Dentistry is more than just filling cavities and cleaning teeth. It’s an art: one that requires a real investment in patients’ wants, wishes, and well-being. Becoming a top-of-the-line dentist’s office necessitates becoming and remaining quite knowledgeable on the latest trends in technology.
Great dentists don’t just stay up-to-date on obviously dentistry-related innovations, though. They also keep themselves abreast of all of the tech and trends that can make their offices run more smoothly and their patients feel more comfortable.
Want to know the top four technologies that are transforming dental care for the better? You might be surprised at what you’ll find.
1. The Cloud
The Cloud has a bit of a reputation for being ‘mysterious,’ but it’s a lot simpler and safer than you may think. In short, the Cloud is an Internet-based space where services store data; it’s an alternative to keeping files on physical hardware, which could become permanently damaged and lost forever. The reason that the cloud is perfect for use by dentists is that it offers a variety of flexible HIPPA-compliant data storage options, which make accessing data about patients’ former problems and procedures as well as patient files much faster, easier, and more efficient.
2. Cone Beam Imaging
Cone beam imaging isn’t something that the average consumer has necessarily heard of, but it has some wonderful implications for dentistry practice. Technically called cone beam volumetric tomography, the tech works in a similar way to conventional radiographic imaging, but it converts images into a 3D view, instead. Not only does cone beam imaging expose patients to a bit less radiation than conventional radiographic imaging and cost them a little less, too, but it is also multi-purpose. Cone beam imaging provides wonderful implications for diagnostics, orthognathic, implant, TMJ, and orthodontic purposes.
3. Invisible Braces
Thanks to the option to avoid being deemed a ‘metal mouth,’ more teens and adults that didn’t have the financial security to do so before are enjoying straighter smiles without the obvious, “childish,” and bulky look of traditional braces. The biggest benefit of invisible braces is that they are simply more aesthetically pleasing to most, but they also gradually correct the positioning and alignment of teeth over time just like metal braces do.
4. Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) and Computer Aided Design (CAD) Technologies
These technologies are allowing dentists to make crowns and caps for patients in a single office visit. First, an intra-oral camera takes a virtual scan of the patient’s mouth, and then the results are projected in a 3D image on the dentist’s computer screen. In some cases, the technology will even provide us with solutions for the best course of action, depending upon the damaged tooth’s shape, size, and position. Then, we fine-tunes the virtual restoration, and the data is sent off to an in-house ‘milling’ machine that will carve the crown out of a ceramic block within two hours.
Taking care of his or her patients to the very fullest requires a dentist to be innovative and open minded. While these four techs are aren’t the only ones that are improving dentistry around the nation, they’re definitely some of the coolest technologies in dentistry practice today.