Since the first high-speed hand-piece was developed during the 1950\’s, dentistry has enjoyed numerous technological advancements that have provided a wide range of benefits for dental patients. We live in a technological age in which emerging technologies are applied across the sciences and dentistry has seen everything from fiber optics to computer software help dentists improve the dental hygiene of their patients.
Here are the most recent amazing leaps of dental technology!
No-Needle Dental Anesthetic
One of the most worrisome thing that patients think about are tooth-numbing injections. That little prick is actually far less painful than the idea, but a study at the University of Sao Paulo discovered that the tiny shots may soon be eliminated altogether. Dentists may be able to use small electric currents to give localized anesthesia. The emerging technology would save time, money and have fewer after-effects.
Glass Composite Restoration
A “bioactive” glass material being developed by engineers at Oregon State University may help lessen the ability of bacteria to negatively affect fillings. The material could provide increased protection for the more than 120 million composite tooth restorations each year and improve oral hygiene. Bioactive glass is comprised of elements such as silicon, calcium and phosphorus oxide and has the appearance of powdered glass.
Pill Popping Cavity Prevention
Preventing harmful bacteria from eroding teeth may soon be as simple as taking a pill. This is not to say anyone should stop brushing and flossing regularly. A recent study uncovered a type of “superhero” oral bacteria that battles bad strains in the mouth. This strain of Streptococcus, known as A12, has researchers working on a supplement that could cleanse the mouth and subdue cavity-causing activity. This probiotic approach to better oral hygiene would be fighting fire with fire, so to speak.
No More Mouth Breathing
While this development may fall slightly outside the tech realm, the University of Otago Sir John Walsh Research Institute has drawn a link between cavities and mouth breathing. A sleep study found that pH levels in the mouth drop to acidic levels while breathing through the mouth versus nose. During that time, tooth enamel may start to demineralize.
The most feared aspect of going to the dentist is drilling, hands down. But the need for drilling may be reduced based on an innovative liquid being developed by a Creighton University School of Dentistry professor. This liquid may be applied before x-rays are performed and it tells the dentist whether pre-cavity activity is occurring in the tooth. This advanced information opens the door for dentists to make more efficient use of topical applications to fight tooth decay. This helps maintain the integrity of the tooth at the pre-cavity stage and reduces the need for drilling later.
Living in these innovative technological times has proven beneficial in just about every aspect of our lives. From communications to our friendly Alexa home AI devices and everything in between, technology continues to improve our quality of life. Dentists have been pleased to put new tools and ideas to use and improve dental hygiene with each discovery. We can all expect science and dentists to help us help ourselves to a healthy smile.
To schedule an appointment, contact Downtown Dentistry today!