Dentistry Has Changed!
by Dr. Albert Tan
A lot of patients mention to me that they have had negative or even traumatic experiences in the past with dentistry, whether it be from tooth pain, anxiety, or at worst, a dentist that was not as gentle as they would have liked! At The Tooth Doctors, we are constantly striving to make dentistry as comfortable as possible. Part of this is not only putting our best foot forward in patient education and chairside manner (we strive to be pleasant people!), but also making the most of new technologies. Today I'd love to briefly discuss some of the new advances that have happened in dentistry in the past few decades that aid us in helping patients more comfortably and conveniently!
1. Digital x-rays Digital x-rays have largely phased out traditional x-ray films. They are not only higher resolution and allow us to diagnose dental disease better, but also have reduced radiation levels compared to traditional films. At The Tooth Doctors we are fully digital, to the benefit of both our patients and our staff!
2. CAD-CAM technology CAD-CAM stands for Computer Assisted Design & Computer Assisted Manufacturing. At the Tooth Doctors, we have the ability to perform not only digital scans/impressions of teeth, but also digitally manufacture restorations such as crowns. This means that patients can receive a crown (sometimes called a cap) within a single visit rather than two, and don't have to deal with temporary crowns. It also means that in most cases, there's no yucky impression material to deal with!
3. Ceramics, composites & bonding technologies Incredible advances have been made in the last 20-30 years with regard to the use of new filling materials, new materials for crowns, and new methods of bonding fillings with teeth. These new materials & technologies allow us to restore teeth with stronger, more aesthetic and reliable fillings. Gone are the days of ugly silver fillings that are prone to cracking teeth and breaking down early! With proper oral hygiene at home, the materials we use today are much improved compared to the fillings of yesteryear.
Looking forward: Dentistry is constantly operating at the forefront of medical and scientific innovation. Active research is constantly being performed to find new ways of making dentistry more comfortable, more predictable and easier to access. Some of the most cutting edge research involves the possible use of stem cells to help regenerate tooth tissue, new ceramic-style implants shaped like teeth roots, and new preventive measures to help reduce the prevalence and impact of tooth decay. While we don't know if or when these technologies will be reliable enough for clinical use, we are excited by the prospect of them!
Thank you for reading and looking forward to seeing you soon at The Tooth Doctors!