The Impact of New Technologies on Dentistry
healthcaretechoutlook

The Impact of New Technologies on Dentistry

Healthcare Tech Outlook | Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Modern technologies such as teledentistry, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and 3D printing are altering how dentists provide care.

FREMONT, CA: The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that more than 20 percent of people have not visited a dentist in the prior three years. 59 percent of respondents claim they cannot afford regular dental appointments. In comparison, 22 percent cite a phobia of dental treatment, and 19 percent cite difficulties finding an appropriate location or appointment time.

However, both economic demands and increasing consumer preferences have contributed to developing innovative dental technology solutions to assist dentists in providing better care and fostering stronger client relationships. Recent breakthroughs in dentistry technology, like teledentistry, virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), and 3D printing, are at the forefront of this shift.

Teledentistry Increases Access to Care

During the earliest stages of COVID-19, dental offices were compelled to close for general care, as were many other medical services. A recent poll conducted by the ADA's Health Policy Institute showed that while the majority of offices have reopened, more than half report lower patient loads compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Teledentistry, which delivers dental counseling or essential examinations using digital tools such as synchronous or asynchronous video, can help bridge the distance.

Virtual reality provides patients with diversions

Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging dentistry technology that could assist practitioners in providing better care to patients.

In a dentist's office, virtual or augmented reality (AR) could provide digital distractions like headsets worn by patients. It is an extension of the purpose now served by ceiling-mounted televisions in dental offices, providing patients with something else to concentrate on.

According to a recent Cedars-Sinai study, virtual reality has statistically significant effects on pain management: VR users reported a constant reduction in perceived pain when using VR. This can also foster empathy between the dentist and patient, resulting in enhanced treatment.

VR is also utilized in training to allow dental students to experience dental treatments digitally. This is especially useful for unusual, emerging conditions requiring specialized knowledge.

Artificial Intelligence Aids in Diagnostics

AI technologies are more accurate than dentists at diagnosing dental decay via bitewing and peripheral radiographs, which makes sense: AI algorithms are taught to make conclusions based on billions of data points, giving them an advantage over humans in identifying specific problems.

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