Much like the rest of the global healthcare industry, dental health care is set for a flood of new technologies, equipment, software integrations and techniques that will likely revolutionise the sector over the next twelve months and beyond.
A lot of what we are seeing is an evolution of very recent or new tech that has been tested, honed and improved to not only offer a wider range of solutions that a typical dental practitioner might offer their customers but also a significant improvement in high level, precise patient care and comfort.
The significant advances in CAD/CAM technology in the dental industry have seen an ongoing explosion in the efficient creation of various types of tooth restoration work including crowns, bridges, inlays and onlays. We can expect to see this technology being increasingly adopted as it is so much more efficient than traditional lab created work.
There is an increasing interest in incorporating the latest in dental laser techniques into standard dental practice offerings. This is no surprise as speed, efficiency and patient comfort levels are all dramatically improved with laser technology. Everything from simple tartar removal and cleansing procedures to root planing can be performed with laser tech. Traditional root planing carries a number of risks as a curette can damage surrounding tissue, a laser can completely negate this potential damage.
Protecting the teeth and jaw
Whilst many of the everyday traditional and disposable dental supplies such as aprons, mouthwashes cleaning and sterilisation equipment are imperative to day to day dental practice operations, we are seeing many innovative new products and techniques entering the market. Mouthguard’s for sports use, for example, are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and practices that specialise in the provision of mouthguards for athletic or simply everyday use new techniques and materials to mould the guards with even more precision, comfort and durability. As 3D printing becomes a reality in the not too distant future, mouth guards will become even more perfectly formed to an individual’s unique mouth.
Reducing stress and anxiety in the dental chair
It’s not uncommon for patients to struggle with fear and anxiety when visiting a dentist and it is a dental practice’s eternal challenge to find new ways to comfort, support and reduce not just the potential pain and discomfort of a specific procedure but also eliminate the stress and anxiety that many patients can feel. Alongside more holistic therapies such as meditation and hypnosis that are showing significant stress reduction amongst dental patients, there are also many new sedative treatments available that are helping to alleviate a patient’s anxiety.
Other mainstream surgical local anaesthetics are becoming more sophisticated in terms of individual dosing and associated risks and a very innovative new drug called OraVerse can actually reverse the effects of a local anaesthetic meaning that a patient can recover far quicker and potentially even drive home after a procedure.
Beyond the next twelve months we will start to see everything from AI, to 3D printing transforming the world of dentistry, streamlining procedures, reducing waiting times, allowing for more surgical precision and better outcomes. Pain and stress management will reduce as these technologies make procedures quicker, more efficient and more comfortable. It’s never been a more exciting time to be involved in the dental healthcare industry.