Advances in Dental Equipment and Technology
If the last time people visited their dentist was last year or several months ago, there is a chance that their dentist’s clinic is not the same anymore, if the medical team there is truly committed to grow with the advancing technology. The advancements in dentistry in terms of practice, equipment and technology continue to emerge with time. There are several ways in which effective dental care can be ensured.
From new imaging techniques to less invasive methods for dental procedures, there is so much that the leading dentists are incorporating in their practices.
Let us have a look at some of the newer dental equipment, technology and methods.
Traditional radiographs are now being replaced by digitized X-rays (think digital camera). Even though the digital X-rays have been there in the market for several years, they have become more popular recently. The reason behind their growing popularity is that they are much faster and more efficient than conventional radiographs. An electronic sensor is placed inside a patient’s mouth and the image is captured. The image is then scanned on a computer for viewing. This procedure is considerably faster than processing traditional x-ray films.
There are many uses of digital X-rays that include finding cavities, looking at the bone below the teeth to check if the support it provides is good, checking the placement of an implant, seeing if the root canal has been performed properly, etc.
Lasers to Detect Tooth Cavity
Traditionally, “explorer” is used to find cavities. This instrument is now being replaced by diode lasers, which is a higher-tech alternative for the detection and removal of cavities. Lasers can also help determine tooth decay. The dentist can closely observe the tooth, compare the levels at the next visit and then recommend cavity removal and tooth filling.
Healthy teeth, exposed to the wavelength of the laser, do not glow and therefore, the digital display reading is low. However, decayed tooth do glow indicating the amount of decay, resulting in higher readings.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) have made their way into dentistry, making the procedures of crowns and bridges much faster and convenient. Traditionally, a dentist would need to make a mold of the tooth and design a temporary crown, and then approach the dental laboratory for the manufacturing of a permanent one. CAD/CAM technology allows tooth drilling to prepare it for the crown, and taking a picture with a computer. The image is then transmitted to a machine that manufactures the crown right there in the office.
The front of crooked or unattractive teeth is covered using thin, custom made moldings or shells called veneers. Nowadays, there are new materials being used to create thinner veneers that are equally strong. This helps during the preparation of a tooth for a veneer, which includes reshaping of the tooth to adjust for the added thickness of the veneer. This process can be minimal if the veneer is thinner. Less tooth surface is reduced and more naturalness of the tooth is kept intact.
In addition to above mentioned advances, there are now better dental implants, better bonding and filling materials and some new gum disease treatments, all of which contributes towards better dental care.