In the old days, the latest dental technologies might have included specialized hand drills and pliers—if patients were lucky!
Fortunately, we’ve come a long way since the days when pulling teeth was the answer to every dental problem. From laser technology to dental sedation, dental technology is constantly advancing, and dentists are always seeking new and innovative ways to improve the patient experience. That’s why in today’s blog post, we want to highlight the latest dental technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of dentistry. From diagnostic tools to treatment techniques and more!
Importance of Dental Technology
It’s not too much of a stretch to say that technological advancements are one of the pillars of the dental field, making it easier for dentists to diagnose, treat and manage increasingly complex dental afflictions. Aside from the critical biological and physiological knowledge necessary to perform the job, dentists also train with new dental equipment they’ll use in the field, making it a crucial part of both their certification and eventual practice.
With the latest dental technologies, procedures such as root canals, tooth extractions, and dental implants can be done in a faster, more efficient, and painless way. Dental technology has also significantly improved patient comfort and satisfaction, making dentistry a more pleasant experience overall.
Evolution of Diagnostic Technology
One of the most significant advancements in dentistry has been in diagnostic tools. With digital radiography, dentists can obtain a more accurate and detailed image of teeth and the surrounding soft tissues. This allows them to detect problems early on before they require more advanced treatment. Compared to traditional X-ray technology (which has existed in one form or another for over 100 years) cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is another diagnostic tool that provides a 3D view of the teeth, jaws, and facial structures. Both approaches allow dentists to plan and execute procedures with greater precision.
Digital Radiography and its Benefits
Digital radiography is a non-invasive technology that provides images of teeth and oral structures without the use of traditional film. Digital X-rays provide high-resolution images that are instantly available for review while being more accurate and faster than traditional X-rays. Digital radiography also reduces radiation exposure by up to 90%, making it a safer option for patients.
Cone Beam Computed Tomography
Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a specialized type of X-ray that creates a 3D image of the teeth, jaws, and facial structures. CBCT allows dentists to visualize the structure of the jawbone, assess the condition of the roots of teeth, and plan for implant placement. The images from CBCT scans are highly detailed and can help dentists identify potential problems not as easily seen in conventional X-rays or 2D imaging technology.
Dentists use intraoral cameras to capture images of the mouth. Intraoral cameras allow dentists to show the patient what exactly is going on inside their mouth by displaying the images or video feed on a monitor, allowing the patient and dentist to view them together. This technology is often used to help patients better understand their treatment options and to explain procedures in detail.
Innovative Treatment Techniques
Among the latest dental technologies are medical-grade lasers that perform a range of procedures. Lasers used in dental treatment can be used for teeth whitening, gum reshaping, and even the removal of gum tissue around dental implant sites. Using lasers is more precise than manual tissue removal, minimizing discomfort and bleeding and promoting faster healing time. Laser treatments are minimally invasive and provide a more comfortable experience.
See related: Teeth bleaching dentistry
3D Printing in Dentistry
3D printing is used for the creation of customized dental prosthetics like implants (including all-on-4 dental implants), orthodontic aligners, dentures, and crowns. With 3D printing, customized dental prosthetics can be created faster and with greater accuracy when compared to traditional methods, and this is a potential cost-saving measure in certain cases. 3D printing allows for improved patient experience as their prosthetics will fit perfectly and require fewer adjustments.
Minimally Invasive Procedures
Innovations in dentistry have shifted the best practice of the field increasingly towards minimally invasive procedures. Rather than removing tooth material to correct a problem, more and more dentists are using minimally invasive approaches. Targeting the specific problem area alone, saves time, money, and discomfort for patients. This trend is only set to continue, and researchers are constantly working on new and better minimally invasive treatments.
One of the most important, yet overlooked, services that dentists provide is oral cancer screening to detect early signs of cancer for better treatment. Dentists traditionally do this with careful visual inspection of the tissues inside the mouth, but advancements in dental technology can improve the odds of detecting cancerous tissue. Windham Family Dentistry uses the Visilite PRO system, which uses LEDs that emit biofluorescent light to enhance visual identification as well as an optical viewing filter that enhances visualization and improves contrast between healthy and abnormal tissues.
Dental Implants and Prosthetics
Evolution of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a popular treatment alternative to replace missing teeth. Over the years, dental implants have seen significant technological advancements. From the materials used to the designing of the implants, various innovations have contributed to better performance and greater patient satisfaction. The dental implant success rates have dramatically increased with the latest dental implant technology, leaving patients with functional and natural-looking teeth.
Advancements in Implant Materials and Designs
Implants can now be designed with various materials like titanium, zirconia, and composites. Some materials like zirconia are biocompatible and have the added advantage of tooth color choices. Similarly, dental implant designs have evolved to be flatter and smoother, which will help the gums heal faster and a greater acceptance as compared to the conventional implant design.
The dental field has seen exponential improvements in the latest dental technologies used to provide fast, efficient, comfortable, and more accurate treatments and services. New dental technology and innovation have made dental procedures safer, and more comfortable, and have enhanced the overall patient experience.
Windham Family Dentistry is proud to keep our clinic up to date on the latest equipment for these exact reasons, and our patients can rest assured they’re receiving the very best care possible. Windham Family Dentistry is one of the select dentists in New Hampshire investing in the future of the field—and what’s best for our patients. Call to learn more about the equipment and services we offer and make your first appointment today!