The year is 2094. Things are different. iPhones are vintage, Mars is habitable and cars can finally, finally fly.
Often when we think of the future, we instantly think of technological advancements. In some areas of the modern world, technology is thriving. One of those areas is dental technologies. New approaches are coming to the surface and beginning to be used in dental offices across the map. A disadvantage of moving forward is change. While it’s new and exciting, a lot of fears and questions accompany it. We hope to answer some of your questions here, with a list of emerging dental technologies and what they are.
Computer Assisted Design/Computer Assisted Manufacturer technologies are used to design and create items – via the computer – that will improve oral discomforts or problems. These techniques are known to help with dental restorations (such as fillings) and dental prostheses (such as crowns, veneers, bridges, dentures, etc.). Advantages of CAD/CAM are predictability, consistency, reduced cost, fast and easy use and better accuracy.
2. Laser Dentistry
While laser technology has been around for a couple of decades, the popularity of laser use in dentistry is rising. The use of light energy for dental treatments leaves patients with a nearly painless recovery. Lasers are used for almost every aspect of dental procedures – from teeth whitening to treating gum disease. Depending on the treatment, the laser’s function might change slightly.
3. Intraoral Cameras
Now being used by over 80,000 dental offices in North America, intraoral cameras are providing dentists with the capability of presenting patients with a visual diagnosis. The compact and intuitive camera is used inside the patient’s mouths, taking pictures of their teeth. It has become a more than helpful tool, leaving dentists and patients satisfied.
4. Air Abrasion
Air abrasion is a new and rising alternative to dental drilling. Through air abrasion, dentists can remove decay with blasts of small pellets consisting of air and aluminum oxide. This option is also good if you are avoiding any use of local anesthesia. Air abrasion is most commonly known to aid in cavity treatment.
5. Oral Sedation
A lot of people have common fears about sedation: needles, vital signs or just going under in general. That being said, oral sedation has been widely accepted in the United States and Canada. Without the use of needles and minimal unconsciousness, more dentists have converted to this method of sedation for their clients’ sake. It’s both safe and effective for dental procedures.
6. Mini Dental Implants
Dental implants are not a recent invention – they are common cosmetic surgeries to fill gaps where there is a missing tooth, with a fake (yet authentic looking) tooth. While dental implants are old news, mini dental implants have grown in popularity. They are made of the same titanium alloy as regular implants, but the similarity seems to stop there. Benefits of mini implants are: less cost, long-lasting solidity (even without a screw), less surgery and recovery time due to a simpler implant.
VELOscope is an oral cancer screening system that uses an incandescent light to help a dentist see abnormalities or questionable factors that aren’t normally seen with the naked eye. The device shines the light and projects the feedback onto a computer screen, where a dentist can make the final diagnosis.
While change is different, it can lead to truly beneficial things. If you encounter a dentist that uses one of the techniques or methods above – don’t fear!
What are some new dental technologies you have heard about?