The Future of Dentistry — How technology will transform a Dental Practice?
The history of Dentistry can be traced back to 7000 B.C with the Indus valley civilization. By the 1700s, dentistry had become a more defined profession. Professional Dentistry in India was set up around the 1940’s, until then local help was sought for all dental problems.
There are various sources and roots that can be traced back to know about the evolution of dental care and the rising of Dentistry as a profession. As time progressed the realisation that oral health care and dental practices needed focused approach and attention dawned. Like in all fields, dentistry has also evolved with time and there have been numerous technological advances over the years.
The earlier dentists used chisels and hammers to knock out decayed teeth, but today’s dentist use advanced technology to design dental restorations that look and feel like natural teeth among other dental procedure.
Technological revolution has transformed the world in all areas and fields. Artificial intelligence has and continues to replace the intelligent beings (humans). Automation is the mantra for every other work that is repetitive or that requires minimum human intervention. Technology helps in saving time, providing accuracy and precision and reduces the scope of human error.
Industries all around the world are revolutionized due to the advent of technology that is advancing at a rapid pace. Health care is one such area that has seen progress in leaps and bounds due to the technological changes. Like all spheres of Healthcare, dentistry too has and continues to progress with technology and its advancements.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will open novel avenues that will empower the care professionals of dentistry to provide top notch health care. Technology has already improvised optimization in patient scheduling, effective and timely patient communication, precise and informed diagnosis and use of sophisticated technology to ease pain and improve oral health.
AI & Radiographs – The biting technology
The bitewing radiographs is an AI marvel that helps dentists around the world in precise problem identification, disease awareness, assess the effective and best treatment. On an average dentist around the world see around 10-15 sets of bitewings while scanning for caries on more than 300-350 proximal surfaces. Overlooking a carious lesion is possible due to various factors like fatigue, variations in clinical training, cognitive errors etc. Using AI these errors can be addressed whereby technology can be used to highlight potential problem areas on the radiograph and thereby addressing the inconsistencies or differences among practitioners. This can also help in patient’s acceptance by increasing awareness.
Communication and Scheduling – AI making it a pleasant flight
Smart Scheduling – AI enables to perform smart scheduling of patient appointments thereby increasing productivity, improve patient experience, optimize time and resource utlisation.
Smart Communication – AI is a knowledge treasure whereby all patient queries can be answered, their apprehensions put to rest by providing complete information and awareness. It also provides handy guides to help patients with emergencies or post-operative procedures.
Some of the path breaking innovations in dentistry over the recent years are:
- Digital Denture – Earlier to get a couple of dentures it would take months and weeks of dentists visits to produce the dentures and have it fitted. Today, with digital dentures a new system of creating precision-fitted dentures is available within a fraction of the time. This uses advanced software, devices and materials using Computer aided designs (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM). Using a few steps, it helps dentists and dentists technicians to fabricate new pair of dentures using material discs and prosthesis.
- Augmented Reality – is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information. The potential for using augmented reality in dental professions is huge. Currently it is used to teach the students for demonstrating techniques and allowing them to practice.
- Intra Oral Camera – One of the uncomfortable experiences that people share about their visit to the dentists is to have their mouth open for long duration. With the advancement of technology in intra oral camera, the present and future of dentistry has changed. The discomfort is a thing of the past, as these cameras allow the dentist to look inside the patient’s mouth using a dental mirror. The images can be seen outside on a screen without having the patient to keep their mouth open.
- Laser Dentistry – Lasers are now used to fill cavities, reduce tooth sensitivity, getting rid of tumors, whitening etc. It is fast and painless and avoids complications or problems.
- Invisalign – The invisible braces are an efficient replacement for the traditional braces that were used. Using custom designed advanced imaging technology these plastic high-quality braces are effective and comes with a lot of benefits.
New technologies are paving the way for a future that will revolutionize the dental practices and it will also dramatically change the experience and outcomes for the patients.
The technological advancements that have occurred in dentistry is only the tip of the iceberg and dentistry is constantly evolving with technology.
With rapidly advancing technology wherein todays vision is tomorrow reality, dentistry too is riding the technological wave and adapting itself to the changes. The future of dentistry to promote oral health of the world depends on integrating the practice with technology, strong research and addressing the needs of the patient.
At Radiant Dental Care, we keep abreast with the latest technological findings and advancements of the Dental health care industry and adopt them in our practices. We harness the benefits of technology for increasing the patients’ comfort, providing awareness and strive for a positive patient experience. We are partnering with technology to transform and modernize oral health care for our patients.