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Dental Technologies – How Far have we come ?

For years, the thought of visiting a dentist has been like a nightmare or an undesirable experience to many — the thought of sitting for long hours and having your mouth invaded with tons of tools and at times, other painful experiences. Well, besides the unpleasant experiences, certain traditional methods of dentistry have also been time consuming; and while we live in an increasingly demanding world, it can get very difficult for patients to take the time out of their busy schedules to go to a dentist.

But thanks to the ever evolving field of technology, dental experiences are not the same anymore! Yes, similar to innovation within other health care sectors, the technological advancements in the field of dentistry are making dental visits easier, quicker, and less painful. These tech advancements have also proven to be more reliable and have prevented further risks and infections in patients. They are also having a huge impact on how dental professionals treat patients and how patients need to take care of their oral health at home.

Here is a list of top 5 dental technological advancements:

  1. Digital X-rays

Digital X-rays are also known as digital dental radiographs. It uses a flat electronic pad that clicks the images through a computer instead of an X-ray film. These are quick X-rays, once taken, they appear on the computer in seconds.They provide precise and clean images of the mouth, jaw and the teeth which enable the dentists to quickly and easily find cavities, gum loss or bone loss, , benign or malignant tumors, and other abnormal structures. In children, they are helpful in finding permanent teeth which have not erupted.

Although dental X-rays use radiation, it is very low compared to traditional X-rays and hence the preferred option for X-rays.

  1. VELscope®

A non-invasive oral cancer-screening device. The device does not determine whether or not a lesion is cancerous. Rather it aids in finding abnormalities not visible to the naked eye. The FDA-approved VELscope® helps dentists detect oral cancer in its earliest stages.

The VELscope® is a blue excitation lamp (a wireless, handheld device) that uses Fluorescence Visualization (FV). The bright blue light is shone into the mouth to expose lesions or any abnormal changes.

The healthy soft tissue of the mouth naturally absorbs the VELscope® frequency of blue light. Healthy areas beneath the surface of the soft tissue show up green, and the problem areas become much darker.

Advantages of using the VELscope® System:

  • Can be combined with digital photography.
  • Detects lesions in its early stages, increasing the chances of survival.
  • Is FDA-approved.
  • Helps dentists re-check that diseased soft tissue is completely removed.
  • Painless and quick examinations.

Source: https://velscope.com/velscope/

Laser Dentistry is used in most of the dental procedures to eliminate discomfort and  improve efficiency. This technology is majorly used in procedures like cavity filling, treatment, , and bleeching, getting rid of tumors and more.

Laser dentistry is painless, and quick. It can effectively eliminate any form of bacteria growth during the procedure to avoid further infections. .

For example – Laser Dentistry for Cavity Filling.

Most of us dread a dentist visit to get our cavity fillings done because of the thought of having a tooth drilled or rather, let's just say, because of the painful experience. This traditional method (which is still in practice) is called the drill dentistry. Drill dentistry is a well-known technology, which is quite painful. However, since it's relatively inexpensive, it's also more commonly used. Like mentioned earlier, it is still in practice and is an essential tool at the dentist's clinic but not the most comfortable technique of getting rid of your tooth decay.

Instead of drills, laser-assisted contactless cavity filling uses a laser beam to cut into the tooth's spot of decay without the laser cutting into the healthy enamel and dentin of the tooth. The laser works by heating water molecules in the tooth, which expand and dislodge decay. Know more about how contactless laser cavity filling works without any pain

  1. Clear Aligners

Clear aligners, also popularly known as , are used to straighten  misaligned or crowded teeth much like the way traditional wired braces would do, minus the hassle of wires and brackets and distasteful appearance. Clear aligners have been designed to accommodate convenience and flexibility – which means they are nearly invisible and are also removable. These require fewer dental visits and are highly preferred by patients.

Among the many clear aligners available today, ® Braces are the most popular ones.

Unlike traditional braces that use wires and brackets to straighten the teeth; Invisalign braces are transparent, clear aligners — they are a set of tight-fitting custom-made mouthpieces that slip over the teeth to effectively change or correct the alignment of your teeth. Invisalign braces have rapidly become the most preferred option in the world because of their agile nature.

The Invisalign aligners are custom-made out of a proprietary plastic. These aligners are removable and fit perfect as required by the patient. Since they are made from a transparent material, they are not easily noticeable, and this is one advantage of wearing Invisalign clear aligners.

Also, they are relatively less painful compared to the traditional wired braces. If you are looking for Invisalign treatment in India or Bangalore, be rest assured to find the best treatment at Dental Solutions Bangalore.

  1. Smart

Just like smart watches, smartphones and smart homes – we now have smart toothbrushes. (You see, the world of dentistry is on a constant spree to make sure people are maintaining their best ).

We already know that electronic brushes have proven to be better at removing more plaque than standard toothbrushes. Similarly, smart toothbrushes help in determining our brushing habits.The toothbrush has sensors in the head of the brush that keeps track of the data in an interactively connected app on your smartphone, mostly via bluetooth. The data that is collected can be a mix of — how long you brush different areas, the amount of pressure you apply, the angles at which you hold the brush or more. The data collected will totally depend on the brand of the brush and the various features it offers. These Smart toothbrushes are expensive.

It is not a mandate to use a smart toothbrush, however, you could consult with your dentist if you would want to use one.

  1. DIAGNOdent™ pen

This is a small hand-held instrument used for accurate and elementary detection of dental caries. This instrument is able to detect cavities that may go unnoticed during visual examination or sometimes even in the X-rays. Highly recommended for pregnant women, as this has no radiations unlike X-rays.

Precisely how the tool works is, it uses advanced laser technology to measure the density of the tooth enamel and this helps to identify tooth decay in the depths of the teeth and the damage caused.

DIAGNOdent™ pen reads the amount of laser light and the volume of fluorescence that shines into the depths of the teeth and it reads the amount of light that is reflected back. Healthy teeth reflect less light than a carious tooth. Hence, the more fluorescent the teeth appear and the more light the tooth reflects, the pen notifies that the teeth carry more decay. The recorded amount of fluorescence also shows how intense the presence of tooth decay is.

This is a completely painless diagnosis and only takes a couple of minutes to complete. Also, it causes no harm to oral cavities or the tissues.

Experts at Dental Solutions use the latest DIAGNOdent™ pen that works with an intelligent amalgamation of x-ray imaging, and laser fluorescence technology. Read  more about the use of DIAGNOdent™ pen at our clinic.

  1. Florida Probe

A computer-integrated system that is used by dentists to detect and diagnose periodontal disease. The system helps in probing and charting the disease, and educating patients on the needed treatment.

One of the best features of the system is Automatic Charting. The system is more like an assistant during periodontal examination, which helps in minimising extra human assistant effort which is otherwise required to chart while the dentist is probing. 

Quoting from the Florida Probe site, on automatic charting:

“Instead of having to try and read the thin bands on a regular periodontal probe and estimate pocket depth, just bring the blue sleeve of the FP Handpiece down to the gingival margin, tap the Footswitch, and your numerical data is recorded. There is also no need to say the number – the System does this for both the patient's benefit as well as your own (sound can also be turned off or customized).”

The use of a constant force probe allows dentists to measure periodontal pockets at higher accuracy and faster. This further assists patients in beginning their treatments earlier – at times, even during the earliest stages of periodontal disease.

We have been using this system for a while now, and it has indeed proved to be extremely beneficial not only to us, but also our patients in helping them detect periodontitis early.

These were some of technological advancements in the field of dentistry.

This list only mentions a few of the many technologies; there are tons of dental technologies that have improved patient care and hygiene.

As dental technology is constantly evolving, we at Dental Solutions Bangalore research, study and make it a point to introduce such technologies at our clinic keeping the patient's best interests foremost. 

The way we now look at oral health is revolutionising, it's much easier to take care of your mouth than ever before – But hey! This will not happen if you skip your regular appointments. So make sure not to miss your next appointment and if you have missed, let us help you book your appointment at one of the best dental clinics in Bangalore. Call us at 080 4110 0376.

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