Similar to the medical field, the field of dentistry is in constant flux – ever-changing to meet the needs of both dental professionals and patients.
2018 has welcomed many new trends in the dental industry itself, plus cutting-edge advancements and new technologies in overall dental hygiene.
In 2015, around 30 percent of American adults reported that they would label the condition of their mouth and teeth as fair or poor, and 20 percent of them noted they suffered anxiety as a result. With a plethora of remarkable changes on the horizon, there has never been a better time to invest in your oral hygiene.
Below are some of these changes and advances in dentistry.
Satisfying squeamish patients everywhere, CompuDent (The Wand®) is a computer-assisted system for local anesthesia, offering a welcome alternative to syringes. Referred to as “single tooth anesthesia” (STA), this unique treatment mitigates pain while eliminating the need for that dreaded full-mouth numbness.
It also greatly reduces patient anxiety so you can sit back and relax. The computer injects the anesthesia slowly and steadily so it doesn’t hurt much, if at all. By the time the patient feels any pain, the injection is over.
Laser Detection of Cavities (X-ray Alternative)
What if you could catch cavities before they’ve done damage? While not brand-new, the DIAGNOdent® laser method of cavity detection continues to be popular for its impressive abilities.
Harnessing a precise laser scanning system that sends out an audio signal and a digital readout, DIAGNOdent measures the fluorescence within each tooth’s structure. Perfect for use on children and adults, this technology sidesteps the need for antiquated (and sometimes hard-to-deciper) X-rays for evidence-based cavity detection and treatment.
As an alternative to X-rays, this method also eliminates exposure to the carcinogenic radiation they give off.
Tiny Cameras Inside the Mouth
Intraoral cameras – which allow for an up-close view of tooth structures – have become a mainstay in the industry in recent years. Early detection is key when it comes to maintaining optimal dental hygiene, and these tiny cameras enable detection of tooth decay in its earliest stages.
Intraoral cameras are easy for dentists to use, and these cameras capture wonderfully clear images of intra- and extra-oral structures and any decay that may be present.
While general dentistry and everyday oral care are vital to overall health, advances in cosmetic dentistry are prompting droves of adults to also straighten their pearly whites. After all, the days of needing metal braces in the front of your teeth are long gone.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) has reported that nearly 1.7 million adults were treated by AAO-registered orthodontists for crooked teeth in 2016 – a 50-percent increase from just 10 years prior. Thanks to clear aligners such as the Invisalign® tooth-straightening system (which is virtually undetectable), the numbers are projected to rise.
Not only do these teeth-straightening treatments eliminate the embarrassment factor often associated with traditional braces, but they can also be conveniently removed for brushing, eating, and special events.
Better Dental Insurance Coverage Options
In addition to an array of new technologies, the dental hygiene industry is always moving toward being more convenient and patient-focused. Many employers today are opting into integrated health care programs for their employees, including dental coverage.
This is a very positive change, as it can help foster medical and dental providers to develop a more comprehensive picture of a patient’s health – especially since poor oral health and gum disease have been linked to serious health issues such as stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and preterm labor in pregnancy.
The vast majority of Americans (95 percent) now own a cell phone of some kind, and 77 percent of them own smartphones. We love access to information, products, and services – and we want them delivered to us fast. Technology isn’t slowing down any time soon, and teledentistry has developed to help serve the demand for online dental service and information.
While a physical dentist is needed to conduct a root canal or more advanced procedures, teledentistry utilizes live video feeds and remote patient monitoring to assist on-site hygienists with routine cleanings and checkups. Those who are immobile, or living in remote areas, now have access to both a wealth of information and a much healthier mouth.
Contact a Skilled Dentist Today
Hagerman Dental Care, led by Dr. Steven R. Hagerman, DDS, is implementing the latest techniques and utilizing superior materials in the service of their patients. Recognized as one of Minneapolis/St. Paul’s Top Dentists by Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine in both the general dentist and cosmetic dentist categories, Dr. Hagerman prides himself on offering professional and personalized care to his patients.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with a dentist or a dental hygienist, call (651) 646-2392, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you.