spread from person to person through contact like kissing or simply sharing eating utensils. Once you catch the virus, cold sores can form again and again.

Canker sores aren’t typically recurring in the same way, but they can be just as painful. These sores are lesions that form inside the mouth or at the base of the gums and can be caused by a number of factors. Allergic reactions, hormone fluctuations, poor diet, and injuries like sports accidents or uncomfortable contact with braces can all lead to canker sores.

There Is No Cure

Whether you are suffering from a cold sore or canker sore, the lesion or lesions you are suffering from can be treated but not cured. Mouth rinses or oral medications may be prescribed for canker sores, and you may take antivirals to prevent cold sores. Topical products can be used for both to try and reduce your pain and discomfort, but these sores need time to heal.

Laser Dentistry Is a Solution

If you are tired of settling for less-than-effective treatments, then it may be time to try laser dentistry! We can treat your cold or canker sores in just 15 minutes in some cases and provide immediate pain relief. Laser dentistry can be especially helpful if you experience frequently recurring cold sores, as it can be used as a preventative treatment to avoid outbreaks before they surface.

When you need relief, turn to VIP Smiles. Your comfort and confidence is our number one priority, and we always strive to use the best and latest technology to maintain your oral health. Contact our office today to learn more about your candidacy for laser dentistry!

 

Solve Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Another way VIP Smiles goes above and beyond a traditional dentist office is through the snoring and sleep apnea treatments we offer. Snoring can disrupt your partner’s sleep, and sleep apnea can deeply affect not only your quality of sleep, but also your overall health. The VIP Smiles team is here to help!

The Story Behind Snoring

Snoring is caused by a blocked or restricted airway. In those who snore, it is often the case that their throat muscles relax as they sleep and their tongue falls backwards, narrowing or obstructing their airway. As they breathe and air forces its way through this narrow passage, the walls of their throat vibrate. This vibration creates the sound we hear as snoring — the narrower the airway, the louder the snoring.

We often think of snoring as a simply irritating habit of our partner, but it can be a sign of something more serious. If the walls of the throat collapse completely, it can cut off the sleeper’s breathing, often for seconds at a time. We call this condition sleep apnea.

The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which someone stops breathing periodically throughout the night. Loud snoring is a common symptom, as is difficulty staying asleep during the night or difficulty staying awake during the day. As you can imagine, any situation where someone stops breathing comes with serious health concerns. Sleep apnea that goes unaddressed can not only make everyday activities a struggle because of impeded sleep, but it can also put you at higher risk for vascular disease.

Your Sleep Apnea and Snoring Solution

There is a way to improve snoring and sleep apnea: custom appliances made to keep your airways open and free. These appliances hold your jaw in a certain position to prevent the airway from narrowing or collapsing, and it can prevent your tongue from falling back and accidentally blocking the passage. Doctors Shad, Clive, and Richard Ingram will ensure that the device fits comfortably and effectively!

One thing to keep in mind is that this device may require a physician’s prescription. If you are interested in pursuing this snoring and sleep apnea treatment, then contact our Syracuse dentist office to learn more about the requirements for a fitting. We’ll be happy to schedule an appointment for you to discuss your options with one of our dentists!

Whether our goal is to help you sleep better or regain comfort and confidence in your smile, VIP Smiles is determined to use the best technology available to make every visit and treatment as quick and easy as possible! We have been implementing state-of-the-art techniques, equipment, and materials here in our dentist office for more than 30 years, and we are confident that, along with our team’s dedication to patient comfort and satisfaction, that is what has made us a Top Rated Local® dental office in Syracuse.

Get the care you deserve and change your experience with dentistry. Contact VIP Smiles today to get started!