Patient Education

Dental Technology

At Angwin Dental, we are committed to providing our Angwin, Napa Valley and Lake County patients with state-of-the-art dental techniques and technology that enhance daily comfort, improve your smile and extend the life of your teeth. Our comprehensive approach combines 35 years of dental experience with modern technology and leading in-office dental equipment including:

Panoramic Digital X-ray

Test ImageWe use the most advanced panoramic digital x-ray technology that provides us with instant images of your entire mouth on our chair-side computers. Digital x-rays offer greater detail than traditional x-rays, and play a critical role in the early diagnosis of dental issues. With digital x-rays we can develop an individualized patient treatment plan on-site without any delay.

This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping Dr. Peter VandenHoven and your hygienist to detect problems easier. Digital x-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays.

Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.

Dental x-rays may reveal:

  • Abscesses or cysts.
  • Bone loss.
  • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
  • Decay between the teeth.
  • Developmental abnormalities.
  • Poor tooth and root positions.
  • Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.

Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage may save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!

Are dental x-rays safe?

We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. Digital x-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays. Not only are digital x-rays better for the health and safety of the patient, they are faster and more comfortable to take, which reduces your time in the dental office. Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the x-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.

Even though digital x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, we still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include only taking those x-rays that are necessary, and using lead apron shields to protect the body.

How often should dental x-rays be taken?

The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Dr. VandenHoven and your Angwin Dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.

A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.

Video Exam

We provide a full-mouth video examination that both Dr. VandenHoven and the patient may see on the chair-side computer. This full mouth video enables the patient to better understand how we diagnose specific issues, and his/her prescribed treatment plan.


Soft Tissue Laser

We use a soft tissue laser to treat gums and other soft tissue issues. The soft tissue laser boasts a wavelength that is highly absorbable by water and hemoglobin (oxygenating protein in red blood cells) which may be used as a component of periodontal treatment and has the ability to kill bacteria and activate the re-growth of tissues.

Soft tissue lasers penetrate soft tissue while sealing blood vessels and nerve endings. This is the primary reason why many people experience virtually no post-procedure pain following the use of a laser. Also, soft tissue lasers allow tissues to heal faster