The world of cutting edge dental technology is one which should interest patients almost as much as it interests the dentists themselves. Whilst the very best dental technicians have a vested interest in working at the furthest frontiers of the treatments available, the average patient will be much better placed to access the most effective aids to good dental health if they remain aware of some of the newest breakthroughs. Treatments such as Fastbraces or Invisalign, transform smiles with the minimum of discomfort and disruption, is may be on the way to becoming part of the dental mainstream, but they were once startling innovations, and those patients who monitored the world of dental technology will have been amongst the very first to access them. Amongst the new technologies which are soon to make their way from the laboratory to the clinic are the following:
DIAGNOdent – one of the mains reasons why it’s vital that patients attend the clinic for regular check-ups is that the sooner a problem is spotted and treated, the less damage it is liable to do. This is particularly true in the case of cavities – spot a cavity early and it can be treated before it’s had time to destroy the enamel of the tooth and attack the root. Whilst your dentists trained eye might be better at spotting cavities than you could ever hope to be, the DIAGNOdent tool is capable of locating cavities at an even earlier stage. It works by allowing your dentist to scan the teeth with a laser, and the tool provides instant feedback if it locates even the slightest decay. Tests have shown it to be 90% accurate and, when used in conjunction with dental x-rays, it should ensure that there is genuinely no hiding place for tooth decay.
Diode Laser – laser dentistry looks set to be the wave of the future, and dentists make use of two different types of laser. These are lasers which are used on the hard tissue in the mouth, such as enamel, and those, like the diode laser, which act upon the soft tissue, such as gums. Amongst the problems which a diode laser can deal with are the following:
Endolase – a root canal infection has traditionally been looked upon as one of the more serious reasons to have to visit a dentist. This is because traditional methods of uncovering and cleaning out an infected root tended to be time consuming and uncomfortable, but endolase is a much more targeted, laser based treatment which offers both improved results and shortened treatment times. The point from which the laser is emitted is only 2 to 3 times wider than a human hair, allowing your dentist a high level of precision when it comes to targeting the infected areas which need to be cleaned. Another advantage is that endolase destroys infection without damaging the basic structure of the tooth.
Prophy-Jet – no matter how well you clean your teeth, you’ll never be able to get them as white and sparkling as they are after a professional cleaning in a dentist’s chair. Traditionally, your dentist would have carried out the polishing of your enamel using an abrasive paste applied via a rotating rubber cup. Prophy-Jet is the hi-tech improvement upon this technique. It uses air to blast high pressured water and baking soda onto the surface of your teeth, and is highly effective at removing stains whilst also being much more pleasant than traditional methods.
Vizilite Plus – whilst a trip to the dentist may traditionally have been thought of as something which deals with problems which are painful, obtrusive or annoying but not life threatening, the prevention of oral cancer is the exception to this rule. Mouth cancer treatment, if it is begun early enough, boasts a 90% success rate, and early diagnosis is something which can only come about if you visit your dentist on a regular basis. Vizilite Plus is a technology which makes it possible for your dentists to spot abnormal, potentially dangerous tissue before it becomes apparent to the naked eye. The treatment consists of the patient rinsing their mouth with a special solution. Once this has been done, your dentist will dim the lights and scan your mouth using Vizilite Plus. Under this special light, abnormal tissue will show up as white, thus allowing your dentist to recommend treatment at the earliest possible opportunity.
The Dental Button – many people feel an aversion to visiting the dentist which is so strong it can reasonably be described as a phobia. It may be that they have had a bad experience in the past, or perhaps that they have developed an irrational fear with no particular root cause, but whatever the explanation, it can stop people seeking the treatment they need and lead to problems going undetected and becoming deep seated. For many, the key to the phobia is the fact that they feel they have no control whatsoever once they’re sat in the dentist’s chair. The dental button tackles this problem by placing control back in the hands of the patient – quite literally. If a patient is feeling overcome with anxiety, they can press the button and the drill will stop immediately, allowing them to sit up and gather themselves. It almost sounds too good to be true, but in tests, anxious patients have said that they feel 50-80% less anxious.