Research has shown that around six percent of the general population and 16 percent of children are afraid of visiting the dentist. While some people say this fear is unfounded, the sight of dental equipment and tools can easily instill fear in anyone.
This fear may soon become a thing of the past as the industry starts to benefit from developments in technology. Developments in technology have given many industries a makeover. The dental industry may soon become the recipient of these innovations and revolutionize the industry.
Here are some innovations that can provide the dental industry a boost in the future.
The medical industry is already using artificial intelligence (AI) through different applications ranging from early cancer detection to the faster diagnosis of blood diseases. For the moment, the use of AI in the dental industry is mainly to get insights to facilitate clinical decision-making. But clinicians may soon use AI algorithms to find suitable modalities they can use for treating patients.
Studies have shown that the increase in health-related information along with developments in medical AI will result in better digitization of the dental industry. AI can start analyzing information and provide recommendations on the treatment of patients.
As the information accumulates, the technology may reach a point where it can provide personalized care based on the genomic data available in the system. With this, it can provide the most suitable treatment for the dental issue of the patient.
Augmented reality (AR) offers a huge potential for people in the dental field. AR technology is currently being used in education, where apps make learning engaging and fun. Some educational tools include an app that allows the students to know how two chemicals react and an app that show the students how dinosaurs move.
Similarly, the dental industry can benefit from AR by training students in dental procedures. Apps track the movement of students while performing procedures on a mannequin. Aside from tracking movement, the app also provides immediate feedback to the students, which is ideal for students who want to improve their skills in handling dental procedures.
AR can also benefit orthodontics as it can simulate the appearance of gold-plated braces even before the orthodontics starts working on the patient’s teeth. The dental professional can also show the patient how the teeth will look after the procedure. It also facilitates long-term oral care as the technology can provide a digital presentation showing what will happen in certain conditions.
Smart devices are now ubiquitous in many homes around the country. Many homeowners renovated their homes during the pandemic by installing smart devices in nearly every room in the home. One of these devices may have been a smart toothbrush.
Smart toothbrushes ensure their users can easily maintain their teeth. Some even have features that make brushing fun for children so that they can build the habit of brushing their teeth. These devices also provide immediate feedback if the user is applying too much pressure while brushing their teeth.
While the technology provides an incentive for the children who are using them, some people are not impressed by these devices. These people do not consider the device helpful in practicing proper brushing. They also highlight the importance of visiting a dental professional to know how to brush the teeth.
When the pandemic started, medical professionals advised people to avoid visiting hospitals and clinics unless it was necessary. Due to this, many people consulted their doctors remotely. Telemedicine became common, especially among people who lived in remote areas wherein traveling to the clinic took a long time.
Similarly, people who wanted to consult their dentist turned to teledentistry. It allowed patients to see their dentists without leaving their homes, which allowed them to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. Additionally, the technology is also beneficial for people who are hesitant to visit their dentist.
The original intention of 3D printing was to construct three-dimensional models of objects. Many industries adopted the technology and are being used in different industries around the world. The industries currently using 3D technology are aerospace, healthcare, engineering, automotive, and fashion.
For the dental industry, 3D technology can produce orthodontic models, retainers, aligners, and dental equipment. Production of these dental tools is faster and convenient since it allows dental professionals to reduce bottlenecks in the traditional production process. Additionally, the process is not labor-intensive and is cost-efficient. Errors in the production process are also minimal.
Developments in technology offer many opportunities to enhance dental medicine for the benefit of dental professionals and their patients.