What’s New in Modern Dentistry?

What’s new in modern dentistry? So much! 2023 saw an increased use of technology that has provided more precise, effective, and comfortable treatment for patients than traditional methods. These latest innovations are keeping our patients’ smiles brighter than ever. Dentistry has never looked so good!

  • Intraoral Cameras
  • Digital Impressions
  • 3D Printing
  • Laser Dentistry

Getting a Better Look with Intraoral Cameras

One great dental tech development in 2023 was the increased use of intraoral cameras. These cameras are great tools for dentists to get an up-close look at the teeth, gums, and tissue in the mouth. Unlike with mirrors, the image on the camera can be enlarged and paused, allowing the dentist to closely examine issues that can’t be detected by sight alone, including: tiny fractures, the start of cavities, and disease in the tissue. Detecting issues early on is critical in keeping problems from progressing. The images can also be downloaded and saved, providing valuable information on whether an issue is worsening or if treatment is improving the condition.

Say Goodbye to the Goop: Digital Impressions

Another recent dental innovation is the digital impression. To make an impression of a patient’s teeth, we used to have them bite down into a tray of goop that hardened around their teeth and gums. Once the material firmed up, we then wiggled it out of their mouths and made the restoration based on the impression left in the tray. The process was a little unpleasant for the patient, especially if he or she had a strong gag reflex. 

Now, however, we’re able to take much more precise digital impressions using a handheld scanner. By simply scanning the patient’s mouth, we can capture a 3D image that can be used to make dentures, dental implants, and mouth guards; guide surgery; help create an orthodontic treatment plan; and detect early cavities. The scanner provides us with exceptionally accurate data in a far more pleasant manner. No more goop for us!

3D Printing for Fast, Reliable Restorations

We’ve all heard about the incredible things 3D printers have done, creating everything from shoes to spacecraft! Dentistry has joined the party by harnessing the power of 3D printing to create custom-made dental restorations. Using the images from the intraoral scanner mentioned above, the 3D printer can quickly and extremely accurately produce devices such as aligners, dentures, and crowns that are the perfect fit for the patient. 

3D printing is far more precise than the traditional method of making crowns from the tray impression in a laboratory. Greater precision means more comfort, utility, and durability. 

Precision Dental Care with Laser Dentistry

2023 also saw an increase in the use of laser dentistry to treat issues like gum disease, tooth decay, and oral lesions. By using a powerful, concentrated laser, we can accurately remove diseased or decaying tissue without damaging healthy nearby tissue. This method allows for a faster recovery time, less bleeding and swelling for the patient, and less risk of a poor result or infection.

The traditional method of flap surgery required the dentist to incise the gums, pull the tissue and remove the problematic tissue with a scalpel, then place sutures. This method is more painful for the patient and requires a longer recovery time and has a slightly greater risk of infection.

Modern Dental Care in Madison, Wisconsin

Affiliated Dentists is proud to provide state-of-the-art dental technology with time-honored care for each of our patients. We offer a wide range of services, including pediatric, restorative, and laser dentistry in Madison, Wisconsin. To schedule your appointment, contact us today.

What’s New in Modern Dentistry? brought to you by Dr. Mark Gustavson  

Related Articles