The first school for dental medicine opened up in 1828 in Ohio; but that wasn’t where the first ever dental procedure was performed. Humans have been trying to fiddle with their physical features for as long as culture has existed. We have found records of dentistry and tooth decay that come from 5000 BC!
It is a common misconception that our oral health is independent of everything else. The truth is, our teeth and gums play a huge role in your overall health and wellness. Keeping this in mind, dental surgeons and biomedical scientists constantly improve and develop new equipment and techniques to help people overcome their oral health problems.
Modern technology is advancing, and all medical fields are growing with it. Today, we have groundbreaking machines and procedures that can save human beings from all sorts of diseases and illnesses. And they can do it without using pliers to pull your teeth out. Have a look at some modern dental procedures and equipments that have entered the healthcare industry in recent years.
Modern Dental Procedures
Patient needs and demands are evolving with time. This goes both for medical and cosmetic needs. Up and coming technology is constantly trying to accommodate and match patient expectations with the help of new tools in the biomedical field.
X-rays were discovered by accident, but they have permeated all areas of medicine as they allow us to see beyond the skin. They are similar to light waves, but travel at such high energy that they are invisible to the naked eye. Because our skin and soft tissue are unable to absorb x-rays, they travel to the bones and other organs, making them visible on the screen. When doctors were able to see the problems inside the human body, they could deal with them much better. Thus, the healthcare profession was forever revolutionized.
While earlier doctors and patients had to wait for the x-ray picture to ‘develop,’ new technology has made it possible to skip the development phase entirely. Much like cameras went from Polaroid to digital, x-rays can now be seen live on a monitor. Digital x-rays allow patients to receive medical attention earlier by cutting down the one-day waiting period.
Compared to traditional X-rays, digital ones are much faster and give off much less radiation. Dentists can bring up a digital x-ray of a person’s mouth on a computer in a few seconds. They can even look deeper into the image by zooming to better assess the damage. This leads to quicker and more accurate diagnosis, in turn helping people heal faster.
As for the radiation, there is at least 70% less radiation in digital x-rays compared to the ones normally used. Next time you visit the doctor’s; you know what to ask for.
Many of us have memories of being laughed at and ridiculed because of our braces. If you can also relate, you would be glad to learn about Invisalign. It is the modern alternative to metal braces that is invisible and gentle on the mouth and gums. Instead of suffering through the monstrosity of metal inhibitors that are constantly visible, you can choose to go for this effective and comfortable teeth straightening method.
The aligner is almost invisible, so it isn’t as obvious as traditional braces as you smile. Plus, there is no more worry about eating or about cleaning your teeth—you can easily take them out and put them back in! Besides being easily removable, Invisalign doesn’t require you to go on a special diet or visit your dentist every few weeks. They have the same job as traditional braces, but they do it more efficiently.
People who choose Invisalign instead of traditional braces report less discomfort; this is because Invisalign moves teeth more gradually, therefore leading to less pain.
Dental implants are permanent replacements for lost teeth. They are significantly growing in popularity as an alternative to traditional dentures which have to be taken out and reinserted each time. Moreover, if not secured properly with denture adhesive, they can fall out while laughing, speaking, or eating. They can also lead to infection and further tooth decay if not fitted properly.
With the invention and development of dental implants, modern dentists can create and implant artificial teeth with such precision that nobody is able to tell them apart from your real pearlies!
If you have a missing tooth due to any reason, dental surgery allows you to get screw-replacements in your jaw. Metal screws are attached to the jawbone and artificial teeth are attached on top. The recovery takes a week or so. After that, even you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference—they look and feel exactly like natural teeth.
Oral cancer in the US has poor survival rate; and the prime reason for this is the late detection and diagnosis of cancer of the mouth, lips, tongue, or throat. When it comes to a deadly disease like cancer, early detection and treatment can be the difference between life and death.
A VELscope is the newest diagnostic tool that has taken the dental world by storm. With its phenomenal fluorescent visualization technology, a VELscope is the ideal device for oral cancer screening. It is a fast, safe, and painless method that can be easily administered by dentists to detect and identify abnormal tissue formations or pre-cancerous lesions in the mouth.
Instead of the old metal tools, dentists are now performing laser surgeries to make dental procedures more efficient and comfortable. Whether it’s about filling in cavities or removing tumors, laser dentistry has taken the lead. The laser is fast and easy to use, and it also gives you the added benefit of removing all the bad bacteria from your mouth!
They may seem like modern inventions, but lasers have been a part of dentistry since the early ‘90s. However, few dentists incorporate it in their treatment methods. With laser, many oral problems can be addressed promptly, lowering the need for invasive procedures. For instance, lasers can be used to remove the decay within a tooth while getting the surrounding enamel ready for the filling.
Additionally, it can be used to control problem bacteria and lesion removal.
Lasers can also be used in cosmetic procedures such as gum contouring (reshaping the gums into an aesthetically-pleasing shape) and teeth whitening.
Ozone, or O3, is an energized from of the element oxygen. In dentistry, it is used to disinfect the mouth by destroying harmful bacteria. When attacked with ozone, the structure of these biological contaminants is broken down without causing damage to your mouth. Not only that, but it also stimulates the immune system to lower inflammation and speed up the healing process!
Ozone therapy is used extensively in dentistry for a number of reasons such as deep cleaning dentures to remove odorous bacteria, to heal infections in the jaw bone, to clean the enamel and prevent cavities, to disinfect the pulp chamber before an extraction or root canal, to treat gum disease and canker/cold sores, and to desensitize teeth that react too much to pressure or temperature. All in all, ozone is cutting edge technology in modern dentistry.
All dentists own a hand-held mirror to insert in your mouth and see what is going on. But intra-oral cameras can make the process much more accurate. They are tiny cameras that are almost the same size and shape as a traditional dental mirror; but instead of giving the dentist a one-dimensional view of one small area of the mouth, an intra-oral camera can provide them with a panoramic view of the oral cavity.
Instead of manually looking one area and struggling to see what is happening dentists can now take a video tour around your mouth! They can zoom in on particular areas to diagnose the problem and offer you much better treatment than you could’ve previously expected!
Advanced dental technology has transformed the world of oral surgery for the next millennia. Instead of living with our dental problems for the rest of our lives, we can get instant treatment and better care at our fingertips. Plus, superior diagnostic tools have made it much easier to detect fatal diseases like cancer earlier than expected, which can significantly increase chances of effective treatment and survival!