Dental Technology Will Make Dentistry Less Painful
Advancements in dental technology have resulted in better patient care, less pain during procedures, reduced treatment times and cheaper costs for patients. The field of dentistry has indeed evolved at a rapid rate over the last ten years. Dentists are now using innovative technology to design inlays, onlays, veneers, crowns, bridges, dentures, mouth reconstructions and orthodontal work. Most of the evolution of dental technology has been 3D-centric. Specifically, 3D design and 3D manufacturing have enabled the benefits listed above.
CAD systems are used to create three-dimensional images of teeth, jaws and dental appliances like veneers, crowns and bridges. Milling machines are used to create 3D replicas of dental parts. Such systems are becoming more commonplace in dental offices, with 16% of all American dentists using the technology, up from 10% a decade ago. This figure is expected to rise even further as dentists are trained in CAD software at school and invest in the technology when they open a practice.
We have prepared the following list of ways technology is making dentistry less painful.
- Replacement of mouth moulds with 3D scans.
Traditionally, during filling or crown procedures, a section of a tooth is removed by a dentist and a mould created of the patient’s mouth in preparation for installation of the appliance. The process of creating a mould involved filling a patients mouth with a putty-like substance which slowly hardens before being removed. The mould often triggered gag reflex and was difficult to insert in patients with small mouths.
Handheld 3D scanners are now frequently used instead to take 3D image of the inside of a patient’s mouth and provide a more precise map of the teeth. 3D scans minimise patient discomfort. They also minimise radiation exposure by localising X-Ray scans to a small area.
- Improved diagnosis with 3D Scans
3D imaging technology provides greater accuracy regarding diagnosis of oral conditions. Dentists can identify anomalies with greater precision than when performing a visual inspection. They can see how dense bones are and plan accordingly when designing crowns.
- Enhanced precision and less scrapes and bumps to adjacent teeth during procedures
Dentists may use a 3D map to navigate the patient’s mouth during procedures. The chances they’ll accidentally cause patient discomfort by bumping or craping adjacent teeth is therefore reduced. This can reduce occurrence of side effects such as infection, overbites and dissatisfaction with appearance following treatment.
- Reduced cost and treatment time for tooth aligning tools.
Braces generally costs $5,000 to $8,000 over a twenty four to thirty month period. Computer-designed aligners, like Invisalign, however, cost about $7,000, and treatment time is reduced to eight months to a year. Aligner treatments are far less painful and invasive too. Patients no longer need to rely on dentists to tighten braces and wires no longer break because they are not used. Instances of mouth sores and injuries are similarly reduced when aligners are used instead of braces.
- Dentures no longer cause discomfort and infection
As with crowns and bridges, 3D manufacturing technology allows for manufacture of dentures that fit perfectly. A milling machine can be used to hew a set of dentures out of a hygienic block of acrylic. These fit the patient perfectly and reduce instances of mouth sores and infection resulting from use of dentures.
- 3D Printing Offers Potential Benefits Too
Three-dimensional printers might reshape dentistry even further. But at this point, the level of detail necessary for making ceramic dental restorations hasn’t reached professional standards. 3D printing may be used to assist victims or burns or trauma in the future, though, by replacing bones damaged by some unfortunate circumstance with 3D printed versions.
At Big Smiles Dental, we use only the most cutting-edge dental technology to treat our patients. If you need a general check-up or are experiencing pain in the mouth, please contact us and book an appointment. We perform all cosmetic dental procedures too, simply call us and we’ll be happy to talk more about your condition.