Many used to find visits to the dentist uncomfortable. One of the reasons for this is the fact that dentists poke around their patients’ mouths using different tools. Most patients feel nervous and apprehensive as they sit on the dentist’s chair with their mouths open. The discomfort comes from the fear and anticipation of pain.
Yet, prioritizing one’s dental health is a must. After all, it’s part of your overall health.
Innovations in dentistry have made people more comfortable with dental visits. People had to endure uncomfortable and painful procedures prior to these innovations. But people soon discovered that there are now better, faster, more reliable, and less painful ways of performing dental procedures.
On the other hand, these dental innovations also benefited dentists and clinicians in terms of improving their techniques and treatments.
Below are some important innovations in dental technology in recent years.
The Smart Toothbrush
By now, you might be used to the fact that many items in your home are smart devices. These devices can be found in the kitchen, living room, and bedroom. In the bathroom, a smart electric toothbrush is a useful advancement in the field of dentistry.
A smart toothbrush has a sensor that enables you to track your brushing habits. This electric device also allows you to brush your teeth thoroughly as it can reach the farthest nook inside your mouth. It’s also ergonomic, meaning you don’t need to strain your wrist while brushing.
Digital Dentures and 3D Printing
In the past, getting dentures was a time-consuming process. People had to wait days or weeks to receive their new dentures. But technology now makes it faster to create dentures and other dental appliances: with digital dentures and 3D printing in dentistry.
Digital denture is a proven and scientific way of recording how your teeth should align properly, therefore avoiding wrong fit that may cause pain and sores.
On the other hand, 3D printing provides the computer-guided precision required to produce small objects with intricate details, including dental implants, dentures and other orthodontic appliances. More importantly, 3D printing paved the way for low-cost mass customization of dental appliances. The accuracy by which provided by the digital process now requires less work and, therefore, lower labor cost. That’s a shared benefit between the patient and the dentist or clinician.
These new technologies allow dentists to provide better service and faster (but safe) service to their patients
Augmented Reality and Teledentistry
Augmented reality first became famous in gaming applications. Augmented reality will enable dentists to conduct demonstrations and further studies efficiently. They can also use augmented reality to explain different dental scenarios and procedures to patients. Dental students, on the other hand, can also maximize augmented reality because it will help enhance their practice and experience.
Teledentistry is also a big step in the dental industry because not all people are capable of physically visiting their dentists whenever it is necessary, especially in this time of the pandemic. Therefore, teledentistry paved the way to provide access to dental services.
Dentists can offer online appointments to meet their patients. Teledentistry allows dentists to take clinical notes, capture images, and send information to their patients.
The intra-oral camera eliminates the discomfort that patients feel during dental visits. Instead of opening their mouths uncomfortably wide during a routine checkup, patients can now simply sit back and relax, and the dentist will look inside a patient’s mouth using a camera that is attached to a dental mirror.
The dentist will view the images taken by the camera on a computer screen. This innovative invention removes the discomfort for patients and adds convenience and clarity for dentists, as they can more accurately diagnose the patient’s oral health.
The intra-oral camera can easily identify issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, and chipped or cracked teeth.
More Innovations to Come
More innovations in dentistry are still expected, especially since technology is constantly evolving. Patients can expect faster and more convenient procedures, and the dentists will welcome better ways of providing their services.
One already in development is incorporating A.I. (artificial intelligence) algorithms to enable clinicians to find the best modalities for their patients. A.I. dental medicine is entering a more mature phase and we can expect it to benefit dental healthcare in the near future, in terms of techniques, diagnostic, and treatments.