Did you know that dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions? It actually dates back to ancient Egypt, 7500 BC. The ancient Egyptians were actually the first to have their teeth treated and replaced. Since then, dentistry has evolved considerably and its techniques and treatments have gone from primitive and rudimentary to very advanced, encompassing preventive oral healthcare, advanced diagnostic techniques, and modern painless administration of treatment. Moreover, technology has immensely impacted dental treatments, allowing smoother and more enjoyable dental visits whether it’s for emergency treatments to comfort patients in pain, or the most transformative aesthetic treatments.
Continue as this weeks guest author will detail some of the newest dental technologies that can help in transforming smiles.
1. Robotic Dental Technologies – Robo-dentistry
Artificial intelligence has succeeded in asserting itself not only in the field of research and in general medicine in the last few years but also in the practice of dental medicine. For example, artificial intelligence can allow more accurate detection of dental decay and periodontal disease on radiographs. Also, the very first robot for dental surgeries has been approved earlier this year by the FDA, and this is nothing but a glimpse of what robotics could bring to the dental field. It is in fact a possibility that minimally invasive or routine procedures such as cleaning and basic fillings could be performed one day by a robot-dentist!
2. Laser dentistry
Laser in dentistry has so many different uses that it feels almost a necessity to incorporate it into all future dental practices and treatments. In fact, the dental laser improves efficiency and eliminates discomfort in a number of dental procedures, allowing to perform many interventions whether it is teeth whitening, excision of caries, reshaping gums, and removal of bacteria during root canal treatments. With this wide spectrum of applications, dental lasers not only make the task easier for dentists but also provide patients with a smoother experience and shorter healing periods. That being said, laser technology is also an indispensable tool in emergency tooth extractions, allowing to avoid bloody, painful, and swelling recoveries.
3. Computer-aided imaging, design, and manufacturing
Computed aided imaging, design, and manufacturing have revolutionized dental treatment in so many ways. Whether it is through intra-oral scanners which make it possible to bypass conventional impressions that can be unpleasant for the patient, the computer-aided design of dental restorations, surgical guides and others, or the milling of the latter mechanically by milling machines, this technology only makes things easier for dentists and dental labs, while keeping patients satisfied.
4. Single-visit crowns
Let’s admit it. Dentist visits are not on your favorite-things-to-do list. This suggests that having to go there several times for a single treatment, getting a crown done for example, definitely does not make please you. Well, advancements in dental technology have taken care of this: today, with the necessary equipment, it is possible to have a crown fabricated and cemented in one sitting! Computer-assisted scanning, design, fabrication, and voila!
5. 3D printing
We hardly need to introduce 3D printing considering all the buzz its generating worldwide and in all fields. In dentistry in particular, this technology now allows rapid, simple, controlled, and reliable production of multiple dental restorations, the whole procedure being able to be hosted in a facility located directly in the dental office. No more tedious comings and goings with the dental lab, and happier dentists and patients of course.
6. Invisible aligners
Despite the fact that invisible aligners are not that new, they have gained popularity in the last few years, especially with the surge of 3D printing. This technology has made it possible to thwart the most dreaded aspect of simple dental alignment and repositioning treatments: the unsightliness of metal brackets. These clear, practically invisible braces combine discretion and the effectiveness of orthodontic treatment, allowing you to get the smile you are looking for in the most subtle and discreet way possible.
7. Smart toothbrushes
We are all addicted to smartphones, why not to smart toothbrushes too! These innovative devices will allow you to preserve your beautiful smile for a long time, ensuring that you brush your teeth as you should, keeping them healthy and your smile radiant for as long as possible. The smart toothbrushes come with a companion app that warns you while you’re brushing if you are applying too much pressure and coaches you as to how to brush properly. It’s literally like having a personal brushing coach!
8. Regenerative dentistry
Regenerative dentistry is said to be one of the most revolutionary and promising advancements in dentistry today. It takes minimally invasive dentistry that has been endorsed by the general public and dental health professionals for a long time now even further. The concept of regenerative dentistry consists in the development of materials allowing to stimulate stem cells to promote the growth of dentin, the main constituent of our teeth. Thus, the loss of dental substance due to the installation of caries, for example, could be counteracted and this would then eliminate the need for root canal treatments and for relatively invasive restorations. Isn’t it amazing to think that you might not need to replace your teeth as you get older but might grow new ones?
To sum up, there is clear evidence that the technological advancements of our era have affected the field of dentistry on many levels, enabling dentists to provide you with or help you maintain the smile of your dreams while avoiding unpleasant sensations and numerous visits. Considering the speed with which everything is changing these days, we can expect even more revolutionary improvements in the upcoming years.
About our Guest Author
Suzanna Maria Sayegh graduated from the Saint-Joseph University of Beirut, majoring in Oral Pathology. She also holds a Master’s in Research and a Doctorate in Dental Surgery. She is currently pursuing another Master’s degree, in Aesthetic and Prosthetic Dentistry. Her top priority is to provide minimally invasive, high-quality dental care to each of her patients, respecting their individual goals and needs.