Recent Advances and Developments in Dental Technology

One of the most common childhood nightmares is going for a dental check-up. Who would not understand it?Sitting in a huge chair with over-head illuminated light and dentist looking inside and poking around in your mouth with some edgy and frightening devices. Finally when the torture is over, they tell you not to eat your favourite sweets and brush teeth regularly. This childhood nightmare sticks with us. No one likes to go to a dentist in spite of the fact that everyone knows how important oral health is and how strongly it is connected to our overall health.

However, with recent advances in dental technology, the future of dentistry-large and rapidly growing field looks very different. The amazing advancements and developments in dental technology can now offer patients with contemporary and precise solutions to conventional dental issues. The motivating force behind advances is to provide patients with state-of-the-art dental treatments that can be administered in an effective, efficient and comfortable way so that no one is afraid of visiting a dentist.

Dental laboratory technology is constantly changing, with innovators always testing new methods and programs which make the field very exciting. Dental technicians can start preparing bridges and crowns as soon as they complete their dental technology course and in-depth dental technician training. The course and training are designed in such a way that it gives the students a chance to learn about every facet of this constantly advancing field and help them stay updated on the latest technology that every dental lab implements. On the other hand even nurses are being equipped with this technology so as to bridge the gap between dentistry and medicine. However, they need to undergo nurses bridging courses and attain a certificate of practice.

Here are some of the most recent advancements that some speciality dental technicians have created.

CAD/CAM Systems

Computer-assisted design (CAD) and computer assisted manufacturing (CAM) has enabled the dental technicians to harness the power of computers to design and fabricate aesthetic and durable dentures. Automating the design and manufacturing of a complete denture is something that we really haven’t seen before. Initially, the process was expensive and cumbersome and the finished product never looked quite good or naturally coloured as hand-crafted one, but with advancement in the technology this is now possible and can produce multiple crowns in a matter of hours.

Veneers

Veneers are custom made shells or mouldings that are used to cover the front of crooked or otherwise unattractive teeth. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their shape, colour, size or length thereby improving the appearance of the patient. Veneers are thin, but the new materials now make it possible to create even thinner veneers that are just as durable. The materials used today are quite life-like and provide excellent results. They have the ability to correct several flaws at once.

Digital X-rays

Digital x-rays are faster and more efficient than traditional radiographs. They capture dental images through the use of a sensor. An electronic sensor or phosphate plate is placed in the patient’s mouth to capture the image, then the sensor transforms this image onto a computer screen. This dental technology can provide much-needed comfort as compared to conventional x-rays and can eliminate over-exposure to radiation. Although digital x-rays have been on the market for several years, only recently they became popular with dentists.

3D Dental Product Distribution

3D printing technology seems sci-fi and impressive, but out of reach and arguably bearing little relevance in daily life. But with the announcement of a breakthrough technology that accelerates 3D printing speeds by a factor of up to 100, you may soon encounter a 3D printer in everyday places including your dentist’s office. This means that dentists can now print a tooth in few minutes. 3D printing takes the efficiencies of digital design to the production stage. Combining oral scanning, CAD/CAM design and 3D printing, dental technicians can accurately and rapidly produce crowns, bridges and a range of orthodontic appliances.

Intra Oral Cameras

While rapidly increasing interest in digital radiography has been primarily responsible for the increased demand for technology in the dental practice, intraoral cameras should not be overlooked. They are an incredible tool for the practitioner who wants to involve patients in their diagnosis and treatment. Intraoral camera help produce precise images of the teeth as well as the supporting framework. They let dentist, dental technician, and even patient see tooth defects. These are designed to help patients know more about the significance of good oral hygiene practices, such as where to concentrate when brushing teeth.

These are some of the advancements in dental technology and both dentists and patients benefit from it. Dentists can provide more efficient and reliable services to their patients as well as deliver high-quality, durable and aesthetically pleasing products. These dental lab technologies make dental procedures quicker, less painful and less invasive. Patients benefit knowing that their dental products will be of high-quality and wait time will be decreased which means additional follow-up visits to the dentist.

Author Details

Annabel Bin

Writer at Australian Centre of Further Education
Annabel is a highly-qualified dental technician imparting knowledge to students and keeps himself updated with current trends in dental technology. She imparts knowledge to students not only in the classroom but also through her articles on dental technology and the courses to undertake. She is currently working with Australian Centre of Further Education (ACFE), which excels in training international and domestic students to become qualified health practitioners in Australia.


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