With every progression in technology, dentists around the world have adopted new-age equipment to better serve their customers. This has helped them turn over a profit, proving that advancement in technology has helped dentistry. There have been great strides taken in dental healthcare in the past decade or so. Each makes dentistry affordable and more effective. However, nothing has affected dentistry in decades like the covid pandemic has. It has shown the importance of accessible healthcare. In the wake of the lockdowns and limited healthcare accessibility, dental practices had to adapt to dire circumstances swiftly. The dental practices that have integrated emerging technologies are the ones that have been able to survive and thrive in the aftermath of a global lockdown.
Many emerging technologies are helping dental practices stay on top of their game and do more than ever before. Significant transformations in technologies translate to transformation in dental practices. The sooner dental businesses adopt emerging technologies, the better they perform sooner.
Here are a few emerging technologies to keep an eye out for:
These are diagnostic and analysis tools that aid in getting close-up images. That later helps in providing an accurate diagnosis. It has an inbuilt flashlight and a small camera making it perfect to analyse the teeth and surrounding areas. Before intraoral cameras, dentists had to struggle to identify places of problem, especially in hard-to-see/reach places. Which resulted in patient discomfort. Additionally, the camera captures images for the dentist to analyze later. It is easy for the dentist to handle since it is small and easy to use. Dentists no longer need to ask patients to open their mouths wider or use their mouth mirrors. This tool is a less invasive option hence, it makes for a more comfortable experience for the patient.
2. Teledentistry helped dentists and patients in the pandemic
Teledentistry (also called virtual dentistry) has been a saving grace for dental practices around the world during the pandemic. It has served as a great way for dentists to connect with their patients and help them. With social distancing, many dentists have adopted teledentistry to keep the business running. In addition to dentists being able to connect with patients to check-in, they have also been able to diagnose mild cases of dental problems. While teledentistry has its limitations due to its virtual nature, it has helped dentists worldwide in making a living during the lockdown. It has also aided in improving dental accessibility for many demographics, where previously the only solution was going to the clinic. Moreover, it has improved dental healthcare by reducing the gap between those who can easily access healthcare and those who could not before the pandemic.
Virtual reality is a simulation wherein you can experience a different faux-reality from the real world. While it is popular in gaming and business, VR has found many applications in medicine and dentistry. VR is an innovative technology that changes the way dentists conduct their practices. VR uses smart glasses or projectors to provide visuals in 3D formats. With the correct equipment, you can easily render the model of a patient’s entire mouth or even their whole head. Dentists can use this technology to educate trainees and conduct analyses without having the patient present onsite. Additionally, you can interact with the 3D model, making it easier to conduct mock treatments and experiments. Moreover, dentists can use these rendered 3D models to educate and explain the treatment to the patient to provide clarity on the procedure. VR is an excellent choice when it comes to educating and providing students with the understanding and visualization of teeth structures and underlying foundation. Hence, VR enhances the experience for both the density and the patient, which aids in reducing dental anxiety.
Augmented reality is a version of the real world that is rendered virtually through digital elements and other sensory stimuli-generating devices. AR uses data from the real world to help better understand its features to drive applications in the real world. AR proves to be an efficient alternative to x-ray and dental mirrors. Additionally, AR provides an overview of the problem areas as opposed to a limited glance with dental mirrors. It helps the dentists come up with an alternative procedure that is best suited to the patient. Additionally, the dentist can pull up the AR model of the patient from anywhere at any time. Moreover, AR helps in recordings of the dental treatment for future purposes such as education. While VR focuses mainly on rendering a model, there have begun studies into creating technologies that help you feel the model. This means that you will be able to physically feel the VR in real-time.
5. AI and ML in engineering technologies
Artificial intelligence has helped shape and changes the landscape of technology and data. AI is a broad categorization of technologies that analyzes big data possible. Scans and data often leave dentists with lots of unstructured information they have to sort through. With AI and ML, this job takes seconds even without the dentists’ intervention. With machine learning, dentists can train the AI to identify and filter large data sets. The systems can then identify patterns and trends in images and data to provide analysis and diagnosis. AI removes human error in diagnosis pragmatically. With enough data, AI and ML can recommend treatment procedures tailored to the patient. Plus, it can predict dental issues well in advance according to the data presented to it. It is a big jump in analytics and diagnosis in emerging technologies centered on dentistry.
6. 3D imaging for dentists
It is a less invasive and more accurate alternative to x-rays. This makes it an excellent option for patient comfort and a great diagnostic tool for dentists. 3D imaging is popularly used in restorative and cosmetic dental procedures. With 3D imaging, dentists can see the problem clearly, since you can easily map the dimension of the tooth. Such as the height and width of each tooth, surrounding muscles, and infections. Additionally, 3D imaging takes less time when compared to an x-ray. Dentists can zoom in on problem areas to see the issue, making it easier to treat problems at the start before they become a nuisance. Plus, the images generated from 3D imaging can be rotated and vied at from any angle to better understand the area and the problem. 3D imaging is fast becoming the norm as dentists are dropping x-rays of its limitations.
Learn 15+ powerful ways to drive more patients and positive reviews to your dental practice. Download your free guide today.