Dentistry has come a long way in recent years. It’s a far cry from extensive procedures that require a lot of time in the chair and a lot of money out of your wallet. Innovation continues to emerge from this realm, making it easier than ever to make corrections deemed serious. Here are just some of the new items that are changing the game for dentists and patients alike.
1. Clear Aligners
It used to be that patients had no other options than metal braces from their orthodontist. Now, invisible aligners have broken away from traditional braces that grind against the inside of your cheeks when initially installed. If you’re not sure how Invisalign works, it’s broken down into a few simple steps. It starts with a dentist creating a digital image of your teeth, with an Invisalign specialist designing a customized solution to fixing your teeth and bite. These aligners are fabricated and sent to an orthodontist’s practice for a patient to use as part of a treatment plan along with regular visits.
This is usually a four-week process for the aligners to get into a patient’s hands, and during that time, you can undergo additional dental treatment to allow for modification of an Invisalign treatment plan before manufacturing. If you’re wondering how you can have a plastic aligner in your mouth without discomfort and slippage, there are tooth-colored attachments placed on the teeth to effectively serve as a grip for the Invisalign trays. However, a beautiful smile is more approachable than ever thanks to this align technology.
2. Laser Dentistry
One of the main reasons that people avoid the dentist’s office is that they don’t like to deal with the pain brought on by certain equipment. That’s where the Solea laser has led to a major leap in the treatment process. Solea is a carbon dioxide-based laser used on hard and soft tissue in the mouth, using a unique wavelength that is guided by advanced computers. This makes procedures, from cavities to root canals, virtually painless and free of any noticeable noise. Solea patients may also avoid the need for anesthetic or any blood loss during these dental visits.
The American Dental Association has been using laser dentistry for decades but continues to find new ways to utilize this technology on patients of all ages. Lasers are used to wear away tooth decay to prepare the surrounding enamel for receipt of the filling. This can now be done with minimal vibration or pain. Dental lasers are also used to combat forms of gum disease, biopsy removal, and even cosmetic teeth whitening procedures.
3. Same-Day Dental Implants
Traditional dental implants can take months at a time from removal of the original teeth to the insertion of the new teeth. Now, thanks to tremendous advances, a patient can have those adjustments completed in just one day’s time. A consultation with your dentist or a registered specialist will determine if you are a candidate for this procedure. Dentists will require scans or 3D images of the mouth, as well as a mold to be taken to properly create that implant.
This will then be formed with the help of 3D printing or other formats to be ready to go for a one-day operation in the dental office. The design is also created with the intention of slowly approaching proper function within the jaw. With implants in place in a fraction of the time, dental patients are also finding tremendous savings by having to avoid a continuing rotation of dental appointment management. In the end, these innovations in technology are leading to more options for patients, as well as for their dentists to address their individual needs.