Learn more about our New Dental Technology in North Carolina

At Dental Center of the Carolinas, we a committed to offering the best in dental technology in North Carolina.  The following technologies allow us to better serve our patients provide more precise treatment.  Please contact our Clemmons dental practice if you have any questions about the following procedures and devices, or call to schedule your appointment today.

Air Abrasion

Air-abrasion still has the advantages of quick decay removal and tooth preparation, mostly without the need for anesthesia. It now offers an additional advantage. Widespread fluoride use has led to a different appearance of decay. Many times patients, even adults, present with numerous pits and fissures, which are difficult to diagnose with conventional x-rays, visualization, and exploration. These areas of decay seldom provide an opening large enough for the dental explorer to "stick" in because of the hard enamel surface created by fluoride. The problem lies in the spread of decay under the enamel. With air-abrasion, the suspect area can be exposed. If the area is truly decayed, it can be prepared and filled with a composite resin filling. If the area is not decayed upon exposure, it may be sealed with pit and fissure sealants.

Air-abrasion also has several other uses in dentistry. By decreasing the air pressure at which the particles are delivered and decreasing particle size, the system can be used for polishing teeth. By varying particle size and pressure, air-abrasion can be used to micro-etch the tooth surface to facilitate bonding.

Air-abrasion systems combined with the newer bonding systems will be an important part of dentistry for a long time. It offers dentists an patients an efficient means of preparing teeth without a need for anesthesia, in most cases.

SimPlant treatment

Before your dentist can utilize the Simplant Software you must be sent to a scan center to get a CT Scan. Dr. Kelly has an I-Cat CBCT scanner in his office. SimPlant treatment guarantees an added value to implant treatment. The SimPlant concept consists of SimPlant software and SurgiGuides.

With the SimPlant software, the surgeon or dentist can carefully prepare the surgery. A plan is created for the ideal positioning of the implants, in both 2D and 3D, while taking into account both clinical and esthetic considerations. Visualization of the plan is an easy tool to enhance communication between the different partners and also to show you where implants will be placed during surgery.

SurgiGuides are custom-made drilling guides, a precise guiding system that will transfer the plan accurately to the surgery. SurgiGuides will prevent unpleasant surprises at the time of surgery for the surgeon or dentist, and unpleasant surprises for you afterwards!

Cone Beam CT - Computed Tomography

Commonly referred to as CAT scan, is unlike conventional x-rays, which produce images of the shadows cast by body structures of different density, CT scanning uses similar x-rays in a different approach. Multiple x-ray beams pass through the body in a circular fashion and a complex set of detector array, rotating on the opposite side of the beam source, measure the amount of radiation absorbed by different tissues (attenuation). Dedicated computer software use the resulting signals of different absorption levels to form cross-sectional slices of the anatomy. 

These slices are referred to as tomograms, hence the name computed tomography. Computed tomography has the ability to distinguish between different tissue densities, for example: bone, teeth, soft tissue and blood vessels. On the other hand, MRI is more attuned for imaging soft tissue structures. 

A CT scanner looks like a big doughnut. The patient goes into a circular grove that is 70cm in diameter. The scanner consists of a rotating framework (gantry) that is composed of both the x-ray source and the detector array at opposite sides to each other. This set up spins in a circular motion at sub-second speed while the patient bed (table) slowly proceeds into the gantry. The x-ray is focused (collimated) at its source and then diverges into a fan shape by the time it is absorbed by the detectors, hence the name fan beam. This fan beam collimation is the major difference between the MDCT scanners and Conebeam scanners. 

The numerous projections from every rotation around the body are then feed into complex software that reconstructs (back projects) a slice through that region. A number of computers are used to control the CT system:

1. Host computer, which manages the operation of the entire system
2. Reconstruction computer, that back project the raw CT signals
3. Workstation, that allows the operator to control and manage the exam
4. Microprocessors, control the angulation of the gantry and steady motion of the table

Diagram showing relationship of x-ray tube, patient, detector, and image reconstruction computer and display monitor


CT Scans are used to image:

• Brain and its vessels
• Neck, head, shoulders and cervical spine
• Chest, heart, aorta, lungs
• Thoracic and lumbar spine
• Upper abdomen, liver, kidney, spleen, pancreas
• Pelvis, hip and reproductive system
• Skeletal system, hands, feet, legs, ankles, knees arms and jaws

Dr. Kelly uses an I-Cat scanner which utilizes Cone Beam Volumetric Tomography (CBVT) technology.  This is a relatively new technology when compared to traditional medical scanners. The typical medical CT scanner requires a separate scan of the maxilla (upper jaw) and of the mandible (lower jaw). Each of those scans subjects the patient to 200-300 times the radiation required for a panoramic radiography. When both jaws need to be scanned, the patient is collectively receiving 400-600 times the radiation dose for a panoramic radiograph. CBVT scanners can take the mandible and maxilla at the same time, thereby only exposing the patient one time for both jaws. See Fig.1

Fig. 1

For your convenience and ease of understanding, the following is an i-CAT Cone Beam CT Dose Comparison provided by Dr. Stuart White, Dept. of Radiology, UCLA.

n Daily background: 8 uSv

n Panoramic: 10-15 uSv

n i-CAT 10 second scan: 30-35 uSv

n i-CAT 20 second scan: 60-70 uSv

n i-CAT 40 second scan: 90-100 uSv

n Full Mouth Series: 150-200 uSv

n Chest X-ray* 70 uSv

n Medical CT 1200-3300 uSv


CBVT scanners utilize a narrow beam of radiation that scans both the maxilla and mandible at one time. This requires only 2-8 times the amount of radiation used in a panoramic radiograph. The CBVT is a far safer system for achieving the digital radiographic imaging required for dental implant treatment planning. In terms of risks and benefits, the CBVT is the better choice. The I-Cat scanner is handicap accessible.