With the world becoming more attuned to the digital world, technological advancements have swept across different types of industries, creating changes in the way products and services are conceptualized, created, and delivered to customers. Today, we’re doing everything online. We order food using apps, we play casino games without ever leaving our couches, we pay our bills online, and we make all kinds of appointments using technology.
The health and medical care industry have benefited from the advancing technological revolution. The field of dentistry, in particular, has seen great strides with the adoption of new technologies and devices that have improved treatment, service delivery, and customer comfort.
Below are some of the advancements that have been recently implemented in this sector.
Virtual Dental Implants
Dental implants, which lots of dentists specialize in, have been used to bridge a gap or replace a tooth lost through injury, disease or other reasons. Compared to dentures and other removable dental prosthetics, dental implants provide a more lasting, integrated solution to tooth loss. Advancements in dental implant technology have refined and further improved the process for those who are planning to undergo this type of procedure. Through technology, it is now possible to take a virtual image of the mouth and jawbone area, and create a three-dimensional model. This less invasive process allows the periodontist to properly design the dental implant prior to surgery based on critical physical data such as jawbone size, as well as to identify the perfect position for a more successful placement. This procedure also takes less time and provides the quickest, most comfortable solution for these types of dental issues.
3D Printing Solutions
Basic 3D printing solutions are now widely used in the dental and orthodontics industry to create more comfortable prosthetics. Even so, 3D printing continues to evolve as industry experts find more ways to refine the technology. For example, the University of Groningen in the Netherlands recently completed research on a polymer based implant that has microbial properties. Through the power of 3D printing, fitted implants can be created with this bacterial-fighting property to prevent gum and tooth disease. While researchers agree on the benefit of this new product, they continue to refine the technology by studying its potential long-term effects to the beneficial flora in the mouth.
In the future, industry experts predict that the Internet of Things (IoT) will become so integrated into daily living that even a dental diagnosis can be done via a smart toothbrush that uploads data to the cloud, and to the dentistas file. Even before a person makes an appointment with the dentist, there would already be a diagnosis as well as a recommended solution.
Improvements in 3D printing are also expected to occur, particularly in the area of bioprinting where living cells and tissues are replicated to create new components. More and more a bioprinted tooth or bone will closely approximate the look and function of the real thing. Digital X-Rays, now being used by some practices, make it so that the patient is exposed to less radiation. While treatment and diagnosis are expected to improve in the future, advancements in prevention are also expected to occur with smart products aimed at improving basic dental health and hygiene.