As part of our commitment to providing our patients with personalized, high-quality dentistry, Mid-Valley Dental Care features the latest dental technologies. Dental technology allows Drs. Terence Lau and Casey Lau to offer you more precise, efficient treatments to improve your smile and your oral health. We invite you to contact us at (818) 886-3500 to make your appointment with our experienced dentists and learn more about our dental technology in Northridge, California.
CAD/CAM One-Visit Dental Technology
Traditionally, when a patient needs a dental restoration, they would visit the dentist to have an impression taken of their smile. The impression would then be sent to a dental laboratory, and a technician would create the restoration and send it back to the dental office. This whole process could take weeks, during which time the patient would have to wear a temporary restoration or deal with the weakened or missing tooth.
CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing) technology compresses the full treatment process, from the creation of impressions to the creation of the final product, into a single visit. This dental technology allows us to produce any single tooth restoration in a matter of minutes, rather than requiring two separate dental appointments for our dentists to fit and place your restoration. CAD/CAM can be used in creating many different types of restorations, including fillings, veneers, and porcelain crowns.
During your appointment, our dentists will:
- Examine your tooth to determine an appropriate treatment plan
- Remove any decayed or weakened tooth tissue
- Take a digital picture of your mouth
- Use our CAD/CAM software to convert this digital picture into a 3D model on the computer screen
- Create a restoration from the resulting image
- Immediately mill your crown or other restoration from a ceramic block that matches the color of your natural teeth
About 15 minutes later, your ceramic, tooth-colored restoration will be complete! Our dentists will check your restoration to ensure a proper fit and bite. They will then polish your restoration, and bond it in place.
Though the process is quick, do not assume we cut any corners on the quality of your new restoration. Drs. Terence and Casey Lau carefully consider the function and aesthetic of your restoration to ensure it is a durable, beautiful addition to your smile that will last for many years to come.
CT 3D Imaging
We are committed to using the latest technology at Mid-Valley Dental Care, including CT, or cone beam, 3D imaging. Three-dimensional images allow our team to view a comprehensive structure of your smile so that we can quickly diagnose your dental needs and provide highly customized and effective treatment. Cone beam technology is a highly advanced system that reveals more of your oral and facial structure than can typically be seen with a normal digital X-ray.
Drs. Terence and Casey Lau can utilize 3D imaging in all reconstructive, orthodontic, and surgical procedures in order to view a full image of your teeth, jaws, ears, nose, throat, and neck. Specific uses of 3D imaging include:
- Planning a dental implant placement
- Diagnosing tooth decay
- Evaluating oral and facial trauma
- Studying abnormal teeth
- Analyzing a TMJ disorder
- Planning and monitoring orthodontic treatment
- Detecting endodontic issues and planning a root canal procedure
A CT scan is completed in about 90 seconds and emits far less radiation than traditional dental X-rays, protecting your general health without compromising the quality of the images. During the procedure, you will sit or stand still while the system takes hundreds of pictures in a matter of seconds. These pictures form an exact 3D image of the inner mouth, jaw, and face. We can zoom in on specific areas to take a closer look at your oral health and detect even the most microscopic problem areas. CT 3D imaging reduces treatment, improves your comfort, and enhances the final results of your dental work.
Dental X-rays are an advanced diagnostic technology that serve a core function in diagnosing a dental problem and planning a treatment procedure. With the help if an X-ray, we can view the inside of a tooth and the area below the gum line to better understand your oral health. Our dentists and team may utilize dental X-rays for the following purposes:
- To detect tooth decay and oral disease
- To view the roots of the teeth
- To evaluate the health of the surrounding bone
- To monitor developing teeth
- To determine the overall health of your smile
While traditional X-rays use film that needs to be developed with chemicals, our digital X-rays take quick, high-resolution images that are immediately available to be viewed on our operatory monitors. Digital X-rays significantly reduce radiation exposure, are completely painless, and shorten the length of your exam. To further ensure your safety, we will cover you with a lead apron that protects the body from stray radiation.
We may perform more than one type of X-ray during your appointment to ensure we have the best possible image of your smile. These X-rays include:
- Periapical X-rays reveal the entire tooth, from the crown to the surrounding bone.
- Bitewing X-rays offer an image of the upper and lower posterior (back) teeth to show how the teeth touch and reveal any decay between two or more teeth.
- Panoramic X-rays are typically performed on patients who need implant dentistry or orthodontics. This X-ray views the teeth, jaws, jaw joints, sinuses, and nasal area.
- Occlusal X-rays look at the floor of the mouth to show the relationship between the upper and lower jaws. This X-ray is commonly used during a child’s dental exam to monitor the baby teeth and incoming adult teeth.
If you are visiting our office for preventive care, orthodontic treatment, or a treatment consultation, you may have the opportunity to experience the benefit and convenience of our state-of-the-art iTero scanner.
The iTero scanner is an imaging device that allows our dentists to view three-dimensional images of the inside of your mouth in full color. This technology can capture up to 20 images per second, automatically backing them up to prevent glitches and help you avoid sitting through two scanning sessions. This makes it easy for our dentists to diagnose diseased or infected tissues, and gives us a point of reference for future treatments. iTero technology is also used to create appliances that fit and function better, and to simulate your treatment outcome, allowing you to view the predicted end result of your treatment process. iTero gives you the power to approve your final results before treatment begins so that you have the final say in each step of the process.
When our dentists use the iTero scanner, they will quickly scan the inside of your mouth with a small wand. The images will be processed simultaneously and projected onto a nearby monitor, allowing you to see what we see so that you can better understand the state of your oral health and view the progress of your treatment.
Drs. Terence and Casey Lau, along with our entire team, are pleased to offer some of the most advanced dental care in the Northridge area by providing laser dentistry. The introduction of dental lasers has transformed the way dental professionals approach cosmetic, periodontal, and surgical procedures by offering advanced precision and results.
A powerful, yet gentle dental laser can enhance teeth whitening and dramatically lighten teeth by removing stains, discoloration, and any stubborn yellowing on the surface of the teeth.
Due to its enhanced precision, comfort, and control, we can utilize a dental laser to perform functional and cosmetic periodontal procedures, such as removing bacteria and infected gum tissue and reshaping the gum line.
Laser dentistry can replace the use of scalpels and sutures to provide you with a less-invasive, more comfortable procedure. Lasers also cauterize the treatment site, which minimizes bleeding and speeds up the recovery process.
Other uses for laser dentistry include:
- Hardening a dental filling
- Dental debridement
- Treating canker sores and cold sores
- Removing the damaged or decayed portion of a tooth
Laser dentistry is relatively comfortable and often does not necessitate the use of an anesthetic. Because it targets specific areas of the smile, it preserves more of the healthy tissue, maintaining your natural smile.
Many patients are hesitant to wear permanent dentures because they are loose, ill-fitting, or uncomfortable. Conventional dentures provide the look of natural teeth, but do not restore the bite force of your original smile. They need to be readjusted periodically to retain their secure fit. This is because, without the presence of tooth roots to act as natural anchors, the jawbone begins to shrink. Eventually, your dentures will no longer fit and will need replacing.
Did you know Mid-Valley Dental Care offers a much more lasting and effective solution to tooth loss?
TeethXpress is permanent, full-arch dental implants. When you receive a TeethXpress procedure, our dentists will place 4 or 6 dental implants into your jaw. These implants will then be used to secure a denture, restoring the appearance and function of your smile. The TeethXpress procedure can typically be completed in a single day, using local anesthesia.
TeethXpress can solve your most common and frustrating denture problems, including:
- Slippery dental appliances
- Difficulty biting into and chewing certain food
- Slurred speech
- Embarrassing smacking or clicking noises when you speak
- Gum irritation and sores
- Discomfort caused by ill-fitted dentures
For your implant-supported dentures, our dentists will either use your existing denture, or will create a denture prior to your procedure. This allows you to walk out of our office with a new smile.
Discomfort and pain from TeethXpress is usually minor, though you may use mild pain relievers if needed. We recommend that you follow a soft diet during the initial healing phase.