6 Innovations in the Dental Industry
When you look at the history of the dental industry, it is easy to see how far we have come. From our first dental casts to the introduction of fluoride in toothpaste, so much has already been achieved. With each innovation we have strived to make the work of the dental professional's smoother, but also, to make the patient experience more comfortable. The everlasting question is; where are we headed next? We have compiled 6 emerging and existing innovations that are changing the dental industry for the better.
1. Digital impressions
Digital impressions allow for an accurate, infinite image of a patient to be kept on file. They can be used for comparison as well, either in before or after work or during different stages of dental work. Many dental practices have embraced the digital revolution, while others struggle with the cost of equipment and training. In years to come, mainstream access to these technologies will only improve.
2. 3D Printing
3D printing is allowing dental and medical industries to create moulds, devices, and treatment options faster and more affordably than ever before. The accuracy of these machines helps with complex shapes and porous structures. We can see a better fit for patients leading to more comfortable devices that they will be more likely to use.
3. Invisible aligners
Invisible aligners are not a brand new technology though their popularity has soared in recent years, thanks in part to 3D printing. With the proper expert advice, patients can expect aesthetic improvements and moderate adjustments for common issues such as overbites, overcrowding and rotations. Many reputable brands offer these products through dental practices which allows for the necessary expert advice and provides patients with appropriate care throughout their procedure.
4. Laser technology
Laser dentistry has such a wide range of applications that it is hard to imagine it not becoming an industry standard in years to come. Everything from teeth whitening to removing tooth decay, reshaping gums, and removing bacteria during root canals can be done through laser technology. The benefits of laser dentistry apply to both practitioners and patients. Dentists can perform smoother procedures while patients experience less discomfort and can expect shorter healing times. Lasers have the added benefit of sterilising the gums which lowers risk for infection.
5. Medicated chewing gum
Researchers around the world are considering the potential of chewing gum for drug delivery in medical and dental products. In the UK, a study used a chewing robot to assess the efficacy of medicated gum in comparison to human consumption. In both the human and robot trials, the gum released similar amounts of drugs. Using robots has exciting potential as it allows for safer drug testing, avoiding side effects to human patients, and at a lower cost. While human trials will still be important for testing safety, efficacy can be trialled using robots to avoid unnecessary exposure to drugs for people.
Robotics are not just making their mark in dental research. Robo-dentistry and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) is being considered for procedures. As with all AI, it is limited in the fact that it cannot react to a situation for which it has not been programmed. However, in the case of minimally invasive or routine procedures, there is great potential. Practices such as cleaning, basic fillings and cap applications could one day be the job of a robo-dentist. This field has only been growing in the last two or so years, but we are excited to find out where it will take us next.
Find all the latest innovative technology at ADX Melbourne
New technologies and advancements are happening all the time. At ADX Melbourne you can connect with industry leaders through exhibits, expert talks and learning sessions. We will have many of the latest innovations in dentistry. Follow our blog for more information as event details are confirmed and save the date. ADX Melbourne will be held at the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre from 6-8 May 2021.