The field of dentistry is booming. Collectively, we’ve overcome a global pandemic and are reinventing the way we (and others) view our profession. For perhaps the first time, terms such as “glamorous” and “luxury” are being used to describe practices and procedures across the country.

This shift in perception couldn’t come at a better time as offices continue recovering from lost profits and unprecedented changes in protocol, staffing, and regulations. Together, we have an incredible opportunity ahead, and some novel technological advances are just the beginning of how much promise there is in the future of dentistry.

Here are five game-changing innovations helping bring to light just how exciting and on-trend dentistry can be:

Virtual Reality

Think Virtual Reality is just for gamers? Not anymore. With the help of a dedicated headset, VR allows users to become active participants in any environment, including a dental setting. Whether in the operating room or office, aspiring dentists can experience simulations in real-time, giving them access to caseloads they would not have been privy to otherwise. In 2015, Nobel BioCare held the first dental surgery through a VR lens, paving the way for its use in a clinical setting.

But this technology isn’t just helping clinicians. Patients, particularly those with dental anxiety, can benefit from using VR during appointments and surgical procedures. Who wouldn’t want to escape to a tropical island while having a root canal? Problem solved.

Teledentistry

While this practice has been around since the early ’90s, it’s recently grown exponentially, most notably out of necessity this past year. Teledentistry makes in-office appointments more accessible to those who need it most while also offering more affordable and convenient treatment options. 

The use of smartphones and their quality cameras has aided in teledentistry’s popularity. “Studies on the use of telehealth services have shown that 70 percent of patients are comfortable communicating with their healthcare providers via text, email or video in place of seeing them in person,” making this an appealing option for many patients. (Americanteledentistry.com)

Artificial Intelligence

Dental medicine is sure to reach ground-breaking platforms with the help of AI. Through the development of new algorithms, practitioners will offer advanced, personalized care resulting in improved treatment plans and more successful outcomes for even the most challenging cases.

These programs also have the potential for earlier detection and accuracy of oral cancers. “In fact, the algorithm will have the ability to classify different oral lesions into one of three categories: benign, malignant, and potentially malignant. Theoretically, the use of this type of AI in early detection of oral lesions could provide a higher quality of care as patients could receive the appropriate care at the appropriate time.” (RDHmag.com)

ISS Initiative

Dentistry . . . the final frontier? It may be, thanks to a new project from Colgate-Palmolive. They’ll be the first private oral care sector to work with the International Space Station (ISS) to study bacteria and their impact on oral health.

To learn more about biofilms, the crew plans to use a tooth simulator and examine bacterial and microbial growth. These samples will then be compared to similar experiments taking place here on Earth. It’s safe to say this mission in dental technology is truly out of this world!

Guided Light Optics

Guided Light Optics, a key component of our GLO universal mouthpiece, revolutionizes the industry in several ways. With Guided Light Optics, gentle warming heat is employed to whiten teeth quickly and effectively, rather than using harmful UV lights that can cause high tooth sensitivity or messy whitening trays that allow the gel to escape to the gumline. Other systems use cold-light, which on its own has not been shown to improve whitening results.

With GLO Science Professional, we offer a streamlined teeth whitening solution endorsed by dental professionals and loved by patients. So how does the GLO mouthpiece work to whiten teeth? A short wear time of several eight-minute applications along with a temperature regulator and automatic timer means no exposure to excessive heat. Instead, whitening oxygens are trapped against teeth where they are the most effective with the GLO closed system mouthpiece, and accelerated with heat for faster results without zingers, dehydration, or rebound.

The future is certainly promising for dentistry. The better the technology we create, the better patient care we can provide.

Sources:

Teledentistry Facts – American Teledentistry Association

Artificial intelligence (AI) in dentistry | Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) Magazine (rdhmag.com)

How Technology is Shaping and Revolutionising Dentistry (mayonews.net)

9 Technologies That Will Shape The Future Of Dentistry - The Medical Futurist

SpaceX CRS-22 Launches Investigations by Private-Sector Partners (issnationallab.org)

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