Technology is evolving all the time and many dental practices are also experiencing an influx in advanced technology through new machines and methods. These include the introduction of DVD glasses to help ease any dental anxieties patients may experience during treatment, iPhone apps that allow patients to schedule appointments and digital X-rays that allow for a greener and more productive level of dentistry. Such advances in dental technology work to increase patient comfort and improve standards of care. Some of the most popular examples of new dental technology are outlined below:
DVD glasses enable patients to watch films during their appointment. In many cases, DVDs help to keep patients entertained while they are undergoing a dental procedure. However, watching a DVD can also be really helpful in the treatment of nervous and anxious patients. Watching a film will help to take the patient's mind off the treatment and make them feel more relaxed and at home.
Many dental practices have a large range of DVDs to choose from but many will also invite you to bring your own.
DVD glasses can also be beneficial for dentists because their patients are more relaxed and tend to stay still if they are watching a film.
Laser dentistry is becoming increasingly popular and many dentists are choosing to replace traditional methods with laser technology. Laser technology has a range of benefits, including improved healing, reduced risk of infection, improved accuracy, reduced pain and reduced treatment time. Laser technology can be used to treat a variety of different oral health problems and it is expected to replace many conventional methods in the future.
Diagnodent is a new dental instrument, which enables dentists to detect early signs of decay. The device uses laser technology to identify possible warning signs of decay and this means treatment can be given much earlier. If decay is identified early, the tooth can be treated and there is a much lower risk of the decay spreading and the tooth being damaged extensively. Early treatment is also cost-effective because it reduces the risk of the condition becoming more advanced. If the condition gets worse, the patient will require more complex treatment, which could be very expensive.
Diagnodent is a safe, non-invasive method, which enables dentists to identify signs of decay very quickly and simply. The procedure is not painful or uncomfortable for patients and can be used as a useful diagnostic tool. In the long-term, using Diagnodent can also be really helpful for patients with dental anxiety or dental phobia and children, as early treatment will help to prevent the need for complex treatment, which may require the use of drills and needles, further down the line.
Nucalm is a revolutionary new treatment which has been developed to help patients with dental anxiety or dental phobia. The treatment is a non-invasive method, which relaxes the body and induces a state of calm, which mirrors that of the first stage of sleep.
Nucalm treatment involves chewing on tablets (known as GABA tablets), which are designed to counteract the effects of the release of adrenaline, which often causes a rush of excitement and anxiety. Special microcurrent stimulation patches are then placed behind each ear; the waves are designed to open the receptors in the brain to the GABA tablets, as well as stimulating a relaxing response from the body. The final stage involves the patient wearing black out glasses and earphones. The treatment uses a special form of listening software, which changes the waves in the brain to induce a state of relaxation; soothing music can also be played through the earphones.
Nucalm has been proved to be an effective solution. Many people suffer from anxiety and feel nervous at the mere thought of going to the dentist and some people suffer from such severe anxiety that they avoid going to the dentist full-stop. Nucalm helps to completely relax the body and make going to the dentist a much more pleasurable experience.
Cerec is state of the art technology, which enables dentists to design and fabricate dental restorations on site.
The use of Cerec technology reduces treatment waiting time, reduces costs for both the dentist and the patient and reduces the amount of anaesthetic the patient needs. Cerec also enables the patient to be actively involved in the design process, meaning that they have a say in the final result. With Cerec, there is also no need for temporary restorations and multiple doses of anaesthetic.
Cerec can be used to produce new onlays, inlays, crowns and veneers.
Cerec works by using digital camera images; the dentist will take a digital photograph of the patient's tooth using a special type of camera. The image will then be converted into a computerised 3D model of the tooth. The model is then used as a template for the restoration; the information is sent to the onsite manufacturing machine, which creates the new restoration.
CT scanners are used every day in hospitals across the country. However, many people may not realise that CT scanners are also used in modern dentistry.
Using a CT scanner allows dentists to observe extremely accurate and detailed images of the teeth and gum tissues. A CT scan is often recommended for patients who are considering having implants, as the scan allows dentists to plan the treatment and ensure that the implant is in exactly the right place. The scan can also help to reduce treatment time.
A CT scan may also be used when a patient has an impacted tooth. The scan is used to identify the exact position of the tooth, which will help to determine the best possible course of treatment.
The scan can also be a useful way to explain the implant procedure and treatment to patients. The images enable patients to gain a more comprehensive understanding of what the treatment entails.
Digital X-rays are relatively new but an increasing number of dentists are switching to digital machines, as they have a range of benefits. Digital X-rays give more detailed and accurate X-ray images and are much more environmentally friendly than traditional X-ray machines.
A digital X-ray machine uses computer technology rather than traditional film. The film is replaced by an electric pad and the images are sent directly to the computer instead of being developed in a dark room. The images can then be stored on the computer, which will reduce the amount of paper used by dentists. Digital images can also be compared on the same computer screens, meaning that dentists can identify differences between the two images.
Digital X-rays also help to reduce treatment and waiting time.
Velscope is an instrument, which enables dentists to check for early signs of oral cancer. The instrument projects a blue light into the mouth. The light causes the tissue to fluoresce and healthy tissue usually gives out a bright green glow, while unhealthy or abnormal tissue gives a much duller, darker glow. The Velscope device can be used to detect early warning signs of oral cancer, which means treatment can be administered early; early treatment can improve survival rates by up to 90 percent.
Oral cancer is much more common than many people think. It kills more people each year than cervical cancer and skin cancer. The Velscope instrument can help to identify possible symptoms of oral cancer at a very early stage, which will undoubtedly improve the chances of survival.
The Velscope device is very safe and the examination is very quick and simple. The patient will not experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
iPhone apps for dental practices
The iPhone is the latest must-have accessory and a large proportion of the population now have one. There are so many apps available that you can do almost anything you want with an iPhone.
An increasing number of dentists are now using iPhone apps to market their dental practices and offer patients easy ways of making appointments, finding out about different types of treatments and finding the practice, using maps and route planners. Some apps also allow patients to contact their dentist and ask their dentist a question.
As a marketing tool, the iPhone can be extremely powerful. Competition amongst dental clinics is rife and dentists are always on the lookout for new ways to attract new clients. Tapping into the iPhone craze will undoubtedly act as an effective way of targeting new clients, particularly young people as the apps enable patients to organise appointments and find out about treatments quickly and easily and they are much more likely to use their new iPhone to organise a dental appointment than picking up the phone and calling a dental practice.
iTero is a state of the art digital impression system, which will provide a long-term alternative to creating dental impressions using dental putty. iTero was introduced in the USA but is becoming increasingly popular in the UK.
Currently, most dentists use dental putty to form moulds of their patient's mouth; the putty sets and creates a hard model of the mouth, which is then used by dental technicians to create dental devices or restorations.
iTero is a scanner, which produces exact replica images of the mouth in a matter of seconds. The scanner is inserted into the mouth, the images are produced and then used by technicians to manufacture the new restoration. iTero eliminates the need for dental putty and speeds up the manufacturing process. The exact images also ensure the restorations and devices will fit the patient perfectly, which will enhance the performance of the device and prevent the need for remakes.
iTero is beneficial for both patients and dentists; iTero ensures that patients receive perfectly proportioned restorations, which will work more effectively. Treatment time is also reduced and patients no longer have to put up with the unpleasant feeling of having dental putty in their mouths. For dentists, the quality of the restoration is enhanced, treatment time is shorter and waste is reduced. iTero ensures perfectly fitting devices, which prevents the need for remakes, saving both time and money. iTero also makes the dental technician's job easier, as they can use exact images to fabricate new dental devices, rather than inaccurate moulds.