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Dental Technology in Encinitas, CA

We Stay at the Forefront of Dental Advancements for Your Healthiest & Happiest Smile

Dentistry is a constantly changing field with new technology that strives to make dental procedures less painful and to achieve ever-higher quality results. It is important to Dr. McElroy to give our patients the best that dentistry has to offer. We incorporate the latest, most cutting-edge dental technology into our day-to-day practice. By choosing us for your dental care in Encinitas, CA, you’re guaranteed to receive the most modern, dynamic treatment available.

Click on the links below to read more about the state-of-the-art technology that McElroy Smiles By Design has to offer. For affordable dental care in Encinitas, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Escondido, and San Diego, CA, call 760-230-6638 today!

Intraoral Cameras

Our intraoral camera is a diagnostic dental tool that allows us to detect potential problems in your mouth. The camera takes pictures of your external tooth structure, gums, cheeks, and tongue with a small pen-sized camera. The images are then magnified and displayed on a computer screen or television monitor to show you exactly what our dental team is seeing. Instead of simply taking our word for it, you can now see clearly for yourself any crack, stain, gap, signs of decay, or receding gum line. This helps you understand why treatment may be necessary. The accompanying software also provides clear and accurate data so that you and our dentist can select the best treatment options for your needs.

Cone Beam System

While traditional digital X-rays are incredibly useful when planning dental treatment, they have limitations. That’s why our dentists in Encinitas, CA, have taken a big step forward for your benefit and invested in the revolutionary power of Cone Beam technology. This system scans your oral structures in mere seconds and creates an incredibly detailed, 3D image of what’s beneath your teeth and gums.

Most commonly, we use cone beam technology for dental implant placement. This reconstructive solution can create amazing results for patients suffering from tooth loss, but accuracy is vital to ensure their success, comfort, and function. Cone beam scans can show us the density of your jawbone, bodily structures that may be in the path of potential placement zones, and much more. This allows us to keep the procedure as minimally-invasive as possible, eliminating damage to nearby tissue and improving your projected recovery time.

Other uses for cone beam technology include:

  • We can more accurately discover the source of your oral pain.
  • We can plan root canal treatment in a much more precise fashion for maximized chances of success.
  • We can better access your personal orthodontic needs.
  • We can pinpoint areas that may be contributing to bruxism (teeth grinding) and/or TMJ disorder.

NTI Tension Suppression System

Many chronic headaches and migraines are caused by involuntary night-time teeth clenching. This results in hyperactivity of the trigeminal nerve, which can trigger tension headaches and migraines. Tension headaches are usually felt on the sides of your head as pain or pressure, as tightness around your forehead that may feel like a “vise grip,” and as an aching pain at your temples or the back of your neck and head.

The NTI Tension Suppression System is a custom fit, small removable plastic resin device, which is worn over the front teeth at night to prevent posterior teeth contact.

The NTI can be used to treat:

  • Migraine pain
  • Tension-type headache pain
  • Jaw disorders (TMD)
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)

Diagnostic Models

You won’t find this technology in any other field of health care. Wouldn’t it be hard to imagine an orthopedic surgeon showing you an actual sculpture of your hip joint? Not just an approximation, but YOUR replicated hip joint. Now, imagine the doctor mounting your replicated hip bones onto a device to show exactly how you, personally, would stand and walk after your new hip was placed? Sounds very futuristic. Still, advanced dentists work with this technology daily to insure that your jaw and teeth not only function well but also look great as an added bonus. Diagnostic models are an important tool we work with if restoring or creating a new smile for you.

Diagnostic models enable our team at McElroy Smiles By Design to assess occlusion (the way the teeth are fitting together), figure out how much modification is required to achieve final effects, and determine the ideal size and length of restorations for that healthy-looking smile. That makes certain that you will not only possess a wonderful smile, but you’ll also have one which is strong, healthy, and useful. Diagnostic models also let you view, even before treatment is started, just what your own smile will look like once the proposed treatment plan is completed.

Once we are satisfied with the function and esthetics on the models, tooth impressions can be taken and provided to the lab that’ll be making the actual restorations. This makes it possible for their technicians to clearly view precisely what is expected of every restoration for a perfect fit.

Dental Diode Laser

The soft tissue laser permits us to provide delicate, precise treatment without damaging healthy tissue. Simply because we do not require any sort of incisions or stitches, soft tissue dental laser treatments can typically be performed without causing pain. As the laser is getting rid of tissue in addition it disinfects the region which in turn drastically lowers the chance of infections. Additionally, recovery time is greatly reduced in comparison with treatment methods carried out with a scalpel

Dental lasers can be a great way to deal with gum disease or a gummy smile. Yet again together with the highly accurate control, the dental professional has the ability to address the unhealthy gum tissue without any trauma to healthy gum tissue. Any time gum surgery to eliminate, excess” tissue which overlaps onto the tooth surface is carried out with a laser you will find little bleeding and swelling, and no requirement for sutures. The process is relatively pain-free and recovery much quicker.

Cavitron Plaque and Tarter Removal

It used to be that the only way to remove tarter from below and above the gum line was by scraping with a hand instrument. At McElroy Smiles By Design, our hygienists are able to gently and comfortably remove tarter with high frequency sound waves using the Cavitron Ultrasonic Cleaner.

The Cavitron Ultrasonic cleaner is a safe, effective, and painless alternative to traditional cleaning methods. The Cavitron vibrates at the speed of sound, so you hardly feel any movement. This makes even a deep cleaning a more pleasant experience.

Fiber Optic Transillumination

Fiber optic transillumination is a diagnostic device that emits a concentrated beam of bright light. The intense light can unveil disease located between teeth or under restorations. It is also able to reveal cracks in your teeth that are not evident to the naked eye.

The fiber optic transillumination device allows our Encinitas dental office to diagnose and treat issues when they are small, before they begin to cause significant tooth structure damage or pain.

Panorex Imaging

Similar to the medical CT scan, Panorex Imaging can take 3-dimensional images of your tooth and surrounding dental structures. The crystal clear, well-defined photos enable us to clearly view the tooth as well as its root structure together with the jawbone, nerves and soft tissue. Considering that we are able to view the inner structures we are able to detect, diagnose and handle complications while they are still minor, well before they can lead to substantial problems. The Panorex also allows us to keep an eye on any possible difficulties and make educated decisions regarding when, and if any kind of treatment is necessary.

Endodontic Treatment with the Rotary File System

Just a short time ago, endodontic treatment was carried out with hand filers and reamers. Utilizing today’s technological advancements, carrying out a root canal by using a rotary file system is simpler and much more comfortable for the individual. The rotary file system gives our dentist considerably more control, letting him conduct highly precise treatment. What does this mean for your dental care in Encinitas, CA? It means a root canal will take less time, be more comfortable, and be a lot more precise.

Networked Treatment Rooms

Our own patients have realized many benefits since we digitized and networked our treatment rooms. All intra-oral, as well as extra-oral photography, patient records, written communication, and medical information, can be shared within treatment areas and doctors instantaneously. In addition, all those materials will be instantly available to us the next time you arrive for a visit.

Digital Impressions

At the leading edge of state-of-the-art dental technology are digital impressions that allow dentists to design a computer-generated copy of tissues in the mouth. They’re able to make these using lasers and other optical scanning devices. The technology takes clear and accurate impression information in a matter of minutes. The impression information then is transferred to a computer and used to create restorations. It doesn’t involve any of the traditional methods that patients find nauseous and messy such as the trays with the “goop” in them. It seemed never-ending to the patient to have to wait until the tray of impression materials or goop set up and then for it to be tugged from their teeth.

Two types of digital impression technology are currently available for dentists to use. The first type captures the images as digital photographs, providing dentists and dental laboratories with a series of images; the other type captures images as digital video. The images can be captured using lasers or digital scanning. Safe and highly precise laser scanning uses concentrated light. It captures a copy of the teeth and gums while eliminating the patient’s need to hold a tray of unpleasant material in their mouth. A digital optical scanner is a device that optically scans an object and converts it to a digital image. These scanners also are safe and highly accurate, but require teeth to be powder-coated with a special spray before scanning to make sure all parts of the impression are recorded properly.

Faster Treatment Time & Fewer Office Visits With Digital Impressions

The benefits of digital impressions include increased efficiency, productivity and accuracy, and make it easy for dentists to e-mail the virtual impression to the laboratory. Also, digital impressions can be used to make same day restorations, quickly speeding up treatment and reducing the need for multiple office visits. Other benefits include less chair time, no need for trays that make some people nauseated and fewer errors resulting in restoration mistakes.

Another benefit of the digital impression is that it can be stored indefinitely on a computer, which saves space, makes for more efficient record keeping and is ecologically sound by supporting a paper-free environment. Eco-friendly aspects include eliminating the need for plastic trays and the “goop” material, which would be polluting landfills. The digital data can be removed with a click of the delete key on the computer.

Traditional impressions involve several materials and often-times more steps. This is a delicate, skilled process and it is easier to make errors throughout any of the steps involved, either from the human element, or material defects such as voids, air pockets, or an in correct setting or distortions. With a physical impression, dentists have to depend on their own sight and a magnified loupe to make sure the impressions are ready to ship to the laboratory. If mistakes are identified, the dentist will need to take another impression, which means the patient must undergo the procedure again.

Digital impression devices omit much of the labor and guesswork associated with traditional impressions, and greatly reduces errors. The increase in time savings, both during the impression reservation and delivery of the restorations is valuable. Digital impression devices, in most cases, eliminate the need for a return visit to the office because the restoration can be made in the dentist’s office rather than be shipped to a laboratory.

Digital Impressions for a Gag-Free & Comfortable Experience

The part that the patient most appreciates about digital impressions is that there is no need for impression materials to be placed in the mouth for up-to five minutes during the traditional technique. This means patients who are fearful of gagging, or claustrophobic, to be more comfortable throughout the procedure. This up-to-date technology allows many patients to get their much needed dental work completed, which they may have put-off to prevent the use of trays filled with “goop”. Errors can be corrected immediately before sending the impression to the laboratory.

A digital impression is captured using an intraoral wand that is inserted into the patient’s mouth and moved over the surface area of the tooth or teeth. Most digital impression systems use a chair-side monitor to display the impression image as it is captured.

It takes approximately a minute and a half to capture a digital impression of prepared teeth.

Enjoy State-of-the-Art Dental Care in Encinitas, CA, at McElroy Smiles By Design Serving Encinitas, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Escondido & San Diego, CA

Your Top-Rated Dentist in Encinitas, CA

"This is a fantastic Dentist, McElroy and the associates in the office are amazing. Our daughters enjoy every time they are here. Very good practice, highly suggested!!"

- Cody H.

"I would definitely recommend Smiles By Design dental office to anyone who is looking for a personable, honest, thorough, and professional dentist. Dr. McElroy and his staff make you feel so comfortable, you forget you are at the dentist!! Highly recommend!"

- Kelly C.

"Had my first appointment at McElroy smiles by design, and the staff was so friendly and informative. It was an enjoyable experience and I plan on going back in the future."

- Isaac W.

"Thanks to everyone in the office! Great service and very punctual. Dr.McElroy is a wonderful dentist, he is very professional and friendly. He does what it takes to do the job perfectly— even if it requires extra time. I needed a lot of work when I first came to the office, but now when its all done, I love the outcome and my new smile! I am stoked!!"

- Wera S.

*The reviews listed are from actual patients of McElroy Smiles. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

What To Expect On Your First Visit

Dr. McElroy is excited to provide you a $99 new patient special!


Discuss Your Goals With Dr. McElroy


Thorough Exam & Professional Cleaning


Digital X-Rays


Discuss Your Potential Treatment Options


Bonus: Free copy of Dr. McEroy’s Book