At NOLA Dentures and General Dentistry, we have invested in latest technology to ensure that we are giving each of our patients the best care possible while ensuring maximum safety and best possible experience.
Digital X-ray sensors
Digital x-rays are one of the most fundamental parts of ensuring high quality care. With digital x-rays, we can see cavities between teeth and see how deep they go. We can also check bone less to monitor for periodontal disease. Also with digital sensors, we use 90% less radiation than traditional film x-rays. Because the images are stored on computers, we are able to better show you what is going on in your mouth by making the images bigger so that you can see what we are seeing.
Our dental sensors are top of the line and we like them not only for the quality of images they produce, but also for their comfort. With the rounded edges, many people (especially gaggers) find these x-rays much easier to take than traditional film or other types of x-ray sensors.
Dr. Schafer has an affinity for printing out toys as well as random parts for stuff around the office. The Prusa fits the bill for these things. The Prusa is a different printer from the Moonray S and Nextdent 5100 because it uses filament and acts more like a hot glue gun to lay material down layer by layer whereas the other two printers use a laser to build material line by line. While the prusa is not as accurate as the other two printers, it is certainly more fun. This printer can use more materials in more colors and can make useful tools around the office that Dr. Schafer uses in his day to day practice.
Shining 3D Lab Scanner
Dr. Schafer uses a 3D digital scanner to scan his dental models. While there are many different models of 3D dental scanners, Dr. Schafer loves his Shining 3D scanner because it is tailor made for dentures. Unfortunately, very few 3D scanners do a good job with dentures because dentures require an impression of the gums, cheeks, and lips which are difficult areas to image. Dr. Schafer also likes the Shining 3D because the accuracy is phenomenal. Dr. Schafer is able to take a traditional impression and scan that into his computer and manipulate the 3d image so that he can either fabricate a denture or plan out implants. Also with this scanner, he can more effectively communicate with his lab as he can send all models through the simply click of a mouse which reduces shipping times and makes for better outcomes
Mouths is a dark place and teeth are small. To help see better, Dr. Schafer always wear magnifying loupes with a led headlight. With the led mounted on top of the loupes, the light never shines in the patient's eyes and Dr. Schafer can see the smallest areas of your mouth and teeth. This allows him to do a better job whether it is filling a cavity or doing surgery.
The Aoralscanner is intraoral 3d digital scanner that Dr. Schafer uses to take impressions for implants, crowns, and dentures. It allows Dr. Schafer to take accurate models on patients without having to put putty materials in his patients’ mouths. Also by using this scanner, we can get prosthetics such as crowns and bridge back much quicker as he can send the impressions electronically to his lab immediately which makes everything fit better. Finally, it is useful for showing patients what their mouth looks like so that everyone can make better decisions about their treatment.
R.Pod by Arfona 3d Printer
Dr. Schafer’s most recent addition to the office is the R.Pod Arfona 3D printer. This printer is an FDM style printer which means that it prints material in a similar fashion as a hot glue gun. Dr. Schafer uses special filaments which are long threads of different materials. Currently the material that Dr. Schafer uses most is Valplast which is a traditional material used to make flexible removable partial dentures. With the R.Pod Arfona printer, Dr. Schafer is able to fabricate strong and esthetic partial dentures quickly so that patients do not have to wait long periods of time between losing a tooth and getting a replacement. The R.Pod will print out the red part or the base of the partial denture and the NextDent 5100 will print out the teeth. The teeth are then bonded and processed to the base followed by polishing and finishing. These partials are best for patients that need to heal after surgery.
Blue Sky Bio
Dr. Schafer uses the dental modeling software called Blue Sky Bio. He mainly uses this software to design both his one day dentures and 3d printed dentures. Dr. Schafer scans in models of the upper and lower jaw as well as a bite using his shining 3D scanner and is then able to choose the teeth that best fit the person’s face. Dr. Schafer also uses this software to plan out implant cases. He merges a 3d x-ray as well as a 3d model and is able to evaluate the best position for an implant so that the tooth looks great and feels natural as well.
3D and Full Face X-Rays
This is the Morita R100 CBCT and is one of the most useful pieces of equipment in Dr. Schafer’s office. Dr. Schafer likes this unit because it takes accurate and clear images that not only helps him diagnose well but also is easy to show his patients what is needed. With this system, Dr. Schafer takes both panoramic x-rays and 3D CT images.
Panoramic x-rays have been used for decades in dentistry and are useful for getting a snapshot of the entire mouth. While panoramic x-rays cannot diagnose small signs of infection like cavities that are just beginning, they are useful for seeing bone levels around teeth, evaluating the jaw joints, making sure the jaws are developing properly, and checking for bigger cavities. They are also useful for gaggers as the x-ray is taken outside the mouth, it is easy for more patients to do it.
Dr. Schafer uses 3D CT images to evaluate bone levels for implants as well as check for other signs of infection in specific areas. Implants need to be placed in healthy bone otherwise they will not heal well. By using a 3D CT image coupled with digital impressions, Dr. Schafer can evaluate where implants should be placed so that the surgery to place an implant is routine. Also Dr. Schafer uses the 3D x-ray images when a small infection is present, but it is not clear where the infection is coming from. This helps Dr. Schafer diagnose the appropriate treatment for his patients better rather than going through more costly and invasive procedures.
The Moonray S is the work horse of Dr. Schafer’s 3D printers. It is a loved machined because it is tough and strong and can use a variety of resins. Dr. Schafer uses it to print surgical guides, red bases for his dentures, and toys. The Moonray can also be used to print out monolithic dentures or one day dentures in a pinch if the NextDent 5100 is being used.
Digital Patient Management Software
Paperless charting allows us to more easily access your records to schedule you and see your progress. It also keeps your records safe in the event of a hurricane or other disaster as all data is routinely backed up. Also by keeping everything on computers, we do not need to waste paper which saves trees and the environment.
To keep your records safe, we work with IT professionals who only work with dental offices and therefore are familiar with what our office needs to give you the best experience possible. Our IT professionals are national experts in HIPAA compliance and computer safety.
To place implants, Dr. Schafer and his team utilize surgical equipment that is leading edge to make sure that implants are placed properly to minimize any discomfort and to ensure that our patients get the best outcomes.
The NextDent 5100 is one of the premier dental 3d printers on the market. Dr. Schafer primarily uses it for his one day dentures as it prints dentures that are smooth and strong. Its speed is the biggest advantage it has over the Moonray S. It can print out 8 dentures in 70 minutes whereas the Moonray S would take 3 hours to print the same models. Also the models are much smoother compared to the Moonray S.