High-Tech Tools for the Future of Dentistry
Advances in technology are a constant, and dental tech is no exception. From virtual reality to more environmentally friendly materials and practices, new technologies in dentistry are coming for 2022 and beyond.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way many dental offices do business. The need for dental work doesn’t go away in the face of a health crisis or bad weather or other unforeseen events. To address this, some areas have seen a pivot toward teledentistry.
Teledentistry gives dentists and their patients the flexibility to connect online via text, email, or video conferencing/meeting tools. Despite time constraints, distance, illness, or other factors, teledentistry allows dental practitioners to still provide the expertise their patients need to stay healthy.
Teledentistry can also be a big help to offices that may be understaffed.
Source: Teledentistry Facts – American Teledentistry Association
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Technologies that are usually seen in gaming, education, and entertainment are also making their way into other industries, including medicine and dentistry.
Augmented reality, often used for educational purposes, uses digital imaging to show the possible results of a procedure or treatment. It is a useful tool to visualize improvements and to show how tweaks in a proposed method of treatment can affect the outcome.
Virtual reality uses in dentistry are likely to be a little more complex. Using a special headset, dental students and aspiring dental surgeons can have experience what it would be like to perform procedures and treatments. On the patient side, virtual reality can be used to provide a calming experience while in the dentist’s chair, providing an immersive environment while the dentist or practitioner does their work.
Source: Augmented Reality in the Dental Office – North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative (oralhealthnc.org)
A lot of dentistry takes place “behind the scenes” in dental labs with the creation of molds, crowns, and more. These treatment items can take a good amount of time to create in dental labs. Using a 3D printer can cut that time significantly, alleviating bottlenecks in labs and allowing patients to receive their prosthetics sooner.
Lasers aren’t just for rock shows anymore! Historically, getting a filling or repairing gum damage has usually been painful and invasive. Lasers can be used in place of dental drills to remove cavities, repair fillings, remove or reshape tissue, and much more.
When lasers are employed for oral surgeries, the procedures can be much less invasive and much faster, with quickly healing time as well.
We’re seeing new advances in dentistry all the time. It’s fascinating to see what we can do with technology! At Midgette Family Dentistry, we keep our finger on the pulse of the latest in oral care. Give us a call at (757) 483-4700 to make an appointment and see what’s new at the office!