The recommendation that you visit your dentist at least twice a year certainly isn’t anything new, but when you get to your dental office you might notice that there are several things that are changing about the way you receive care and interact with the staff and the dentist. Today’s dentists are increasingly embracing technology as a way to offer a higher level of care and a more streamlined visit. Here are just a few of the trends you might see next time you visit your dentist.
Minimally Invasive Treatments
You might not believe it, but dentists don’t like drilling your teeth any more than you like having them drilled. Fortunately with advances in dental technology and treatment methods, more and more procedures can be performed in a way that is “minimally invasive”. The goal with these treatments is to conserve as much of your healthy tooth structure as possible, removing the least amount of natural tooth to achieve a long-lasting positive result. Fixing crooked teeth and other malocclusions has also become easier and less invasive with products like Invisalign®, while advances in treating cavities and other oral health-related problems have led to better and longer-lasting outcomes.
Another improvement to dental treatment in recent years is the more widespread use of dental implants to improve the appearance and function of your teeth without damaging or impacting the teeth that surround it. Dental implants or implant-supported dentures have quickly become a popular option for many people who have damaged or missing teeth, although they are not an option in every case. Visit The Dental Clinic at Roseman University to find out more about dental implants if you think you might be a candidate.
Technology in the Dental Office
Rapid advances in technology have impacted the way we do business, the way we communicate, and our overall health and wellness—including dental health. Today many dentists are using digital CAD/CAM technology (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing); with a small wand about the size and shape of an electric toothbrush, your dentist can create a digital image of your mouth and the shape of oral structures inside.
“Traditional impressions that record the shape and configuration of teeth and mouth can often be replaced with scans from laser or LED light cameras. The digital file is sent to a 3D printer or milling machine to create a model made of lightweight, durable resin,” said Dr. Doug Ashman, a professor at Roseman University College of Dental Medicine. “The advantage of this approach, beyond the obvious improvement in the patient’s comfort, is the increased accuracy of the digital impression and the ability to store and retrieve the image at a later time, as needed.”
Similar technology can be used to create crowns and fixed bridges, and with the help of sophisticated software, the dentist can create a uniquely designed and perfectly shaped crown ready for implant, often in just a matter of minutes while the patient waits in the dental chair.
Other technology you might start to see at your dental office includes software and apps that allow you to schedule appointments with ease, fill in your health history prior to arriving at the dentist’s office, and get things like text and voicemail reminders when it’s time for your appointment.
While the trends in dental medicine are improving the way patients receive treatment and interact with their dental office, there is one trend that is never going away: having a healthy smile and a healthy mouth will always be in style.