Technologies Transforming Dental Care
Technological advances are transforming every field and industry, including dental care. Modern dental technologies that incorporate 3D printing and virtual reality allow dentists to deliver quality care surpassing all previous standards.
Cutting-edge dental technologies contribute to the evolving future of dentistry. Today, patients can avoid the most inconvenient aspects of going to the dentist thanks to the effective implementation of technology in dentistry.
Patients who visit the dentist must always experience the unavoidable discomfort of opening their mouth for a dental examination. Unfortunately, dentists may not see certain areas of the oral cavity, which limits their understanding of the patient’s complaint. Intraoral cameras and scanners provide the perfect solution to this issue. Such cameras feature liquid lens technology, enabling clear image capture with minimal discomfort.
Dental imaging can be an uncomfortable experience for many patients. Dentists often need accurate images of the oral cavity to diagnose and treat serious conditions. Traditional film x-ray imaging exposes patients to a lot of radiation, whereas digital imaging is characterized by less radiation. Further, with digital x-rays, dentists can instantly visualize the images on the computer, making the process more efficient. While film x-rays have been the gold standard for decades, digital x-rays are now the superior and safer imaging method.
Another important tool currently changing dental care is 3D printing. Since its inception years ago, 3D printing has swiftly moved from a unique inaccessible luxury to a cost-effective and efficient tool. Dental practices regularly use 3D printers to manufacture implants. Previously, getting a dental implant was a long process that required specialized dental laboratories. Now small dental clinics can buy a single 3D printer, produce the implant on-site, and cut costs for themselves and their patients. 3D printed implants take less time to make and are more accurately designed, reducing errors and frequent follow-ups.
Dentists and patients are benefitting from virtual reality and augmented reality solutions. Augmented reality technology helps dentists create a realistic visualization of reconstructed teeth before surgical procedures. This improves the accuracy of the final result and allows patients to customize implants based on their exact preference. Also, for patients who struggle with anxiety when visiting the dentist, virtual reality goggles can help relieve their stress by offering distractions in the form of natural scenery. Studies show that VR users report lower levels of pain which can be helpful during painful or uncomfortable dental procedures.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare services shifted towards a remote telehealth mode of delivery, and dentistry is no exception. Teledentistry involves using digital tools to provide remote dental care to patients. Rather than visit the dentist’s office, patients can now conduct their consultations over special teledentistry platforms that include image capture features as well as live video chat.
Gaining access to dental care without in-person visits is particularly advantageous for those who live in rural areas and lack access to transportation. It also benefits certain groups like the elderly, children, and those with special needs to whom a doctor’s appointment can be a burden. Further, consulting with the dentist from home can be an easier way to assess the severity of dental complaints without taking the trip.