Digital Dentistry: The Future Has Arrived
Digital Dentistry: The Future Has Arrived
The world is abuzz with anticipation about the impacts of AI on everything, it seems. Drones are dominating warfare in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Robots are making their presence felt in multiple industries across the globe. Digital dentistry: The future has arrived according to multiple sources I have come across within the sector’s media. Dentistry has never been sexy, with apologies to all those good looking dentists and dental hygienists out there, but, perhaps, the wheel is turning on that score. Maybe, high tech is bringing the bling to this white coated profession.
The Digital Dimension in Dental Clinics
In the same way, that all those “dramedies” set in hospitals like The Good Doctor furnish their scenes with lots of machines that go beep, beep, and ding, technology and its flashing lights enhance the health business in the minds of many human beings, it seems. We are inclined to trust in our inventions more than ourselves when it comes to investing in health options apparently. Obviously, much of the buzz is driven by marketing, but, hey, everybody loves an uplifting story. In all seriousness though folks, the digital in dentistry offers greater precision. Exactitude in all forms of surgery is a good thing.
New Digital Applications In Dentistry
3D printing is fast becoming the next big thing in dentistry. Intraoral scanners in America are continuing to penetrate the dental clinic market.
“In fact, with 3Shape’s TRIOS intraoral scanner, last year we saw the number of TRIOS cases grow by 66%. Every two seconds around the world a case is scanned with a TRIOS. In particular, we see a major pickup in IOS usage for full and partial denture workflows. Future IOS usage will continue to go far beyond digital impressions just replacing analog impressions. IOSs are transforming the way we work.”
– Institute of Digital Dentistry
3D printed final dentures are predicted to become the norm and may well shake up the removable market. Plus, 3D printed final crowns are poking their heads above the rampant in another novel example of this digital application in the American dental market. New printers and resins are popping up all the time and the future seems unlimited in this regard. This will see a burgeoning of the trend to move denture production in-house. The cost benefits could be substantial, as the technology comes down in price.
From artificial intelligence to digital dentistry, it seems the future has arrived. Digital smile design, dental technology and AI are enmeshed in a virtual wooing of our hearts, minds, smiles and wallets.
AI, via ChatGPT and its ilk, are already positively impacting dentistry through things like CAD single unit crowns. AI diagnostics is an area that is going gang busters to provide much greater precision in analysing data for dental patients. Dental outcomes for patients going to the dentist will become much more predictable with consistently better diagnoses.
Connectivity via networking in the dentistry sphere is predicted to improve in leaps and bounds in 2023 and beyond. Greater integration between digital tools and dental practice management software will provide smoother experiences. This will mean faster processing for dental clinics and their patients.
The Future Is Brighter (And Whiter) For Dentists & Their Patients
“Digital applications are increasingly replacing invasive and stressful examination and treatment methods. And this applies to all disciplines – from pediatric dentistry to prosthodontics and implantology. While the new techniques are designed to support dentists, people are already starting to wonder whether patients might end up being treated by robots working independently in future. Andreas Moritz is quick to offer reassurance: “In the years to come, patients will continue to be treated by humans, but with computer-controlled techniques offering optimal support.” “
Sexy high tech dental applications are already verging on Star Trek-like functionality. Patients being scanned by machines, AI analysing the digital data provided and producing an exacting diagnosis, and will we see robotic arms wielding the electric drill or laser scalpel? According to dentistry experts, this last part of the machine-based puzzle will not be happening anytime soon. Real human dentists will continue to hold the sharp instruments and do the invasive surgeries in dentistry. Digital dentistry: the future has arrived, but we are not quite ready for robot dentists yet.
The failures, fatal accidents, and problems plaguing the self-driving vehicle sector provides plenty of food for thought for those in the robotic industry. Putting potentially dangerous tools into the robotic hands of machines and asking them to operate in the incredibly sensitive environment of our oral cavity is a pretty big ask. I am not sure how compelling this high tech application will prove to be if mistakes are made with devastating consequences for the human subjects with their mouths wide open.
EXPOs & Conferences Showcasing Digital Dentistry
“Orthodontics, Prosthodontics, Implantology, Endodontics, Periodontics, Paediatric Dentistry and Laser Dentistry are among the focuses at the two-day conference, which also features an exhibition showcasing the latest products and technologies in the field. A unique opportunity to learn about the latest trends and developments in the industry, the conference is an important event for the dentistry community and a great place to make valuable contacts,”
– Andreas Moritz, Head of the University Clinic of Dentistry Vienna
The takeaway from these exciting new digital advancements in the field of dentistry is a better future for patients in terms of their procedures. More seamless in-house dentistry means a one-stop shop for things like dentures and crowns. Less waiting around for stuff may filter down savings to the customer, as technology becomes more affordable. Faster and more proficient dentistry thanks to digital applications providing greater exactitude is a win-win for both dentists and their clients. Intraoral scanners and 3D printing are wonderful innovations for the industry. AI continues to expand its applications in data analysis and diagnosis. The digital-twin is an exciting concept, where dentists build a digital replica of their patients via scanners and software. The Star Trek dentist is not that far from realisation in 2023. The better the modelling, the more precise the data, the clarity of AI in analysing this exact data, then, the diagnosis is going to be spot-on in a far greater percentage of cases.
Dentistry is going to be better via its digital applications in 2023 and beyond. An alluring digital future for dentistry attracts us all, but all that glitters is not gold – there will be promises broken among the smarter teeth and smiles that are fixed.
Dr Ahmad Al- Hassiny, Top 5 Digital Dentistry Trends 2023, Institute of Dentistry, 30 January 2023.
Henderson Emily, Digitalization in the world of dentistry, News Medical Life Sciences, 10 March 2023.
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