Modern dentistry is constantly evolving; improving to meet the rising demands of the patients who rightly want a comfortable, convenient and pain-free experience in the dentist’s chair. Thanks to modern technology, even the most nervous patients can relax at the dentist’s office. These five technologies are changing dentistry by improving safety, convenience, and patient health.
Computer-Assisted Design or Computer-Assisted manufacturing technology plays a huge role in the evolution of modern dentistry. Using computerized technology such as 3D printing, dentists and orthodontists can fabricate dental restorations in a shorter timeframe. CAD/CAM technology is used to assist with a range of procedures, including inlays and onlays, dental crowns, dental bridges, and porcelain veneers. Researchers at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands have even began working on 3D-printed false teeth designed to kill bacteria in the mouth.
2. Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation:
At King’s College London, scientists have been working on EAER, a new dental technology that aims to take drilling off the menu when your dentist finds a cavity. The new tooth-building technique, which works by accelerating the natural flow of calcium and phosphate minerals into the affected tooth, is expected to be gentler and more comfortable for the patient. And, it doesn’t just get rid of tooth decay; the device will whiten your teeth!
3. Innovative Prevention:
Many new and innovative technologies in dental care are focussed on prevention. For example, some manufacturers are now designing ‘smart’ toothbrushes that come complete with brushing timers and pressure sensors. Some even have tracking technology and a camera to show you the parts of your mouth you are missing or not brushing enough. Future devices for dental care currently in the planning stages include sensors to detect oral diseases from saliva, mouthpieces to detect acidic saliva, and devices to detect and deal with bad breath.
One of the latest exciting advancements in dental technology, DIAGNOdent is a desktop device that allows dentists to catch cavities as early as possible; whilst they are still small enough to easily repair with minimal discomfort and less risk of future damage to the tooth. First off, the machine must be calibrated to the patient’s tooth structure. This is done by a laser beam, using a newly cleaned tooth. Then, the patient’s teeth are scanned again with the specialized laser. The machine measures the fluorescence level of any decayed teeth, enabling the dentist to easily identify the extent of the damage.
Dental check-ups aren’t just important for avoiding cavities; your dentist also looks for tell-tale signs and symptoms of oral diseases. VELscope is a relatively new FDA-approved form of dental technology designed to enable dentists to more effectively detect early signs of oral cancer. This is achieved by shining an incandescent light into the mouth, revealing any abnormalities.
Have you had a dental procedure using one of these new technologies? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.