Words From Your Peers

The Future of Dental Technology and Innovation

Posted by Brittany Waddell on January 15, 2019

For decades, going to the dentist was considered an undesirable experience. It involved sitting under a bright light and having your mouth invaded with a variety of tools. Even though dental health is very important to your overall health and for having a nice smile, among other benefits, many people chose to steer clear of dental visits because of how uncomfortable it was for them. 

Fortunately, new technological advancements are making trips to the dentist quicker, easier, less painful and more reliable. Due to these advancements, the dental industry is growing rapidly and looking much different than it did in past years. A greater emphasis on treatment and prevention will mean fewer caries (cavities) in patients and less risk of periodontal disease. Similar to innovation within other health care professions, these new technologies will have a huge impact on how dental professionals treat their patients and how people take care of their oral health at home. 

Top Innovations in the Dental Professions in Recent Years

1. Smart Toothbrush 

Homes of the future are filled with smart devices. We already see smart tech found in kitchen appliances and other devices in our bedrooms and living rooms. Why should our bathrooms be any different? At first, the idea that our toothbrushes can have sensors in them to monitor our brushing habits might seem strange. However, a smart electric toothbrush can make sure you brush your teeth correctly for best results. This can be a great option for kids learning how to brush their teeth as well. The smart toothbrush can offer kid games and other incentives within linked apps for regularly and properly cleaning their teeth.

2. Digital Dentures

Long gone are the old ways of creating dentures. In the past, it would take weeks and multiple visits to your dentist to get a pair of dentures produced and fitted. Now, digital dentures offer a new system for creating precision-fitted dentures in a fraction of the time. The process uses advanced software, devices and materials to create dentures with ease. Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) is what makes this new process possible. It allows dentists and dental technicians to fabricate a new pair of dentures using material discs to make prostheses. A complete pair of dentures can be manufactured in just a few steps.

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3. Augmented Reality 

Augmented reality has recently become better known through popular gaming applications. This type of technology is going to change the world as we know it in virtually every industry. There is huge potential for augmented reality in the dental professions, with many uses for students and professors’ coursework development currently in practice at various schools and programs. It is particularly useful for demonstrating techniques on dental models and allowing the students to practice. 

4. Teledentistry 

Many people are reluctant to visit the dentist for personal reasons. Imagine how difficult it can be for persons with disabilities, the elderly and people with special needs. This is where teledentistry can come in handy. The ability to offer certain dental services over the internet can provide much-needed services to individuals who do not have regular access to a dentist. This type of technology can also be useful for people who live in rural areas where no dental offices are located. The service can allow dentists to capture images, take clinical notes and send that information to other dentists. The consultation with the dentist is conducted live through video chatting software. If the dentist sees an issue, they will suggest an in-person visit to a local dentist for further evaluation. 

5. Intra-Oral Camera 

One of the main complaints of dental patients is having to sit in the dentist’s chair with their mouths open uncomfortably wide. With the use of new technology such as an intra-oral camera, this discomfort will be a thing of the past. It allows the dentist to look inside the patient's mouth using a dental mirror with a camera on it. The dentist can see the images taken by the camera on a screen outside of the patient's mouth without discomfort.

This list is only the tip of the iceberg, as dental technology is constantly evolving. As new patient care needs are discovered, dental innovations are poised to completely revolutionize the world of dentistry and the way we look at oral health. 

About Brittany Waddell:


Brittany Waddell is a contributing writer and media specialist for Denture Helper. Waddell often produces content for a variety of dental blogs.