Nobody likes going to the dentist. The drills, injections and the menacing tools are enough to scare even the toughest of men. At the same time, a severe toothache or dental problem could feel like the end of the world, making a visit to the dentist unavoidable. The good news is that going to the dentist won’t be as scary and painful as it was, all thanks to technology. It is transforming the dentistry world for the better. Let’s see how.

1. Digital Dentistry

Digital dentistry can be defined as any dental technology or a dental device that incorporates computer-controlled or digital components rather than being mechanical or electrical alone. Computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing (CAD & CAM) are a common example.

Some other areas of digital dentistry include lasers, Caries diagnosis, Computer-aided implant dentistry, digital radiography, extraoral and intraoral photography, Occlusion and TMJ analysis and diagnosis, and shade matching.

Electronic record-keeping, data analysis, newer diagnostic tools, revolutionary treatment options and novel prevention methods are also a part of digital dentistry. You can expect the technological innovations to improve and provide wider access to dental care. The diagnostics will be more precise and the digitized medical history will allow the dental professionals to pinpoint your susceptibility to the exact type of oral disease.

2. Tech-Friendly Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis and treatment of dental problems and oral diseases will improve significantly. At present, a lot of dentists use soft tissue laser for minor gum surgeries, however, it won’t be long when these procedures would be carried out by computers. The high-speed dental drills could be replaced by hard-tissue lasers and tiny, digitally controlled mirrors to remove tooth decay.

New biomaterials are being created that could fill cavities or allow them to heal themselves which could prevent painful and expensive root canals. Developments in diagnostics have made it possible to detect oral cancer in early stages by using special lights that can pick up tissue changes that otherwise can’t be seen with the naked eye. Nanobots are looking quite lucrative too, but this technology is quite complex whose developments lie far in the future.

3. Bioprinting

3D printing is a rage in various industries and the dental industry is not being left behind. The current technology uses CAD/CAM to mill a tooth from a 3D scan if you need a crown, cap or bridge. The next step includes bioprinting and 3D printing. Some institutes are working with recipes that could add tooth decay-fighting chemicals to 3D printed teeth.

A team in North California has managed to print out different parts of the human body using a mixture of live cells and gel which is laid down in layers to construct human tissues. It is possible to build a jawbone, which could be beneficial for those suffering from oral cancer.

4. Innovations Preventing Oral Diseases

Numerous dental innovations focus on prevention of dental problems. Several manufacturers are designing toothbrushes that are fitted with various technological attachments such as location tracking device and cameras that show you the areas of the mouth where you are not brushing properly, or a timer that indicates how long you brush, and pressure sensors that will warn you if you brush too hard. 

Other are going a step ahead and are creating sensors that will have the ability to detect various oral diseases from your mouth tissue or saliva. These sensors could even monitor your heart rate, detect bad breath and blood alcohol levels. A pH sensor could detect acidic saliva which causes tooth decay. All these innovations will detect diseases before they become serious. 

5. Easy Access to Excellent Care

Some technological developments now allow you to do the initial scanning at home or community health clinic with your smartphone. Technologies like these help in democratizing dental care and allow everyone, even those staying in remote places, to get a quick diagnosis of basic dental problems. You can easily upload your information and scans online, and get an analysis from a highly qualified doctor from any corner of the world.

When digital dentistry is implemented properly and doctors are fully educated about the same, you can expect excellent returns on investment. With the help of these technological developments, you can deliver exceptional dental care to your patients, regardless of their location.

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Shen Chao is part of Dr. Joshua Hong’s Smile Clinic. While working at the Smile Clinic, he has witnessed how dental implants can improve people’s smile and boost their self confidence. If you are interested in improving your smile or need a dental procedure, contact Shen Chao to learn more by emailing him at [email protected] or get more information at www.joshuahongdds.com

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