Dentistry is often looked at as one of the slower-moving medical care professions. To put it simply, there just haven’t been very many advances in dentistry over the past 100 years or so.
But, that being said, there have been quite a few advances in the last 10 years. At Wayzata Dental, we take advantage of one of those technological advances in our use of laser dentistry throughout our practice.
The items below are some of our favorite technological advances that dentistry has been using to make visiting the dentist a more enjoyable experience.
Traditional dentures created an extremely time-consuming set of procedures. Often, patients had to visit the dentist for weeks or months before they can have their dentures finished. But, there’s a new way to go through creating dentures for dental patients that need them.
Using computer-aided 3D design tools, dentists can create a digital model of the dentures before using a 3D printer to create them. These digital dentures work better than most other dentures because the computer that helps design them ensures that the dentures fit perfectly.
Social media apps such as Snapchat and Instagram have made augmented reality very popular for funny videos, but it’s also a huge aid for medical procedures. While adding an animal to space or creating a funny face for your video is cool, augmented reality can help train dental professionals and other health care professionals.
When AR is partnered with a mannequin, students can perform procedures while receiving immediate feedback from their instructors. With instant feedback, students are able to more quickly develop their skills. Over 9,000 students are already using this type of training.
Dental practices are less common, but the technology is often used to help patients know what they would look like after a reconstructive or aesthetic procedure. For example, prior to a procedure, AR apps and technology can use a phone or tablet camera to see a virtual depiction of an improved set of teeth prior to a procedure.
Another great technological convenience is the intra-oral camera. While it’s not always used, it can be a great way for dental and orthodontic professionals to see inside their patient’s mouths with ease. The traditional practice for seeing the inside of mouths has been to use small mirrors and other reflective devices.
Today, small cameras can be used for the less invasive and more precise imaging of patients’ mouths. It’s a great way to ensure that everything is easily seen without needing to invade someone’s mouth or try to use mirrors.
Other medical professions have used small cameras for quite a while, but intra-oral cameras have been more of a recent trend in the dental industry. Some situations that use mirrors can be very uncomfortable both for patients and doctors; the camera easily fixes that.
3D printers have come a long way from printing the right kind of square or triangle. Today, 3D printers can create prosthetics and other medical devices for surgeons and doctors. Through the use of a 3D printer, dental experts can also produce different types of teeth or dentures for their patients.
Because of 3D printing, you don’t have to worry about whether your implants will fit correctly. Dental professionals can create implants, dentures, and more that will fit precisely and can be used almost immediately.
COVID-19 has taught us many things. One of the biggest things that it’s taught us is that we don’t always have to go to the dentist or the doctor to be diagnosed. Previous to COVID-19, most types of telemedicine were almost always looked down upon. But, we’ve learned that there’s a lot that can be gained by visiting your dentist via telecommunication instead of in-person. This is especially true when in-person visits are unavailable.
Here are the benefits of teledentistry:
- Lower costs for your visits.
- Improved access to dental care.
- Improved quality of care.
- Offers modern communication for users.
- Reduces the length of time needed for a visit.
Cloud Storage and Cloud Backup
It might not seem new in any way, but many dental offices haven’t taken advantage of cloud storage and cloud backup. By using tools like the cloud, dental offices can ensure that their files are stored for years and years to come. Additionally, cloud storage is much more cost-effective than other types of storage. File systems are especially cumbersome and take up way too much space, and on-site digital records can get lost. Using a cloud storage system for dental files brings your dental office into the 21st century.
Have you heard of smart toothbrushes? A smart toothbrush is a great way to ensure that you’re brushing your teeth to the fullest and best way possible. Many of these toothbrushes offer timers to ensure that you’re brushing your teeth for the optimal amount of time.
Smart toothbrushes for kids sometimes have the ability to play games with the kids so that they know how to brush their teeth and which part of their mouth to brush. Using a smart toothbrush might not be for everyone, but it can help those who struggle to clean their teeth.
Artificial intelligence has done a lot for many different communities and medical groups. But now, dentists can use A.I. technology to diagnose patients and ensure that all of the clinical decisions are made in the right way and in an effective way.
With A.I., dental professionals can input data into algorithms that analyze health data, research findings, and treatment techniques to offer the best recommendations as to what might help an individual patient best acclimate to their treatment.
With these systems, the more data input into them, the better that tool can perform and be more of a resource for those who are using it. Implementing more A.I. technology throughout all health practices will help medical professionals provide better care for their patients.
Virtual Reality (VR) is commonly confused with AR, but it is definitely not the same. AR changes or adds to what’s already there through the use of imaging technology. VR completely closes off the physical world and creates an immersive “video game” like experience. Users are able to experience this by slipping on a dedicated headset.
The realities that can be created virtually are almost endless. An aspiring surgeon can put the headset on and practice surgery or observe a virtual surgery. It’s a great way to learn and an even better way to get experience with procedures and coursework that would have otherwise been difficult to learn.
Without the use of virtual reality in training, students would have to peak over a surgeon or sit in a viewing room to see a procedure taking place. VR has allowed the medical industry to learn new skills faster, provide better training, and ensure that patients are better taken care of. In the dental industry, where surgeries and intense procedures are less common, it’s a great way for students and less experienced professionals to learn about new procedures and keep their skills fresh.
At Wayzata Dental, we love the use of technology in dentistry. It offers a new approach to old practices for a better dental experience.
If you’re looking for a dental office that uses technology to offer a better dental experience for you and your family, then choose Wayzata Dental. Because we use new technologies, your experience at Wayzata Dental will be unlike any other dental visit you’ve had before. Schedule your appointment today to visit us and receive the best dental treatment of your life!