As is the case with other medical disciplines, disruptive technologies will significantly impact the future practice of dentistry and how patients are cared for.
Fremont, CA: Sitting in a massive chair illuminated by bright light, enduring extended seated sessions with someone looking and probing inside your mouth with edgy and terrifying instruments, making terrible sounds. No one likes seeing the dentist, despite everyone being aware of how vital dental health is and how closely it is linked to our general health. In the future, however, an armada of new technologies from virtual reality to artificial intelligence (AI) to CRISPR will revolutionize dentistry and our entire perspective on oral health.
Here are the technologies that are transforming dentistry for the better:
Future houses will be packed with linked, intelligent technology, so why should bathrooms be an exception? Allowing a sensor into one of the most intimate activities, teeth brushing, may feel odd at first, but it makes it much easier to maintain oral hygiene and avoid plaque and cavities. These toothbrushes provide real-time feedback through a companion app, alerting the user if they are putting too much pressure, where they are brushing, and even coaching them on how to brush properly. In addition, there are a number of similar products available on the market from firms such as Colgate and Oral-B.
One of the most inconvenient aspects of being in the dentist's chair is that occasionally, regardless of how widely the patient opens their mouth, the dentist cannot see what they would like to see, even with the aid of a dental mirror. These circumstances are not only unsettling for both the patient and the physician, but often painful. However, the introduction of intra-oral cameras can alleviate this issue. The camera functions similarly to the human eye to provide effortless image acquisition and the delivery of crisp, detailed visuals that patients can comprehend.
CRISPR is a revolutionary genome-editing technique provided by Mother Nature, but its great potential was only recently discovered by scientists. In the future, it might become the ultimate weapon against cancer or, more controversially, aid in the creation of newborns. Additionally, the discipline of dentistry will profit from the technology. Chinese researchers are utilizing technology to isolate and silence genes associated with mouth cancer. Other scientists are using CRISPR to modify the functionality of the bacteria responsible for plaque development. Their efforts could potentially lead to a reduction in tooth cavities and periodontal disease, if not their complete elimination.