High-Def Doctors

1/02/08 First stop -- the dentist's office. Here tooth impressions are made digitally -- no mold needed!

"There's no models to pour, there's no mess in the laboratory. There's no sterilization that needs to be done. It's all sent in outer space and comes back finished," says David Yudkowsky, D.D.S., from Manus Northwestern Oral Health Center in Chicago.

A laser camera takes pictures inside a patient's mouth. The computer then records thousands of digital images and blends them together to make an exact impression image. The digital image is sent through cyberspace to the laboratory, and the crown or bridge comes back. With the system, the dentist knows right away if it's correct, instead of needing the patient to come back afterward for adjustments.

Next -- the OR. In recent years, doctors have begun doing surgery with the help of robots. Now, they're controlling the robotic arms while seeing the inside of the body in high-def!

"So, it's actually in 3-D HD, and we can see things that much more clearly," says Kalyan Latchamsetty, M.D., a urologist from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

With laparoscopic surgery, doctors don't slice a patient open. They instead make tiny incisions and rely on monitors to see the inside of the body. Getting the image in high-def makes a huge difference when they are working with nerves as wide as a human hair.

"It really helps with patient outcomes, and that's the most important thing," says Dr. Latchamsetty.

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, which offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, click on: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

For more information, please contact:

Kalyan Latchamsetty, MD
Rush University Medical Center
David Yudkowsky, DDS
Manus Northwestern Oral Health Center
(312) 274-3333

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