The dental field continually evolves because of new dental technology. New or improved dental technologies allow dentists and orthodontists to provide precise care to each patient based on his or her needs. Your dental care can change rapidly, so when considering a dentist or orthodontist, it’s important that you find one who keeps up with and uses these technologies to ensure you receive the best care possible. Here’s a list of the top five cutting edge technologies in dental and orthodontic offices.
#1 – Digital X-Rays
Digital x-rays are faster and more precise than regular x-rays. When a dentist or orthodontist takes an image, it appears on the computer within seconds then allowing a doctor to zoom in and figure out what a patient needs. Regular x-rays require film, chemicals, and other material to make an image. Much like pictures, the film would need time to develop, and even then, the images were often grainy. This dental technology improved accuracy, and it is safer for patients. Digital x-rays use up to 90% less radiation, and they don’t use chemicals or metals toxic to the environment.
#2 – Laser Dentistry
Dentists and orthodontists use lasers in dental care for efficiency and to reduce discomfort in many procedures. Doctors use lasers to:
• fill cavities
• remove tumors
• minimize the pain of canker and cold sores
• expose partially erupted wisdom teeth
• remove inflamed gum tissue
• speed up tooth whitening
Lasers have been around since the 1990’s, but their effectiveness has improved over the years. Laser therapy has several benefits to patients which make it an attractive option. For one, doctors may not need to use a drill or give an anesthetic in certain procedures. Lasers also reduce symptoms and healing time. Most doctors choose laser dentistry because it is more comfortable for their patients. It improves their experience and makes them more likely to return for treatments.
#3 – VELscope
The VELscope is a specialized light that doctors use to detect problems in a patient’s mouth. It works by using fluorescent light to detect early forms of cancer or disease during an oral cancer screening. The World Health Organization recognizes the VELscope as the most widely used device for finding oral anomalies. It’s also backed by several clinical studies that prove its effectiveness. Doctors can improve the dental care of their patients by detecting oral cancer early, and VELscope is the best dental technology for the job.
#4 – Digital Intraoral Scanner
This tool is widely used throughout orthodontics, though dentists use them from time to time. The digital scanner eliminates the need for doctors to use putty to make impressions. It creates a full, 3-D digital scan of the patient’s teeth, allowing a more precise fit for aligners and retainers. Benefits to the patient include:
• getting rid of the messy, unpleasant-tasting putty
• improving efficiency by capturing the exact contour of a patient’s teeth
• takes less time than traditional putty impressions, which means less time in the chair for the patient
• allows doctors to customize the digital plan based on a patient’s needs and desires
• provides each patient with a visual of what his or her teeth looked like before, during, and after orthodontic or dental care
Choose doctors who use digital intraoral scanners to reduce the amount of time you spend in the chair, making your visit more comfortable. It also shows your doctor is committed to providing you the best care possible.
#5 – CEREC Dental Technology
Most patients will tell you getting a root canal doesn’t make their list of favorite experiences in life. Aside from the pain and trauma many go through, getting a crown or other type of restoration used to be a long process. Doctors would have to take impressions with putty and send it out to a lab for creation. The lab would then send it back to the dentist’s office, and the patient would have to come back to finish the procedure.
Everything was all right so long as the restoration fit properly. However, if it didn’t, the patient would have to go through the whole process again. With the CEREC machine, doctors can create the ceramic restorations chair side during the same visit. Many old restorations used amalgam or gold, neither of which is environmentally friendly or aesthetically pleasing for most patients. CEREC uses ceramic dental technology to create precise tooth-like restorations.
Dental technology is important because it provides accurate, efficient dental care. It allows doctors to provide customized care and helps catch problems earlier and quicker. With technology, doctors can complete procedures in a timely manner, increasing the number of patients they see. Reducing time spent on each treatment allows dentists and orthodontists to grow their business and invest in more technology. Patients benefit because they don’t have to spend as much time in the chair or coming back for multiple appointments. Advances in dental technology are positive for everyone because they improve oral health and management.