A few years ago, I realized that I was thinking about dental care all wrong. Instead of listening carefully to my dentist and making the necessary changes, I assumed that he was ultimately responsible for making sure that my teeth stayed healthy. Unfortunately, I developed a few serious cavities because I failed to properly brush and floss my teeth, and I knew that it was my fault. I decided to start taking notes at my dental checkups and carefully abiding by the dentist's orders. The difference was almost miraculous. This blog is all about working with your dentist to improve your result.
Dentistry is one area of medicine that is not afraid to embrace new technology. Over the past few decades, changes in implant dentistry as well as different approaches to common preventative procedures have been tried. It can be difficult to keep up with the latest dental trends, and some of the new advancements may make you feel like you are living in a science fiction novel. Below are three of the recent advancements that will make you think you have been transported to the future.
Scientists in China are currently working on a vaccine that could reduce tooth decay. The vaccine combats the bacteria known for causing plaque buildup, which will ultimately reduce cavities and can allow teeth to rebuild from mild decay. The vaccine is still being constructed as the original version had too many side-effects and the second version does not have the success rate the makers hope for. When the vaccine is completed, it will be targeted towards areas with difficult access to dental care. While the vaccine cannot replace dental care such as brushing daily and regular dental checkups, it will be able to slow decay.
In the US, this type of vaccine can be particularly interesting for families with a history of tooth decay that may pass on large amounts of the bacteria to their children. Children with large colonies of oral bacteria may suffer tooth decay despite excellent dental hygiene, and this vaccine may finally give them the upper hand when it comes to preventing cavities.
Perhaps you have heard of the recent innovation of robots assisting dentists with complex dental procedures such as the placement of implants or root canals. In early 2017, the FDA approved such robots for use in the United States. These robots can cut down on the time procedures take and can help achieve more precise procedures, but they are still controlled by a dentist.
Recently, China has taken this technology a step further by programming a robot to complete an entire dental procedure, the placement of two implants, without human involvement. Although human dentists were still in the room for the procedure, they did not interfere or direct the robot in any way. Once this technology is developed further, it may be possible for dentists or dental assistants with less training to operate the robot, allowing faster, more precise dental care for a greater number of people, which is a large concern in China.
While completely autonomous robots are not approved in the US yet, if they are approved in China, it is likely that the US dental field will start to consider their benefits as well.
A Greater Use of Lasers
Dental lasers are not exactly new, but they are becoming more affordable and more common in US dental practices. Lasers can now be easily calibrated to change the size of the beam and to target only the teeth or only the gums. This means that invasive dental work, such as the treatment of cavities, can be done with little or no pain and anesthetics can be avoided altogether. Lasers not only make the patient more comfortable, they also cut down on the time procedures take, which can allow higher patient turnover and, ultimately, reduce the cost of some dental procedures.
While not all US dental practices use laser technology, more patients are beginning to seek out and request laser treatment. This means that you can expect to see lasers become more common in the next few years.
Over the next few years, you can expect even more innovations. But remember that daily care at home and regular check ups are the keys to dental health. For more information, visit websites like https://www.mysunshinedentistry.com/.