Technology Changing Dentistry - Texas Grins Family Dentistry

Technology Changing Dentistry

When you think of the tools your dentist uses, you probably envision handheld metal scrapers, probes, and a mirror. Not exactly high-tech, right?

But many dentists today supplement those tools with technologies that are anything but basic. At Texas Grins, we are at the forefront of dental technology, thanks to our Willow Park, TX dentist Dr. Ryan Crain!

He recently received his fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry, which requires members to complete 500 hours of continuing education. That’s a lot of hours, and, as you might expect, many of them involve the use of advanced dental technologies.

Dental Technology Goes Digital

Like many other areas of life, dentistry has gone digital in many ways. Digital dental technology makes it much easier for us to diagnose your issues.

Just as you do with photos on your computer at home, Dr. Crain can enlarge, sharpen, and otherwise tweak digital X-ray images so he can get a better idea of what’s going on in your mouth.

And a couple of bonus benefits of digital dental technology:

It’s easier for us to share digital X-ray images with third parties such as insurance companies and other health care providers.
Digital X-rays expose patients to far less radiation than conventional X-rays.
We can view digital X-ray images right away, so we can make speedier diagnoses. No more waiting for film to develop!

Which Dental Technologies Do We Use?

So which dental technologies do we use at Texas Grins?

Quite a few, actually! We use them for everything from routine dental exams to creating custom same-day dental crowns for you here in our Willow Park, TX dentist office.

We’ve highlighted some of them for you below. Look for them the next time you come in to see us!

Intraoral Camera

This one is a patient favorite because it allows Dr. Crain to show you exactly what he is seeing during your dental exams.

An intraoral camera is a handheld digital camera that looks a little like a pen. It connects to a central computer in our office and also to a large monitor, so Dr. Crain can share his view of your mouth with you.

In a clear case of a picture being worth a thousand words, you can more easily understand your dental issues when Dr. Crain shows them to you via the intraoral camera. You can participate more directly in your dental treatment plan.

Bonus benefits of the intraoral camera:

We can take images of the inside of your mouth, which makes it easier to track your dental changes over time.
The camera has a bright light, which helps Dr. Crain get a clear view of the inside of your mouth.
We can easily email a photo to a specialist for a second opinion if desired.


Another handheld tool, this one helps us find cavities in their earliest stages, thanks to its use of a laser to detect fluorescence. A healthy tooth has little, if any, fluorescence. So if the DIAGNOdent tool registers any fluorescence, you likely have a cavity.

And the earlier we find a cavity, the better! We’d rather treat a cavity with a simple tooth filling than with a dental crown or other more extensive restoration. And we bet you would too!


CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. That’s quite a mouthful, but it means we can create a custom dental crown for you in a single visit to our Willow Park, TX dentist office.

In many dental practices, production of dental crowns is outsourced to an outside lab. So you have to wear a temporary crown while waiting several weeks to get your permanent one.

CEREC involves the use of CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) software. Here is how our same-day dental crown process typically works:

We take digital scans of your teeth. No more messy molds to make impressions!
We send the scans to a computer, where we create a 3D model of your custom crown.
We send the model to a milling machine in our office, which produces the dental crown.
The whole process takes no more than a few hours. You can read or relax while you wait for your same-day dental crown.

3D CBCT Imaging

CBCT stands for cone beam computed tomography. That’s another mouthful, but it enables us to get a much better view of your mouth than with a traditional X-ray. The technology involves a cone-shaped X-ray beam that shows us a 3D image of your bone structure, soft tissue, and even nerve pathways – all in a single image.

That’s especially helpful in letting us know where to place dental implants for the best performance. And it’s useful for dental extractions as well. It helps us easily determine if a tooth is impacted, for instance.

Why We Use Dental Technology

Simply put, we use the latest dental technology because we want to give you the best care possible. If you want to know more about the dental technology in our Willow Park, TX dentist office, call Texas Grins at [phone].