In the past 10 years, technology has advanced tremendously. Artificial intelligence is entering different markets, 3D printing is opening possibilities and apps have been created to enhance user-experience, to name just a few.
Though these innovations have made their way to many industries, you might not expect to see them the next time you’re in the chair for a dental appointment.
Even so, the dental industry has made notable use of new technologies to create more efficient and accurate diagnoses and treatment plans for patients. Here are some of the technologies you may see in the dental field or office and how they’re improving the industry:
As technology advances, dental offices are moving away from traditional lab-created dental restorations and using 3D printers instead. According to Med City News, CAD-CAM technology creates a more accurate, stronger and more aesthetically pleasing restoration than the traditional method. We might even see dentists printing teeth in the future!
As the age of our population increases, the rate at which dentists are diagnosing tooth decay is also increasing. Throughout the years, invasive treatments for tooth decay have proven inefficient, so dentists are shifting to a remineralization approach. Med City News explains that silver diamine fluoride and electrically accelerated and enhanced remineralization are gaining traction, and they expect more dentists will adopt these methods for restorative treatments.
Other industries have begun seeing what AI can do, but expect that dental facilities will adopt artificial intelligence technologies to improve diagnosis and perform administrative tasks soon, too. Conditions like oral cancer, tooth decay and periodontal disease can be detected by artificial intelligence technologies. In the dentistry field, AI can help distinguish patterns in data, analyze images and even streamline admin tasks—all helping best serve, diagnose and treat patients.
Soon, physical dental impressions might be a thing of the past. With new digital impression technology, dentists can make impressions through either laser or digital image capturing. The new technology means there’s no need for uncomfortable materials and creates a less invasive process for patients.
As procedures like impressions go digital, many things will follow. Expect to see digital recordkeeping and digital x-rays in the dentist’s office…if you even need to go to the office at all. As the pandemic showed us, teledentistry is possible, and it’s likely to remain as it adds convenience for many people when physical treatment is not needed.
New dental technology is creating more accurate, efficient and comfortable procedures for both patients and staff. But as newer technology enters the office, dental assistants and other staff members will need to become familiar with working with or around these new technologies, both operationally and procedurally. Although the change of technology can be overwhelming, the goal is to create a more efficient and accurate process in the long run.