How New Technologies Are Revolutionizing Dentistry

Dentistry is one of the oldest professions in the world, dating as far back as around 7000 B.C. Given this incredibly long history, it’s little surprise that the tools, techniques, and technologies used have changed substantially during that time. What may be more surprising is that dentistry is now evolving faster than ever, as the profession leverages modern technological advances to give patients better results in less time.

We’ll take a look at some of these new technologies to examine their impact on dentistry now and in the coming years, and how that will benefit you.

Clear Plastic Aligners

With their broad appeal and widespread usage, it can be easy to forget just how recently clear plastic aligners were developed and hit the market. Pioneered by Invisalign, whose name has become synonymous with them, this alternative to braces wasn’t marketed until 2000.

These aligners and the competitors that hit the market over the following years rapidly grew in popularity by allowing patients to straighten their teeth and fix malocclusions without the common drawbacks of braces. They’re near-invisible, meaning that patients do not feel self-conscious wearing them, and they can easily remove them to eat or brush their teeth.

Clear plastic aligners don’t just represent a new orthodontic tool, however. They are part of a process that embraces many new technologies including rapid prototyping and digital scanning.

3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping

Rapid prototyping techniques such as stereolithography allow 3D models created using computer-aided design (CAD) to be physically produced in a short space of time. This makes the production of unique orthodontic and other dental products both quicker and more affordable.

A common use of this is in the manufacturing of clear aligners, as discussed above, but 3D printing has many more applications in dentistry. It can also be used to produce other tailored dental products such as implants, inlays and onlays, and even surgical guides. Even with all the uses already available, research is ongoing into how the techniques and materials used can be further refined and provide patients and practitioners with even more benefits.

Intraoral Scanning

Intraoral scanners are devices that can be used to scan a patient’s mouth, creating a fully accurate 3D model of their teeth and bite. This offers a number of benefits over the more traditional methods of creating a model, being faster, less invasive, and less uncomfortable for patients. The model produced is highly accurate and is instantly available digitally, making it easy to work with when designing and producing custom orthodontic devices.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are on the cutting edge of dental technology and are making a huge impact across virtually every medical field. By training computer models to recognize the signs of various dental issues, X-rays and other scans that show signs of concern can be quickly flagged up for review by a dentist.

Although primarily still in the research and development phase, accuracy levels are impressive and steadily improving, and it’s possible that in the near future, AI may even be able to identify developing issues before they’re visible to the human eye. This will allow problems to be addressed sooner than they would otherwise, saving patients pain and discomfort and allowing their dentist to provide them with a better overall result.

Experiencing The Benefits For Yourself

If you’re ready to enjoy all the benefits of modern dental and orthodontic technology, Smilestone Dental in Downtown Vancouver has you covered. Contact us today to book an appointment, a second opinion, or find out more about what we can offer you.

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