Taking Care of Our Teeth in a Global Pandemic
26 Jul 21
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Ellisse Vernon | BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
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Working in dentistry is one of the most exciting career paths, and the next decade is set to epic in terms of technological development.
Despite the setbacks caused by COVID-19, things are looking very positive in the dental industry. While a lot of dentist surgeries are focusing on post-pandemic recovery and adapting to the ‘new normal’, there’s also a lot of buzz and excitement around technology.
Here are some of the advancements in dental technology, dental tools, and dental software to keep an eye on:
Intelligent dental technology
The medical industry has already started to embrace artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics in a number of ways. Despite this, dentistry lags behind in AI adoption, but we will likely see a big shift in the coming years.
AI can improve treatment quality within the dental field by using methods such as intelligent detection, classification, and segmentation. For instance, it would be possible to detect tooth decay much more accurately, based on learning the location and morphology of carious lesions on radiographs.
This could move us away from the traditional approach done through clinical examination and touch alone, improving the accuracy of detection and treatment. In the future, a dental examination and AI technology will work in unison to provide a more accurate and beneficial dental plan for patients.
In addition to caries diagnosis, AI can also help the detection of malignant lesions, improve diagnostic imaging, and support important admin work such as patient record management and data merging.
Thanks to the growth of 3D printing, dental treatment will become less time-consuming in the future. Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology will replace traditional laboratory-made restorations.
Not only will they will be dimensionally accurate, providing a better fit for patients, but they will be more aesthetically pleasing too. Furthermore, through CAD/CAM digital software, we can reduce structural flaws, so dentures and crowns can be much more durable than before.
Moving away from the old ‘drill and fill’ approach, the world of dentistry is taking a new turn. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the rising aging population across the globe has also led to a rise in root caries. So it’s more important than ever to practice preventative dentistry.
The preventative approach is all about helping patients prolong the life of their teeth, particularly through remineralization and enamel healing.
Among the different agents being used, silver diamine fluoride (SDF) has been one of the most effective in reversing early-stage tooth decay. It’s likely that over the next decade, restorative treatment will become commonplace, helping populations keep their teeth in tip-top condition even into old age.
Dental software for patient management
As well as advancements in the tools we use in dentistry, new dental technology trends also cover the software that we use to communicate. Cloud-based, lightning-fast management platforms will lead to better dentist-client relationships.
Why is this important? Because over a third (34%) of Brits fear the dentist's chair. Furthermore, 79% of those who are scared of the dentist, doctors, or opticians put off getting medical help as a result!
This means building relationships with patients is vital, and seamless dental software can help to improve the overall experience, making a visit to the dentist much less stressful.
If you’re a dental technician looking to improve your skills in digital dentistry, the MSc Digital Dental Technology course at the University of Bolton could be for you. We’re in the Top 10 in the UK for Student Satisfaction in Medical Technology for the third year running*, and our dental courses are also approved by the General Dental Council (GDC).
To find out more about applying, go to our course page for details.
Or if you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on +44 (0)1204 903 394 or email@example.com.
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