05 Jul 2018
When people imagine going to the dentist’s office, some continue to imagine outdated images evoking technology that is decades old — and that hasn’t been used for decades, either. In reality, dental technology is constantly advancing, with digital radiography and other tools making it easier than ever for dentists to treat their patients. These tools don’t just help dentists become more efficient in their work — they also ensure a painless, low-stress experience each time you visit a dental office. There are few areas where these tech advances have a more immediately obvious impact than in dental implants.
Here’s a closer look at some of the new technologies improving dental implants and other forms of oral health care.
At first glance, you might think that digital radiography is nothing more than a fancy-looking X-ray. However, instead of using photographic film, today’s dental X-ray sensors rely entirely on digital image capture. This allows dentists to immediately assess the condition of your teeth, while also making it easier to ensure that the proper exposure is achieved.
This has several direct benefits for the patient. For one thing, the use of digital radiography requires less time spent in the dental chair. You don’t have to worry about photo development issues, either, limiting the need for retakes. Immediate imaging also means your dentist can begin treatment quickly, before a problem gets even worse. Digital radiography also produces less radiation than a traditional X-ray.
With digital radiography, your dentist can easily identify cavities and other oral health issues that might be missed during a normal exam. This can be especially helpful when planning for implants to ensure comfortable and proper placement.
3D printing has continued to make headlines throughout the world, and dentistry serves as yet another example of how this exciting tech development is making a difference. 3D printing allows for precise, accurate models to be created according to custom specifications.
In dentistry, 3D printing has already been used to form castable crowns and bridges, as well as manufacture indirect bonding trays and night guards. 3D printing has even been used to create surgical drill guides and denture bases! The possibilities with 3D printing are seemingly limitless, and with this tech, dentists are able to produce perfectly fitted implants faster than ever.
A wide variety of 3D printer models ensures that many dental offices can choose a printer that best meets their needs. From small desktop models to larger machinery that can even produce long-term temporaries, 3D printing is sure to be a game-changer in the years ahead.
While it is extremely unlikely that your dentist will be replaced by a robot anytime soon, there is no denying that robotics is already making an impact in dentistry. In the United States, a robotic guidance system for dental implants was officially approved by the FDA in 2017. As currently designed, these systems are meant to help dentists achieve more precise results when performing implant surgery.
By taking advantage of robotics, dentists are able to provide less invasive surgery while also improving healing time and surgery speed. The net result is better overall outcomes for patients who need implants, helping reduce many of the obstacles associated with these surgeries. Some believe that robots could be used to eventually automate simple crown procedures, but for the time being, robotics will at the very least improve the overall efficiency of this work.
A Better Visit
With the use of these new technologies, there’s no reason why you should be worried about your next trip to the dentist. Dentists around the world are taking advantage of the previously mentioned technologies and other tools to improve implants and achieve better outcomes for their patients. As dental tech continues to advance, your visits will become faster and easier than ever — helping you maintain a white, healthy smile throughout your life.