Emerging Technologies that will Change Your Visit to the Dentist

By Ricky Carlyle, DDS

Many of you may start reading this article praying that there is a way to get dental work done in the near future without having to get a “shot”!  Sorry but I don’t see that happening anywhere in the near future.  Laser Companies promote “Shot-less “dentistry but it only works on virgin teeth and can’t do crown preps.  There are some new technologies that will impact your visit at the dentist in the next ten years that may help!

  • Virtual Reality

It may not replace the “Shot” but VR is going to be a big part of Dentistry in the future.  From training of dental students and lab workers to allowing dentist diagnosis problems by viewing 3D x-rays and scans without interference.  The biggest way VR will help is allowing patients to totally immerse themselves in virtual worlds to eliminate the sights and sounds, maybe smells?

Having a filling done while sitting a beach in Fiji or watching you favorite movie in a 3D environment could make your visit relaxing instead of stressful.

  • Robotics

Earlier this year Chinese dentist used the first Robot to place a dental implant.  I don’t foresee the complete elimination of the human element but I could see dentist working on patients from across the room just like a video game.  The millennials will expect that when they are older.  Just like cars driving themselves, there is going to be a slow transition to this technology.

  • Ultrasound

Even though it may never replace x-rays, the trend to expose patients to less radiation is going to continue.  As in medicine with radiologists using ultrasound assisted surgeries, it will probably become more prevalent in dentistry.  Need drives innovation!  Ultrasound will be very helpful in 3D mapping of the mouth as in use with 3D Fetal Ultrasounds.  Infrared scanners like the Itero or 3 Shape scanners only give us surface images, whereas ultrasound will have the ability to give subsurface, as well as, surface level images

  • 3D Printing

3D printing is the technology that is having the most impact on dentistry right now.  In combo with Infrared scanners and 3D CAT Scans we have almost eliminated the need to take those “yucky” impressions.  One Scan and we can generate Invisalign Aligners that are 3D printed.   Dentures will start being made by 3D printing very soon.  The coolest innovations in the not so near future is 3D printed teeth, gums, and jaw bones made from your own stem cells.  Would that not be incredible!  It’s coming not only to dentistry but 3D printed ears, hearts, noses, or any organ or extremity.  Need one – go to Copy Pro and print one!

  • Artificial Intelligence

In the near future dentist will become more reliant on AI to control all the technology mentioned above.  We will be using computer algorithms with AI to diagnosis cavities on X-rays and Ultrasounds or to detect cancer and a wide variety of diseases.  The amount of technology at my fingertips in 2018 is almost overwhelming.  We are going to have to have AI to organize all the data we are collecting and then present to the dentist for final diagnosis.

If you have questions about any of these areas, make sure you are going to a dentist who is staying up to date with all the new technology.  Sometimes new is not better!  It is up to your dental professional to decide!   Call today for your OUT OF THIS WORLD DENTAL EXPERIENCE!