Technology is always marching forward. New technology has brought about things like cavity filling options that include composites and amalgams, mouth appliances for sleep apnea, x-ray machines that can scan the whole mouth at once, and realistic-looking dentures and implants. Even essentials like Novocain and electric drills were new once upon a time.
Like with the rest of the medical industry, we are constantly learning more about our bodies and how new inventions can interact with it. Two of them, in particular, have some great promise.
1. 3D Printing
Thanks to all the appliances dentists and orthodontists need to create appliances that perfectly fit around them, dentists have to take molds of your teeth regularly. That means having to sit in a chair for several minutes with two big metal plates covered in sticky goop covering your teeth. It might not be a cavity filling, but it still isn’t the most pleasant part of a dentist appointment.
So what some dentists are doing now is cutting out a few steps. An advanced sensor can scan your mouth and send all the details to a 3D printer, and if it has enough resolution the printer can make an exact copy of your teeth. With these, dentists can make their appliances in record time.
Lasers have been around for a while, but this would be the first solid use for them in dental health. One option for that advanced sensor a 3D printer needs would be a laser device because this device can use range-finding lasers to not only detect the shape of your teeth but also to locate cavities.
Studies have pitted these laser sensors against the more traditional method of x-ray plus probing by hand, and the device has consistently offered earlier warnings with plenty of accuracy. This means the dentist won’t have to drill away nearly as much enamel and dentin before applying the filling, and that means less time spent in the dentist’s chair.
Doctors, dentists, and researchers are constantly coming up with new inventions, new procedures, and new techniques that make dental health easier and less painful for everyone. 3D printing and laser imaging are just two of the many new ideas coming to dentistry, and all throughout the field you can find things like new kinds of implant surgery, new ways of stopping cavities with silver compounds, and new kinds of toothpaste and toothbrushes that can do even more to keep your teeth clean and healthy.