Technological Advancements in Dentistry

Digital Dentistry and 3D Printing

With 3D printers becoming smaller and more sophisticated, they are increasingly becoming a part of every dental office. Current 3D printers can produce custom, same-day crowns and implant abutments. New 3D printers will be capable of yielding night guards, bridge models, surgical guides and stone models.

Enhanced Visualization Tools

Issues of the mouth are often hard to see, even by a dentist. Magnification tools are important to any dentist. However, there isn’t a single tool that features multiple magnifications, until now. There is now a visualization tool called OmniOptic by Orascoptic, which gives dentists the ability to change between 2.5 and 5.5 times magnification.

The same company has also come out with Spark, a cordless headlight that can be worn with eyewear or loupes.

Failed Implant and Prosthesis Repair

Dental implants, crowns and dentures can break and fail over time. Usually, these require that the appliance be replaced. With the Locator F-Tx Fixed Attachment System by Zest Dental Solutions can fix failing dental prosthesis saving the patient money and time.

Improved Digital Impressions

Good impressions come from good models and scans which come from great, accurate scans. With the RIO 3 intraoral scanner, dentists can get color or black and white images all with being wireless and cart of pod set up. This scanner not only provides detailed photos with precise coloring and shade measurements but is also enhances the patients’ dental office experience.

Digital cameras also have undergone improvements and now feature preset modes, take vibrant, clear, detailed photos, are user-friendly and are resistant to water and chemicals.

Advanced Lasers

Lasers have become an accurate and safe way to conduct tight dental procedures in the mouth. Lasers have been used to eliminate oral cancer cells to performing precise incisions. With the first dual-wavelength soft tissue diode laser in production, it will be a matter of time before lasers will be able to perform more dental procedures including crown lengthening, exposing unerupted teeth, recover implants and cut out and drain teeth abscesses.

Bluetooth Toothbrushes

As if electronic toothbrushes weren’t enough, “smart” electronic toothbrushes that run on Bluetooth. These toothbrushes include a location sensor, scrubbing sensor, pressure sensor, a mouth map and customized coaching for better dental health care.

Mobile Dental Photography

Everyone knows that Smartphones are more than a phone. The advancements of Smartphones have yielded phones with high-quality cameras. Dentists can use their Smartphones to take photos and upload the photos to a computer or even look at and analyze the image while away from the office.

Improved Cavity Detection

Dental x-rays are a common way to catch cavities early. Some patients don’t like x-ray because of the possible radiation. New cavity detection technology bypasses the radiation of x-ray while providing the same quality and accurate diagnosis. Portable equipment and cameras that utilize infrared light to help dentists to more easily observe and diagnosis dental issues.

Increased Use of Cloud-based Software

Saving important files and valuable, confidential patient information on a computer hard drive is not only outdated, but is less secure. Should something happen to those back-ups, the data is lost forever. Saving this type of information to the cloud grants the dentist easy access to records and file anywhere and at any time. Saving information over the Internet spares the dentist frustration and time looking for information.

Machine Learning Automated Software

It used to be a balancing act in trying to book enough appointments in a day while not getting yourself double-booked. When a patient cancelled, you have to quickly inform another patient about the slot availability. This can be stressful and it can keep you from doing your job. New machine learning, however, can now schedule appointments, detect and quickly fill cancellations in addition to keep schedules full by monitoring the available chair time and scheduling pre-selected patients.

Great Aligner Selection

Who needs metal braces when clear, plastic invisible aligners can do the same thing, only without the embarrassing look or scratched up mouth? More competition in the aligner market will only lead to lower-cost and more effective invisible aligners.

Sleep Issue Diagnoses

With more Americans experiencing sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and Bruxism, it will be more and more common for dentists to provide sleep issue treatment in their offices.

Better Quality Materials for Restorations

The future of restoration materials will likely include some sort of bioactive materials. Right now, some possible, future restoration materials have been found to convert into a chemical called hydroxyapatite which not only binds to the tooth, but it also strengthens the too.

Digital Scanning Devices

A few years ago, the CEREC and E4D digital scanners were all the rage. With the success of digital scanners, more companies are getting into the dental scanning game, including many from Europe. Competition will get fiercer so expect to see digital scanners with more capabilities coming out soon.