Trends in Dental Technology in 2018
The impact of technology grows with every passing day. No industry is left out of the constant innovation that technology brings - least of all dentistry. In this article, we are going to look at 5 trends in dental technology that you can expect to see thrive in 2018 and for years to come.
1. 3D Printing
When 3D printing was first made popular, it was an interesting and novel idea. However, even as it becomes more commonplace, the ways that it is implemented in different industries are still amazing to see. One field that is starting to see these innovations is dentistry.
Once upon a time, when you went to your dentist or orthodontist and needed something like a night guard or braces, you had the unpleasant experience of biting down on a mold to make sure the shape and sizing were right. With 3D technology, though, your dental professionals are starting to be able to take a technological scan of your mouth and print it out later in a 3D form.
This isn’t just great because it allows you to have an easier time at your next appointment, though. It also speeds up the process. If a dentist or orthodontist can print out a mold of your mouth instead of sending an imprint to get made manually, it can cut down on the wait time of the device you need by days or even weeks.
In addition, it is making these visits more affordable since the dentist can cut down on the time and labor they are billing you for. This is crucial for those patients that are low on funds or in need of and looking for no insurance dental care.
2. Augmented and Virtual Reality
A trend that we often attribute to video games is the use of augmented and virtual reality. However, it also has a place for dentists as well.
On a less technical note, virtual reality headsets can be used to relax nervous patients. For example, if a patient is simply sitting there, staring up at a blinding light and a dentist, they will naturally be more nervous. If those patients can be distracted by transporting them to “another reality”, they will be much more comfortable in the chair. Not only does this make them feel better, it also helps dentists do their jobs because they aren’t dealing with a patient who is nervous, uncooperative, or moving.
Augmented reality is a little different. With augmented reality, you can impose an image of your creation onto an existing photo or even into your surroundings. In dentistry, this technology can be used to plan treatment courses. For instance, if you want to show a patient how braces can help shift their teeth back into place, you can use augmented reality to show them the changing form of their teeth.
Finally, virtual reality can be used in the classroom for training future dentist. Instead of using a textbook or an unresponsive model, students can be placed into simulated “real life” situations with a VR headset. With this, students can be thrown into simulated real-life curveballs such as a coughing patient.
In the modern era, everyone is looking for convenience. That’s why, if there is a way to make dental checkups faster and more convenient, more patients will keep up with their dental work and checkups.
Teledentistry - the use of telephones for consultations - isn’t a new idea. However, in 2018, teledentistry is no longer limited to telephones. Now, the internet is available to dentists and patients, giving both parties more in-depth and visual access during these consultations.
4. Wand Anesthesia System
If there is anything that many patients fear just as much as dental work itself, it’s the syringe full of anesthesia. The site of this needle, even though it signals the fact that you aren’t going to feel any pain while dental work is done, is enough for some patients to tense up or even panic.
The idea behind the Wand Anesthesia System is that it doesn’t use a needle to inject anesthesia. Even for patients that don’t have a problem with needles, this is a preferable option because it allows the dentist to numb a specific area rather than their entire mouth, making their day after the procedure much easier.
5. Bluetooth Toothbrush
Not all dental technology is restricted to use by professionals. The Bluetooth toothbrush works just like any other electric toothbrush but with a few extra features. Namely, it would give the user feedback on their brushing. Information about how effective your brushing is can go a long way in helping keep hygiene levels high and preventing future dental problems.