Dental Technology: The Past, Present and Future

Posted Mar 2019

By Delta Dental of Arkansas

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By Caroline Jacobson


The first nylon bristle toothbrush was put on the market less than 80 years ago. That means people were driving cars before they were using an effective toothbrush. The horror!

Fortunately, dentistry has come a long way in the last century. New technology allows dentists to treat patients faster and more effectively. Let’s take a look at some recent developments.

Look how far we’ve come:

Digital X-Rays:
If you’ve had dental X-rays recently; you may have noticed a change from the traditional film X-ray. Many dental professionals are using new and improved digital X-ray machines.

Worried about radiation exposure? Digital imaging uses highly sensitive receptors that require significantly less radiation exposure than film. Dental professionals benefit from using digital X-rays too. The computerized pictures allow them to see the condition of your teeth in greater detail. Digital X-rays are a time saver – they take less than half the time to develop compared with film X-rays.

Dental Lasers/Laser Dentistry:
When we think of lasers, we’re more likely to think of sci-fi and Star Wars. Well, the future is now! Lasers are now common in the dental world.

Lasers have a number of uses. Laser technology cuts down on patient pain and can be used to treat an array of dental problems. The intense beams of light aid in cavity and ulcer removal, and can be used to operate on gums.

CAD/CAM Technology:
CAD/CAM stands for computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing. This machine creates digital impressions for crowns and implants. CAD/CAM technology allows dentists to make a replacement tooth in a single visit.

What’s next?

New dental technologies are being tested and perfected all over the world. For example, researchers at King's College London are developing a procedure that would allow cavities to “self heal” - without drilling! Sounds good, right?

While it’s hard to predict what dental technology will look like down the road, one thing is certain: The future is looking like a healthy smile … BRIGHT!

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Posted by Delta Dental of Arkansas



Posted by Delta Dental of Arkansas

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