A brief discussion on the latest version of digital dentistry 

digital dentistry

Routine dental checkups at regular intervals prove beneficial for everyone but according to the statistics endorsed by the British Dental Association or BDA a significant percentage of Britons have not seen a dentist over the last few years. Out of these people a significant fraction says affording regular visits to a dentist is beyond their financial reach while others admit they suffer from dental anxiety and are scared to go for dental care and treatment. It is important to mention that there is yet another fraction of people among them who do not go for regular dental checkups because they cannot find out convenient time and location. In this circumstance dental technology is steadily evolving with the passing of each day to help dentists provide better care and treatment. Newer technologies also help making better connections between dental professionals and patients. In this fast-changing circumstance dental practices all over the world including the UK are witnessing massive changes in the recent times. In the following sections of the post let us explore few latest advances in technology that have practically stormed the entire world of dentistry unlike anything before.

The latest advances in dental technology include the following

  • Tele dentistry
  • VR or virtual reality
  • AI or artificial intelligence and
  • 3D printing

Tele dentistry provides greater access to care

During the initial stages of the COVID – 19 pandemics just like all other medical services dental surgeries too were compelled to shut down for general care and treatment. According to recent survey data although most of those practices are now open to accept patients and run their business more than half register much lower volumes of patients in comparison to the times prior to the pandemic outbreak. This is where digital dental technology in form of tele dentistry proves its relevance. In easiest words tele dentistry is all about providing basic dental examinations or dental consulting with help of digital tools like synchronous or asynchronous video. 

The global pandemic increased the adoption of tele dentistry technologies to a huge extent and this change or development, whichever way you put it, makes a lot of sense. The range of technologies not only reduces the risk of viral transmission but also enables dentists comply with local oral health norms and measures. It is relevant to mention in this context that tele dentistry definitely minimises the stress level related to travelling for patients. This is even truer for those who have to drive long distances to access dental care or those who do not have access to reliable vehicle. The tools used in tele dentistry are reliable enough to determine whether there is a genuine emergency and the patient indeed requires making a trip to the dentist. Similarly, if the condition of a patient allows him or her to wait until their regular check-up then that is also determined by those tools. 

So, what is the caveat from the paragraph above? It is important for dentists to ensure that any tele dentistry technology they take resort to must comply with the latest health regulations more than anything else. 

Virtual reality creates distraction much needed for patients

Virtual reality, which is better referred to as VR, is another cutting-edge technology widely used in dental industry that enable dentists provide better care to their patients. In the typical setting of any dental practice virtual reality or VR (also known as augmented reality) may take the form of headsets for patients to wear and that provide digital distraction to the later. According to highly trained dental practitioners who provide the service of digital dentistry near me in London this approach is more likely the extension of the function that television sets mounted on the wall of dental practices provide. The aim of both the TV sets and those VI headsets are the same – to provide patients with some kind of distraction and something else to focus their mind upon.

Here is something more that is also worth mentioning in the current context; according to some of the latest studies virtual reality is found to have significant impact statistically on pain management. Patients who make use of VR technology report a consistent drop in their perceived pain compared to those who do not seek mental distraction using VR. This nurtures the possibility of creation of empathy between dentist and patients which in turn is likely to lead to better care explain some of the top-notch dentists in London who work at the renowned 1A Orthodontics. Since VR in these circumstances used to make a patient relax mentally and feel at ease, the patient considers the dentist as providing empathy. 

Apart from that VR is also being largely used these days to enable dental students digitally experience various dental procedures. This approach proves helpful in cases or conditions that occur rarely but require a dentist to possess the specific experience to provide the right treatment.

Dental diagnostics helped by artificial intelligence

If the truth is to be spilled, AI tools now show greater consistency in diagnosing tooth decay compared to dentists thanks to the resources like peripheral radiographs and bitewing. According to a leading dentist in Wandsworth AI algorithms are quite foolproof these days and are based on billions of data points. Thus, these algorithms can make precise decisions based on the evidence in access and these algorithms enjoy a distinct edge over humans (read highly trained, qualified and skilled dentists) in identifying specific conditions in patients. AI proves a helpful tool in identifying abnormal structures in the mouth along with determining diagnoses as well as suggesting effective treatment procedures. Dentists are – just like you and me –mortal humans and AI works as an extra pair of eyes for them in validating their assessments.

3D printing proves cost-effective for both patients and practitioners

Evolution of low-cost, high-speed 3D printers proves helpful for dental surgeries all over the world to reduce total expenses in one hand while on the other enhance overall satisfaction of patients. An example here will be helpful to get a clearer picture – building up a lab to manufacture dental implants costs around £100,000 whereas a top-grade 3D printer costs around £20,000. So now practices can afford to cut down the cost of manufacturing that tooth implant and are passing on this cost benefit to their patients. 

Now that we have got some idea about what dental technology deals with in the present times there are still a few things that have been left untouched. As far as 3D printing in dentistry is concerned other applications that are also popular include dental splints and medical modelling. There is also CBCT or cone beam computed tomography which a large number of dental practices at 1A Orthodontics London rely on to collect and access comprehensive data on dental structure of a patient. it also helps creating a volumetric image which helps reciprocating a 3D model of the jaws of a patient.