Technology in dentistry
New Technologies In Dentistry
We live in a time when technology is advancing faster than most of us can keep up. Take our iPhones for instance. They have only been on the market for ten and a half years, and even then…the early models look like bricks compared to the highly sophisticated devices we have in our pockets now.
And to think we sent the first spaceships into orbit with less technology than is in wrist watches today! In the medical setting we have also seen hug leaps in technology in the past few decades. From cancer treatments that use a patient’s own cells to fight tumors to lasers in dentistry that whiten teeth, we live in the best time for medical advancements.
Keep reading as we highlight some of the biggest innovations in dentistry over the past decades!
Highlighting cool technologies in dentistry
Throwing it way back, the discovery of fluoride and the invention of modern toothpaste in the last century revolutionized and changed the course of oral care. Our not-too-distant relatives commonly lost all their teeth in early adulthood and suffered greatly from oral health problems due to the lack of proper hygiene products. The combination of fluoride and modern toothpaste change the course of oral health.
While the idea of dental implants is not new (in fact they date back to 600 A.D.), innovation over the last several decades has brought this ancient idea into the future. Over the last 30 years, dentists and researchers have learned more about how implants can integrate with the jawbone. Today, many experts point to the discovery that titanium can physically bond with living bone tissue as the catalyst to the modernization of dental implants. Modern implants use titanium to form an artificial root of the tooth. Once surgically implanted into the jawbone, the titanium bonds with the jawbone and heals much quicker than previous iterations. This technology brings comfort, aid in eating and confidence to millions of Americans every year.
Another dental technology that has changed the landscape is teeth whitening. Once again, the idea has been around for decades; however, modern technology has allowed patients to have office-quality whitening service at home. Tray whitening has allowed people to complete the treatment at home and new laser-based technology has allowed for quick in-office procedures that give same-day results. In addition to these, over-the-counter products have also become more accessible to the masses.
Onto the future…
In addition to the technologies that are currently dominating the marketplace, there are always new things right around the corner. As dentists, we are always excited to discover new technologies that can make appointments easier for patients and keep their teeth healthy! Ultrasound technology is one budding innovation that allows dentists the option of radiation-free imaging and 3D images of the teeth. There is still work to be done here since the images are not always very crisp. However, there are always new breakthroughs in ultrasound technology and we hope it will eventually be a viable alternative.
3D printing has taken the world (and dentistry world) by storm. A new proprietary method opened by Carbon boasts printing speeds more than 100 times faster than your traditional 3D printer. This technology has already begun to be harnessed by using 3D printers to make dentures! This technology will allow dentists to do things more accurately, faster and cheaper than traditional methods. This all results in more benefits for the patient!
Finally, virtual reality is no longer just for video games. Thanks to its proliferation in the market, virtual reality training is beginning to change the way dentists are trained in dental school and continuing education classes. These systems allow dentists to hone their skills and experiment all without the presence of an actual patient. In addition to the dentists benefitting, some offices are allowing their most anxious patients to wear virtual reality headsets during exams to calm nerves and provide an escape.
Technology is every changing and here at Dr. Ku’s are always keeping our eyes out for new products that can make your trip to the dentist even better!