Through the years, dentistry has been one of the most important fields of healthcare and medicine that has helped people achieve good overall health and wellness. Generally, dental medicine helps people quickly identify various health complications that emerge from the teeth and gums. As one’s oral and dental health mirrors their overall health, dentists and dental practitioners show their expertise beyond the dental chair by educating the public about the different ways people can take care of their dental health.
Thanks to today’s technology, medical practices and procedures are rapidly evolving in a more significant way, and dentistry is no stranger to this. These technologies are becoming more and more accessible to dental clinics around the globe, such as Desert Creek Dental, thereby providing people with the best and latest dental services. But what are these technologies? How do they help people? Here are the different ways technology is helping the dentist industry:
To identify dental issues more accurately and conveniently, dental X-rays and scanning have been improved in the past few years. Dental X-rays are significant instruments in determining underlying conditions that can further result to detrimental diseases. Traditionally, dental X-rays are done using a radiogram, which is more dangerous than the X-ray methods performed today. As the teeth and gums are exposed to X-rays, teeth and bones absorb more light than soft gum tissues, making them appear lighter on the radiograph. When dark spots appear around the teeth and bones, it indicates tooth decay that doesn’t absorb much light.
Today, traditional dental X-rays are revolutionized into 3D digital imaging and scanning, which is also utilized in other fields of technology. Aside from its advantage of being safer, the results can be viewed immediately after the procedure. If radiograms can only identify tooth decay and cavities in teeth, digital imaging offers a wider and more versatile way of identifying other dental issues connected to the teeth and gums. It can also be associated with panoramic images, which saves more time in examining one’s mouth.
Aside from providing the best results for patients suffering dental problems, treating them with minimal pain and discomfort has been valued by dentists. For some patients, especially children, administering anesthesia through injections with huge needles causes extreme pain, affecting the quality and procedure of the dental service. Researchers are continuously investigating other methods of administering anesthesia to dental patients without the use of needles, and these are what they have gathered:
- Topical Anesthesia: Without having to reach under the skin’s surface through puncturing, topical anesthetics were developed to be directly applied on the skin, specifically near the area where dental services will be performed. However, topical anesthetics can’t completely fulfill its purpose in soft tissue and allow restorative treatments without secondary anesthetic supplements.
- Iontophoresis: In order to make use of topical anesthetics completely, the process of iontophoresis can be used for deeper tissues after the topical application. Iontophoresis is performed through electric induction, producing positively charged agents such as lignocaine for numbness and adrenaline for potential allergic treatments. Without utilizing the needle, the patient-dentist relationship could be improved and proper dental services can be done without the patient suffering any discomfort.
- Jet Injectors: Provided with convenience, less pain, less tissue damage, and deeper drug absorption, jet injectors for anesthetic delivery were created. It is characterized by releasing pressure from mechanical energy, pushing liquid anesthesia into a small opening in the gums, which can penetrate into the tissues without pain.
Even though dental fillings are highly advantageous for preventive dentistry, it insignificantly undergoes wear and tear and has to be replaced after enough time. Thus, researchers from the University of Nottingham and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University are looking into a new way to restore teeth through stem cell regeneration.
In this study, they have developed synthetic biomaterials that induce the stimulation of stem cells found in the dental pulp, causing repair and restoration of pulp tissues and surrounding dentin. Through this method, inorganic and authentic restorative material used in dental fillings will be replaced by new, natural bony tissues. The Wnt signaling pathway—composed of biomolecules that form channels in regulating cellular activities—could also help significantly in repairing and regenerating dentin tissues.
Multiple applications that are not only concentrated on the medical field have gained access to the cloud, and it’s a no-brainer that the dental industry is also a part of it. Instead of storing document piles into the dentist’s office, various cloud-based software for medicine, especially dentistry, have been created since it was introduced in the 1980s. Integrated personal systems have allowed both practitioners and patients access to their information at any given time in any place. Knowledge and information are already at their fingertips. Moreover, it is not limited to plain patient history and information, but it also incorporated the use of analytics and business intelligence.
If cloud-based software for the field of medicine continues to progress, medical practice management software will also improve relatively, thus enabling practitioners to access more information and unlock new features at any given situation.
After years of research and development, the technologies discovered today have barely scratched the surface of the potential of scientific advancements. Hopefully, in the future, researchers will discover improved ways of making all medical procedures a hundred percent successful, and with little to no flaws at all.