Digital dentistry has grown very popular in recent years. Our office takes advantage of digital dentistry to diagnose, treatment plan, and treat effectively and efficiently. We utilize state of the art equipment and software to ensure the best possible patient care. Patients can trust they are in the best hands with Dr Ratliff’s progressive forward-thinking technological initiative accompanied by her highly trained staff. Please see below for more details on how our office utilizes specific equipment and software.
To ensure the best patient care in periodontal treatment, Dr. Ratliff stays on the cutting edge of dental technologies. One of these revolutionary technologies you will encounter at Pure Perio is a 3-dimensional x-ray known as a Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) instrument. This type of x-ray differs from traditional dental x-rays, because it creates a 3D representation of your teeth, bone, soft tissue, and nerve paths. It is used when a traditional 2-dimensional dental x-ray does not provide enough diagnostic information. We use the J-Morita X800, which is one of the most advanced instruments of its type producing extremely accurate and clear imaging. As a bone and soft tissue specialist, Dr. Ratliff uses this imagery to diagnose and treatment plan.
Say goodbye to the awful goop in your mouth and say hello to 3-Dimensional scanning! 3D digital intraoral imagery is used to map the interior of your mouth. In just minutes, an accurate 3D representation of your mouth’s surfaces is generated. This is done by scanning the interior of your mouth with a specialized camera containing an accelerometer. As the camera traces the surface structures of your mouth, next-generation software analyzes the images to construct a 3D model. This technology replaces traditional dental impressions. At Pure Perio, Dr. Ratliff uses the Trios 3Shape scanner. It scans in true color and is the most accurate scanner on the market. The implementation of this technology proves to be extremely valuable as an aid in the design of implant surgical guides, night guard fabrication, and other dental appliances.
While 3D printing is a relatively new technology, it has become an invaluable piece of technology in digital dentistry. In the past, a dental appliance had to be sent to a laboratory for fabrication, and this would usually take weeks to complete. By 3D printing in-house, we cut that fabrication time down to mere hours. The 3D printer at Pure Perio is a Formlabs Form2, a highly accurate resin printer. Using a method known as stereolithography, the 3D printer constructs the dental appliance. Layer by layer a laser cures a biocompatible resin. Each layer is 25 microns, which is about one-quarter of the thickness of a human hair. This precision ensures the perfect fit of your dental appliance or surgical guide
DIGITAL implant treatment planning
From your first visit to your final post-op, Dr. Ratliff ensures that every aspect of the implant placement process is perfectly tailored to your specific needs. The process starts with two 3D scans. The first is a CBCT, which gives Dr. Ratliff a thorough view of your bone, soft tissue, sinuses, and nerve paths. Then, using our 3D digital intraoral camera, we obtain a digital representation of the surface structures of your mouth. The combination of the two scans provides Dr. Ratliff with an accurate tool to plan your implant placement. Using state of the art computer software, Dr. Ratliff plans the exact placement of your implant, accurate to one one-hundredth of a millimeter. After Dr. Ratliff is satisfied in the location of the planned implant, she designs the surgical guide. The guide will be retained by surrounding teeth to the implant site, and it will guide Dr. Ratliff’s instruments to ensure a perfect implant position. Once the guide is designed, it is ready to be fabricated. The design is sent to our in-office 3D printer, which gets to work layer by layer constructing the physical guide using class I biocompatible resin. After the surgical guide is printed, it is placed in an ultrasonic bath of isopropyl alcohol that removes any uncured resin. Following the bath, the guide is cured in an oven using ultraviolet light and heat. This stiffens and strengthens the surgical guide. Once the curing process is complete, metal sleeves are placed in the guides implant sites. This ensures that the guide holds up to Dr. Ratliff’s instruments during the placement. The completed surgical guide then gets sterilized in the autoclave. The now sterile surgical guide is ready for surgery. Every aspect of the implant process is completed in-office. Because Dr. Ratliff has control over every aspect of the implant placement process, she can ensure that you receive the best implant placement possible.