In our practice, we currently use state of the art digital radiographs. One of the biggest advantages of using digital x-rays is it allows the doctor to immediately look at the image during treatment. The doctor can also enhance the image for better diagnosis. Digital x-rays also allow easy communication between practitioners as an image can be sent in a matter of minutes. The biggest advantage to the patient is a reduction in radiation. There is approximately 70 – 80 % reduction in radiation using digital versus conventional x-rays.
Digital Panoramic and Cephalometric X-ray
We also have a digital panoramic and cephalometric xray machine. Again, there is a definite reduction in the overall radiation exposure to the patient. The clarity of these digital images is vastly superior to conventional xrays. These films are essential in diagnosing a variety of issues to include; impacted wisdom teeth, cysts, tumors, fractures, periodontal bone loss, and more. These images also aid in assessment of the airway which is essential in the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disordered breathing problems. Digital films are also essential to assist the doctor in the proper placement of implants and mini implants. Digital cephalometric images are important in for orthodontic assessment.
A rhinometer is a device that uses acoustic reflection (sound waves) to map the nasal passages. It is used to detect causes of nasal obstructions such as a deviated septum, enlarged tubinates, polyps, allergic rhinitis, etc…. When assessing the airway of patients that may have a prospective sleep breathing disorder problem, it is important to evaluate the patency of the nasal airway.
A pharyngometer works the same way the rhinometer does; it uses acoustic technology to map the oral airway. It specifically notes the cross sectional area, collapsibility and problem spots within the airway. This is of great importance in detecting a patients potential for having obstructive sleep apnea or another sleep disordered breathing problem. It is also used to monitor the physiological changes in the airway as an oral appliance is introduced. This way, Dr. Romack can maintain maximum airway patency with the oral appliance.
Computerized Joint Vibration Analysis
In our practice, healthy jaw joints are of utmost importance. The JVA is a fast, non-invasive method of measuring temporomandibular joint (TMJ) function. Wave signatures are recorded on a computer which aid in the diagnosis of a variety of TMJ problems. Some of these problems can include, perforations of the disc, displaced discs (“slipped disc”), degenerative joint disease, and tears. Dr. Romack treats many TMJ problems non-surgically within her office.
Intraoral cameras allow the patient and the doctor to take a “video tour” of the mouth. Built in magnification allows the patient to take an active part in their own diagnosis and treatment planning. The “video exam” allows you to see each tooth individually on a monitor. The doctor can then thoroughly evaluate your mouth for a variety of conditions such as: cavities, old fillings where bacteria are getting in, broken teeth, microfractures in teeth that may be harboring bacteria, periodontal problems, tartar and plaque, etc….The intraoral images allow for diagnosis of problems that may go otherwise undetected until a bigger and more extensive problem occurs.