09 Oct Advances in Technology Improve Dental Care
Over the past few decades, dental care advanced as technology advanced. In addition to providing you with better oral care, these advances also make things easier. New technology makes procedures quicker and more effective, and it provides dentists with better diagnostic tools. Find out what the latest advances are and how they improve dental care.
1. Digital X-rays
In the past, dentists used radiographs to perform X-rays. However, that practice is now outdated. For years, digital X-rays have been an option for dentists. But today, more and more dentists are using them in their offices for dental care.
Unlike traditional X-rays, digital X-rays don’t work with a film. They use a phosphor plate or electronic sensor to take an image in your mouth. Then, the image goes to a scanner or a computer. Your dentist can view the image immediately. If you have prior X-rays with the dentist, he can also immediately compare the images. The process is much faster than traditional X-rays, which take more time to set up and more time to develop. With such speed and efficiency, the X-rays allow a dentist to diagnose your problem more quickly.
Another major benefit to digital X-rays is the low dose of radiation, While traditional X-rays expose you to some radiation, digital ones expose you to even less radiation. This makes the whole process safer for you and an option for those who would be at risk with higher doses of radiation.
2. Lasers for Dental Care
Nothing seems quite as hi-tech as lasers. While you might think of lasers in a more sci-fi sense, they are very useful for dental care.
In the past, dentists would take a metal instrument and poke it around your mouth. If the instrument got stuck in a tooth, they would check the tooth for decay. This wasn’t the most convenient or comfortable way to test your tooth for cavities.
Now, dentists have a better option for cavity detection. They can use a diode laser to find cavities in your mouth. The laser tells dentists where the cavities lie. When a tooth has decay, it glows. The more decay it has, the more it glows. After using the laser, the dentist can decide how to handle the situation. He may wait until the next visit to see how the tooth progresses. However, he also might decide to remove and fill the tooth. Whatever he chooses, the laser gets the credit for the quick and easy detection. It helps dentists detect more cavities than a metal instrument, which can keep your smile intact.
It’s important to note that the laser does not detect cavities in filled teeth. Nor can it completely replace X-rays. While it doesn’t do everything, it still makes dentists more efficient and accurate.
3. CAD and CAM Technology
In the past, getting a crown for your mouth was a great deal of work. First, a dentist would make a mold of your tooth. Then, he would make a temporary crown for your tooth. After a few weeks, a laboratory would make your permanent crown. Finally, your dentist could replace the temporary crown with a permanent one.
Today, that process is much easier. Dentists can use CAD and CAM technology to speed things up. A dentist drills your tooth to get it ready for the crown. As it does this, a picture of the tooth gets sent to a computer. The computer uses CAD (Computer Assisted Design) technology to design your crown. Then, CAM (Computer Assisted Manufacture) technology immediately creates the permanent crown. The dentist can install it on the same dental visit. Instead of going through several dental procedures over a period of weeks, your dental care is done in one visit.
4. Better Materials for Bonding and Filling
Advances in technology can also affect the way your smile looks. For example, consider a chipped tooth. New technology allows dentists to use resin on a chipped tooth. Resin comes in various shades and tends to blend in well with the color of your natural tooth. Resin also tends to last longer than the materials dentists used to use for your dental care. In addition to looking better, you don’t have to worry about the material wearing down quickly.
The same is true of your tooth fillings. In the past, some fillings were very noticeable. Every time you smiled, people could see your filling. However, new materials make the fillings look much more natural. You don’t need to worry about the cosmetic effects of your fillings.
There are many other new advances in dental care. Every one of them makes it easier for you to keep your mouth in great condition. Although you might need fewer visits to the dentist, you can get better oral care. The procedures are shorter, more effective, and longer lasting. And the cosmetic effects are incredible. Head to your dentist to find out how you can benefit from new technology.