The Future of Dentistry

The practice of dentistry has existed since 7000 BC, and yet it continues to evolve. Due to new technology and techniques, dentistry is a changing and growing industry. New technologies and innovations such as 3D printing, tele-dentistry and “smart-toothbrushes” are right around the corner! Here’s a look at some of the new, exciting technology when it comes to dental care and treatment.

1) Tele-dentistry
Not everyone has the ability to get to a dentist. Some patients live in more remote areas and others have mobility issues that make it difficult to get to the dentist office. As tele-dentistry spreads, access to dental care increases for patients who cannot otherwise get to the dentist office. Through the use of video conferencing, images taken by smart phone, and a caregiver who can assist in the image-taking and provide observations, a dentist can provide care recommendations, are refer the patient for further treatment if necessary.

2) Smart Toothbrush
You have a smart phone. Maybe you have a smart thermostat or a smart refrigerator. And pretty soon, you may have a smart-toothbrush! Bluetooth connected toothbrushes have monitors and games to help increase brushing time. 3D maps of your teeth may be made by the toothbrushes of the future that can report if you are brushing thoroughly and warns if you are brushing too hard at a certain area. 

3) Computer-assisted Design & 3D Printing

Computer-assisted design allows digital labs to quickly create a custom design of things like veneers, or crowns, and 3D printing can then manufacture that dental appliance. In fact, 3D printing has been shown to have countless uses. For medical professionals in areas outside of major cities, 3D printing can help doctors create medicines, prosthetics, tools, and other items not readily available. The process of computer-assisted design, followed by computer assisted manufacturing cuts down significantly on both the time and effort needed to provide quality dental options to people around the world.

4) Better and Smaller Cameras

Dentists need to have a good view of the teeth, gums, and mouth in order to provide a comprehensive exam and cleaning. Yet, until recently, cameras were too big to allow the dentist to get a good view. New intra-oral cameras have revolutionized this procedure and advances continue to show promising results, improving comfort for the patient and ease-of-use and results for the dentist.

5) Growing Back Broken Teeth

Dental regeneration seems to be on the horizon of dental care with bioactive replacements for dentine. Stem cell technology research is starting to present more discoveries that indicate that growing new teeth as adults may be in our future. In a Newsweek article from April 2016, it was reported that scientists from the University of Nottingham and Harvard University developed dental fillings that stimulate teeth to heal themselves with the use of stem cells to grow dentin.

Innovations in healthcare have stunning potential for the future of dentistry. It is certainly an exciting time to be alive!

5) Are Dental Veneers Right for Me?

Having good health and oral aesthetics is very important for the confidence and self-esteem of many people. Who doesn’t want to have a beautiful smile? Dental veneers can be a great alternative to improve oral aesthetics at a reasonable price, without long and complicated treatments and any risk.

What is a Dental Veneer?

The dental veneer is a small sheet that is placed in the visible part of the tooth to mask or cover problems caused by infections such as caries, poor previous restorations, enamel fractures, mold changes and changes in color to improve your external image.

What are Dental Veneers Used For?

Regardless of the causes of unattractive teeth, dental veneers can solve most or even all of your cosmetic dental problems, including:

Worn enamel: Over time, the thin, translucent and hard substance that covers the teeth (the enamel) can wear out and become discolored. Such wear and discoloration may be natural or be the result of a genetic predisposition. However, it is often the result of consuming soda, tea or coffee, smoking, and the use of certain medications, etc.

Use and wear: Teeth naturally wear out with age. The teeth of older people are more prone to wear, cracks or a generally uneven appearance.

Genetics: Some people are born with an abnormal separation between teeth that enlarges with age.

Uneven teeth: Uneven teeth can result from injury or general wear.

Process of Dental Veneers

The process of placing veneers usually begins with the removal of some of the tooth enamel to ensure that the dental veneers have a good surface to be permanently attached to the teeth. The amount of enamel removed is small and in fact, it is the same thickness as the veneer to be placed so that the tooth remains the same size. A local anesthetic can be used to ensure that no discomfort occurs during the application process, however this is usually not necessary.

Once the teeth have been prepared, an impression will be made so that the dental technician has enough information to make the dental veneer. If some teeth are left unveneered, the color of the other veneer chosen corresponds in a color guide will ensure that the veneers match and look completely natural.

Placing a veneer usually requires at least two visits; The first visit is to prepare the tooth and make sure it matches the veneer, while the second visit is to place the veneer. Before carrying out the procedure, the dentist shows the patient the dental veneer on his tooth to make sure he is happy with it.

How Long Do Dental Veneers Last?

Dental veneers can last for many years, however, there is always a risk that they may splinter or break just like the teeth themselves. In general, the dentist is the one who tells the patient how long each veneer will last, in addition to the need for a new veneer if necessary.

How Much Do Dental Veneers Cost?

The cost of dental veneers may vary depending on the type of veneer chosen.

In general, porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite veneers, costing between $800 and $3,000 dollars per tooth, while composite veneers have prices ranging from $200 to $2000 dollars per tooth.

If you are interested in learning more about the veneer process, or scheduling your appointment for a veneer consultation, contact us here at North Stapley Dental Care.

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