We live in an amazing time and fascinating world – one industry after another advance rapidly and embrace innovations which make our lives much easier. The dental industry is no different, and if people of the past could see the technology we have today, they wouldn’t be able to believe. Similarly, the things we only speculate about today will probably be a reality soon enough, but until that happens, we give you a list of the most innovative dental procedures in the world today.
Just as old capture boxes have been replaced by USB connections which are both simple and effective, today we’re looking at the benefits of using intraoral cameras over mirrors. This is a great new way to show patients the inside of their mouth, but also to have a clear view and see their teeth from different angles. Even though these cameras have existed for a while, their price has been rather high. Luckily, in the past several years, there have been manufacturers who managed to offer some models at a lower price, making IOCs much more affordable and easier to find. IOCs have LED lighting, USB connections, as well as powerful magnifying capabilities.
Laser vs. cavity
Dentists have been finding cavities for a very long time using metal dental tools while exploring patient’s mouth. Fortunately, things change for the better as technology advances, and today dentists can use a diode laser instead. These lasers are effective in detecting cavities because they expose teeth to a wavelength that, once it encounters tooth decay, gives higher readings. This is how dentists are able to find cavities much faster, and with more accuracy. Still, the drawback is that these lasers work better on teeth that don’t have fillings. On the other hand, this allows dentists to detect cavities sooner and gives them a choice to either fill the decay or watch it for progress.
Dental implants are fairly new, but they are becoming better every year. The most innovative dental procedure recently has been All-On-4, a new and improved alternative to traditional dentures. The procedure allows you to have a complete arch of fully functioning and stable teeth in only a couple of days. People with failing teeth face challenges every day because they aren’t able to eat what they want and always feel insecure. All-On-4 is a procedure that will allow people to have a new set of teeth in just a few days without any bone grafting, even if they weren’t suitable candidates for dental implants before. This is because a patient can get a full arch of teeth on four dental implants only, and the best thing is that they don’t have to be removed at all.
Gum disease reversal
Gum disease can make your life more difficult because the area around your teeth won’t fit as snuggly as before. This happens because bacteria builds up in form of plaque or tartar and simply ‘invades’ the supporting bone and tissue around your teeth. The symptoms include bleeding gums, inflammation, and swelling. There is, however, a way around it – it’s possible to reverse a gum disease in a much better and effective way than before. In the past, a person had to undergo gum surgery or get the root surfaces of tartar and plaque cleaned, but today dentists can offer regenerative treatments. These treatments include tissue growth simulating proteins as well as bone grafts.
No matter how hard we try to save them, teeth sometimes have to be replaced with a cap, bridge or a crown. There are indications that in the future we will be able to 3-D print a tooth from a 3-D scan, and a group of scientists is working on adding tooth decay-fighting chemicals to them as well. There are many forms of “bioprinting” slowly emerging, but even though the use in patients is still years away, it’s great to know that one day you could get a perfect set of teeth that were 3-D printed just for you.
When you look at a dentist’s practice and a lab, you notice that it’s cluttered with case pans and cold stone models. Luckily, things change for the better, and as technology is improving, the clutter will disappear and be replaced by computer screens. Not only will these innovations make our lives easier, but they will also make dentists’ job easier and safer, too. The latest discoveries and digital tools will be a great thing for both professionals and patients, and we’re all looking forward to trying some of them out.