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Digital Dentistry

We live in a digital age. Just about every aspect of our lives has been impacted. After all, you can find a computer chip in everything from a computer to a refrigerator. Fortunately, the field of dentistry has been part of this digital revolution. Dr. Merriman and his staff use digital technology every day to give you and your family the best possible dental care. Let’s examine the ways that the digital age is evident in our office.

Digital X-rays

Thanks to digital technology, dental x-rays are safer and more convenient. These x-rays are safer because they require far less radiation than traditional x-rays—about 90 percent less. And they are convenient for you and Dr. Merriman because together you can view the image of a tooth on the computer screen next to the dentist’s exam chair.

The steps taken during digital radiography are similar to those for traditional x-rays that use film. A sensor is inserted in your mouth to capture images of your teeth. This sensor looks similar to the piece of film used for bitewings and other x-rays. However, the digital sensor is electronic. Once the x-ray is taken, the image is almost immediately projected on the computer screen.

Intraoral Scanner

With the intraoral scanner from 3Shape, Dr. Merriman and his staff are able to capture a 3D impression of any tooth as well as gum tissue. A small handheld wand is inserted in your mouth to capture an image of your tooth or even several teeth. Like a digital x-ray, the image is projected on the computer screen for Dr. Merriman to view. These precise 3D impressions allow Dr. Merriman to provide bridges, crowns and porcelain veneers that fit perfectly.

The Anesthesia Wand Delivery System

Patient comfort is a necessity of great dental care, and Dr. James Merriman makes it a top priority here at his Marietta, GA practice. After all, we want you to look forward to visiting out team again and again. That’s why we’re happy to offer a state-of-the-art tool known as the Wand. When you’re in need of local anesthetic for restorative or cosmetic treatment, the Wand is ideal for patients who may be afraid or uncomfortable around needles.

How does the Anesthesia Wand work?

Our Wand system looks like a miniature computer tower. The anesthetic is stored in a small tube connected to the top, and the Wand itself looks similar to a ballpoint pen. The retractable needle inside never has to be seen by the patient. Better yet, modern computer technology allows Dr. Merriman to ensure that the injection is done as safely as possible. By keeping our patients relaxed, the entire treatment process goes much more smoothly and comfortably.



  • The Wand provides exceptional, site-specific pain control without having to numb the lips, tongue, or other areas of soft tissue as well.
  • The precise control of the anesthetic flow makes injections even at difficult areas (such as the palate) much simpler.
  • The Wand is lightweight and easier to handle for dentists, resulting in more confidence for both our team and the patient.
  • Studies have found that use of the Wand induces less anxiety in patients than a traditional syringe.