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New Technology Used in Dentistry

Posted in Dental Care, and General Dentistry

Technology at Erbsville Dental

Erbsville Dental is always looking for ways to make dental visits better for their clients. This includes using available technology to make your time in the dentist chair more comfortable, and more affordable. In the last decade, new technologies have changed the way x-rays are made and managed. HVAC improvements include new ways to filter indoor air and prevent viral and bacterial transmission. And new dental tools like the ultrasonic scaler have improved ergonomics for our hygienists and gently, effectively removes plaque for our patients.

Are there any new technologies coming that may be applied to dentistry? Absolutely! We’re keeping a close eye on specifically two new ways virtual reality and 3D printers are being used to change dentistry.

Virtual Reality

Proof of concept for use of VR headsets can be found in the nurse who counts to three and sticks you with a needle on two. Distraction has long been used to reduce a person’s awareness of pain and discomfort. Virtual or augmented reality is the ultimate distraction in that it literally opens another world for the user. While in the dentist chair, a patient can now easily wear a compact VR headset (like the Quest 2) and be thoroughly distracted from a dental procedure. In a way it’s an upgrade to the ceiling-mounted televisions in most dental offices. They likewise, give patients something else to focus on.

Many VR applications are specifically designed for relaxation, which would fit well with 19% of Canadians said to avoid the dentist due to anxiety. Headset have recently become, lighter, smaller, and more comfortable to wear, making them feasible to use in dental practice settings. They are also more widely available and less expensive than when first released. Virtual reality might soon be a technology that is used more in dentistry.

3D Printers

When 3D printers first came out, they were very limited as to materials and the ability to print intricate details. Today it’s a different story. Almost anything can be printed, including living tissue, implants, dentures, splints, caps, and individual teeth! Future uses for dentistry are unlimited as 3D printing technology improves.

Considering a basic dental lab that makes implants would need at least $100,000 to equip while a high-end 3D printer is around $20,000 the future for this technology is obvious. The potential time and financial savings for patients makes 3D printing interesting as well. Instead of multiple dental visits and time to interact between the lab and clinic, a dentist or technician can print a new or replacement part in one hour or less. It may soon be a while you wait option for fabrication of dental hardware. So, while the 3D printer isn’t at Erbsville Dental yet, the potential is there for this technology to be used in the future.  

3D Printing
Future Dental Applications for 3D Printing