6 Technologies Driving Modern Dental Care

October 12, 2022

6 Technologies Driving Modern Dental Care
6 Technologies Driving Modern Dental Care

The branch of modern medicine known as dentistry has ancient origins. Archeological evidence indicates it was practiced as far back as 9,000 years ago. If true, that means dentistry is older than recorded human history.


Thankfully, modern dentistry is far from the crude and primitive dental care of the past. While scientific discoveries and an improved understanding of best practices played significant roles in the evolution of dentistry from dark age butchery to modern medicine, technological advances have also proved beneficial in developing the dental care we recognize today.


With this in mind, let’s take a look at six technologies driving modern dentistry:


Digital Dentures


Getting patients fitted for dentures used to be an expensive and time-consuming process. Your dentist would make a mold of your teeth and gums and mail it to a facility where technicians used it to develop a fitting pair of dentures based on your specifications. These days, dentists use intraoral scanners to create 3D models of the mouth and send them directly to denture labs for processing. The turnaround time is a fraction of what it used to be, while the potential for errors is practically eliminated.


Digital Distractions


It’s no secret many people fear going to the dentist. Children are especially wary of letting someone poke and prod inside their mouths with sharp-looking stainless steel tools. While it’s yet to become a widespread practice, virtual reality distractions are slowly taking off in dental offices around the world. The patient dons a pair of goggles that allow them to experience walking through Paris, rafting down the Colorado River, or any number of other possibilities. By the time the virtual adventure is finished, the dentist is done with their examination.


3D Printing


Millions of people around the world go through life without reliable access to dental care. They may see a traveling dentist once every few years, at best. Badly infected teeth are often removed with no replacement due to the logistical challenges of doing so for someone far removed from the nearest facility. But thanks to 3D printing, these folks can now be fitted for artificial teeth in a matter of hours.




It sounds like something out of science fiction, but dental microbots are becoming science reality. While the technology is still in its infancy, researchers have been able to develop microbots that clean gums and teeth. These teeny tiny robots work to brush and floss in places that are difficult to reach with traditional toothbrushes and flossing materials. In the coming decades, dental microbots may even be able to help dentists perform root canals and other complicated procedures.


Smart Toothbrush


Ultrasonic electric toothbrushes have been around for several decades. While still technologically advanced in their own right - especially models that detect aggressive brushing and the need for a replacement head - the next generation is right around the corner. Referred to as smart toothbrushes, these devices work with apps to detect long-term trends in oral care habits and even predict the onset of various periodontal diseases. Especially useful in helping kids learn how to properly brush their teeth, smart toothbrushes are expected to become the norm by the middle of the century.




Thanks to the abovementioned technologies, the concept of teledentistry is closer to becoming a fully practical reality. Many basic dental care issues are already being treated via telehealth services. But due to the hands-on nature of dentistry, the idea of getting your teeth adequately examined in a remote setting remains off-limits. However, with the development of advanced dental technologies, dentists may soon be able to perform complete examinations with patients hundreds or even thousands of miles away.


Dentistry has been around for as long as humans have had toothaches. Luckily, humanity has come a long way from the barbaric dental care practiced by the ancients. These improvements are partly owed to innovative technologies being developed at an increasingly rapid pace.


Michael Driver is a freelance writer from Texas. He enjoys writing about history, movies, and technology.


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