Gone are the days when dental offices were just dull, drab places with oversized machines and anxious patients. Thanks to the tremendous advancements in the field of dentistry, newer technologies and treatment modalities have been introduced that have improved treatment outcomes and aesthetic results, while making dental treatment pain-free. This blog discusses the top five innovations in restorative dentistry that have entirely revolutionized the dental industry and have directly benefited the patients.
The days are gone when patients had to bear the inconvenience of getting physical impressions of their teeth. Not only were physical impressions messy, but they also caused significant discomfort and even induced gagging in many patients. But today, physical impressions are being replaced with digital impressions. You don’t need to have an impression tray placed in your mouth anymore! Instead, your dentist will use an intra-oral camera to record 3D impressions of your teeth, which can then be sent to the laboratory for further processing.
Lumineers are ultra-thin shells of porcelain or composite resins that are attached to the front surfaces of the teeth to mask various cosmetic and restorative tooth defects. Lumineers are similar in design to veneers but are even thinner than them. Therefore, in contrast to veneers, Lumineers have minimal or no tooth preparation. Hence, Lumineers offer a better aesthetic outcome and are tooth conservative than veneers.
Conventionally, dental restorations like veneers, crowns, or dentures are prepared in the dental laboratory. Unfortunately, this not only takes time but also leaves a margin for human error. However, things have changed now. Many dental offices are now investing in desktop 3D printers that allow them to design and fabricate dental restorations at the dental chairside. These 3D-printed restorations are dimensionally more stable, longer lasting, and aesthetically pleasing than conventionally made restorations.
Another advancement in restorative dentistry is the introduction of the CBCT technology, which allows dentists to visualize dental hard tissues and soft tissues in detail. CBCT technology is extensively used by dentists nowadays, along with digital radiography for treatment planning in dental implantology. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the CBCT machine used in dentistry rotates around the patient and captures the data using a cone-shaped x-ray beam. This data is then utilized in a software to reconstruct 3D images of the dental tissues. CBCT technology is also used for the diagnosis and treatment of various dental conditions, including oral cancer.
In the previous years, the focus of dental treatment was to treat damaged teeth with restorative materials. This approach meant removing the damaged tooth structure, followed by restoring the tooth’s shape, strength, and aesthetics by placing a tooth-colored filling over it. This so-called surgical restorative approach not only requires healthy tooth structure but has also proven to be costly in the long run. Hence, the focus is now shifting towards preventive or minimally invasive dentistry, where attempts are made to remineralize the damaged tooth structure using topical remineralizing agents, and only use filling materials when necessary. Some of these remineralizing agents include sodium fluoride varnishes, calcium phosphate, nanoparticle-based remineralization agents, and silver diamine fluoride.
With the introduction of these remineralization agents, not only the global burden of tooth decay is expected to decrease, but it will also significantly reduce the treatment costs, making it affordable for everyone.
Dentistry is a continuously evolving field. Newer innovations are constantly being introduced that are enabling dental professionals to provide high-quality, safer, cost-effective, and longer-lasting dental treatments to their patients. At the same time, the latest technology has made dental procedures less time consuming and virtually pain-free. So, what’s your excuse now for avoiding dental treatment? At Royal Dental, we take pride in offering high-quality dental services to our patients using cutting-edge technology and innovative restorative dental procedures. So, book an appointment with us today and let us give you a healthy and lasting smile!