Central Valley Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Institute
Dental technology in 2022 has come a long way since the origins of dentistry, and it has a long way yet to go. The technologies that dentists use today would be unrecognizable to dentists from two or three hundred years ago. But the dental tech of tomorrow is right around the corner, and some of the most futuristic technologies are being implemented by dental practitioners worldwide. See the journey through time that dentistry has taken. Discover how tomorrow’s tech is much closer than you might think.
Dental Technologies from the Past to Present Day in 2022 and Beyond
From the advent of dentistry in the early medieval ages to today, dental technology and the work of dental technicians have drastically evolved. In medieval France, barber surgeons or “Surgeons of the Short Robe” were at the bottom of the professional medical hierarchy, succeeded by academically trained barbers or “Surgeons of the Long Robe” and physician-priests on top. Though they did not have any academic training, the lowly barber surgeons are the ancestors of modern-day dentistry.
During long voyages at sea or violent military campaigns and being at the bottom of the hierarchy, rulers called barber surgeons to practice their craft and provide medical aid in dire situations. These expendable practitioners were forced to innovate and invent new surgical technologies and treatments, some of which are still useful to dental professionals in 2022.
The Origins of Dentistry and Dental Tech
In the mid-1500s, the standard way to treat a bleeding wound was to cauterize it with boiling oil. Soldiers often died of shock or sepsis due to the treatment. A French barber-surgeon named Ambroise Pare decided not to pour boiling oil on soldiers’ wounds, instead wrapping the wound with a dressing. Pare served four French kings during his career and earned the nickname “the gentle surgeon.”
Though a crude example, this is one of the first instances of a medical innovation made by the predecessors of modern dentistry. Over a hundred years after the death of Pare, a French Naval surgeon apprentice named Pierre Fauchard became the “father of modern dentistry” in service to the court of Louis XIV. As a surgical apprentice at sea, Fauchard saw scurvy’s havoc on the gums of afflicted sailors.
Following his apprenticeship in the navy, Fauchard lacked the necessary funds to complete his surgical training. Instead, he chose to pursue dentistry, which he could afford. Incidentally, his time at sea had provided a more comprehensive range of experience than most other trained dentists in Paris. At the turn of the 18th century, only 21 dentists practiced in Paris; among them, Fauchard had the most significant expertise. By the end of his career, Fauchard had invented many novel dental technologies, including prosthodontic devices, cleft palate obturators, replacement teeth, and numerous new dental instruments. His seminal book, “Le Chirurgien Dentiste,” compiled his dental innovations and knowledge, instantly becoming the standard educational text for dentists and dental students across the globe.
Timeline of Dental Tech Inventions Post-17th Century
Following the publication of “Le Chirurgien Dentiste,” a renaissance in dentistry began to grow. During the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, the world witnessed the invention of new dental technologies, many of which are still in use today:
- Braces (France, 1819)
- Amalgam (China, 600 AD, and United States, 1830)
- Intraoral Imaging (France, 1839)
- Dental Anesthesia (the United States, 1846)
- Magnification in Dentistry (the United States, 1866)
- Electric Dental Drill (the United States, 1875)
- Dental Radiography (the United States, 1897)
- Fluoride (the United States, 1901)
- Electric Toothbrush (Switzerland, 1939)
- Dental Handpiece (the United States, 1948)
- Air Turbine Dental Drill (the United States, 1957)
- Dental Implants (Sweden, 1965)
- Digital Imaging (France, 1987)
- Dental Lasers (the United States, 1989)
- Caries Detection Technology (Germany, 1998)
Digital Dentistry (the 2000s to Present)
Digital dentistry is a term that refers to a collection of dental technologies working in tandem to optimize the patient’s experience and the quality of care they receive. In digital dentistry, computer-guided systems perform diagnostic and therapeutic tasks, from initial consultations to surgical assistance. Digitization of the tools and techniques in a dentist’s office brings together:
- Intraoral Cameras
- Digital Radiography
- CAD/CAM (Computer-aided design/Computer-aided manufacturing) Technology
- Computer Guided Surgery
- Automated Information Management
- CBCT Scanner/3D Imaging
The Near Future of Dental Technology
Digital dentistry has opened the door to a new world of dental technologies, including artificial intelligence, smart toothbrushes, regenerative dentistry, and more. Augmented reality is being utilized in dental schools for training purposes, and virtual reality is being used to ease dental anxiety while patients are in the chair.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
In the realm of digital dentistry, AI shows unprecedented potential and utility. AI algorithms analyze vast amounts of data to enable a specialist to make the best possible diagnostic, surgical, and treatment decisions. AI is also being implemented in record-keeping and medical data management.
Computer-Assisted Dental Design and 3D Printing
3D printing technology has been around since the 1970s but has remained an untapped resource until recent years. In the past decade, 3D printer technology has become infinitely more affordable and available to the dental industry. In 2022, practices can print patients’ dental prostheses directly from the office with the help of computer-assisted dental design and 3D printing systems.
Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Teledentistry
When you think of augmented reality (AR), you probably think of a camera filter on your smartphone that gives you freckles or shows you as a cartoon. But with the help of innovative programmers, dental schools are using AR in the classroom to train students on dental procedures. One such program, DentSim Simulator, connects with a mannequin for students to get hands-on experience performing various surgical and dental procedures. AR dental training programs provide students with immediate feedback on their performance.
When it comes to dental or surgical fears or anxiety, virtual reality (VR) is being utilized to help patients relax. At your dentist’s office, augmented reality enables patients to see what the results of a procedure will look like beforehand and be an active member of the treatment planning. Likewise, in dental schools, VR provides immersive educational experiences and training programs. Students and dental specialists worldwide can attend live surgical demonstrations and conferences and consult from the comfort of their VR goggles.
Virtual reality is also expanding the reach and capabilities of teledentistry, allowing dentists to examine patients remotely. As computer-guided surgery, VR, and AI systems become more reliable, versatile, and integrated, you might see a day in the not-too-distant future when dental cleanings, root canals, and teeth extractions will take place from the comfort of your home.
Regenerative Dentistry and Gene Therapy
Even today, in 2022, the only way to replace a missing tooth is with an artificial restoration. But what if you could regrow your natural tooth? The field of regenerative dentistry is on the cusp of revolutionizing dental medicine with self-healing dental fillings. These sci-fi-like dental fillings enable a patient’s tooth to regrow. Scientists are making discoveries every day about the genetic construction of our cells, such as identifying the gene responsible for making plaque in your mouth. CRISPR is a gene-editing technology that might raise some eyebrows but holds groundbreaking potential for eliminating oral health issues like cancer and gum disease.
There has never been a better time to go to the dentist. Dentists have come a long way from their barber-surgeon beginnings, but the field still embodies the innovative spirit that distinguished it in medieval Europe. The future of dentistry is as bright as the smiles it creates, thanks to the technological strides and medical breakthroughs of those who came before and those who continue to push the boundaries of what is possible. Call our office to learn more about digital dentistry and how our team prepares for the future of dental technology in 2022 and beyond.
Removing your wisdom teeth seems a rite of passage these days. Everyone knows a friend or a family member who has gotten them extracted or even has had them pulled themselves. Aside from enjoying the perks of getting these last set of molars extracted such as getting to miss school or even work for a few days, or the endless and guiltless ice cream soiree, here are the occasional and sometimes painful telltale signs that you need your wisdom teeth removed:
Gum pain: When your “third molars” or wisdom teeth begin to erupt, they push past the gums creating an uncomfortable and hot feeling. It will most likely be accompanied by pressure or a dull throbbing sensation in the gums nearest the jaw bone. Infection can also lead to puffy and swollen gums and some unwanted drainage.
Jaw pain: A wisdom tooth infection can cause sore throats and swollen lymph glands under the jaw. These symptoms can make the area around your jaw uncomfortable and difficulty chewing and eating may become persistent. In the case where an impacted wisdom tooth is present, it can lead to jaw aches and ear pain as well.
Teeth and mouth pain: When you have an impacted wisdom tooth growing at an angle, it can affect surrounding teeth. This can result in an increase of pressure on tooth nerves and bone, crowding the surrounding teeth. Symptoms include swelling, tenderness, and pain.
You may be the lucky few who never experience these symptoms and may not even need your wisdom teeth removed if they are growing properly positioned, but making sure to address the pain and getting them removed early will ensure that you get to enjoy the perks of wisdom teeth extraction without the pain! Call our office today! Visalia Phone Number (559) 732-7946
Missing teeth? No problem. A dental implant is a way to replace an empty void that may be leaving you self-conscious about your smile. Whether the vacant spot is due to a sports injury, facial trauma, periodontal complication, or bad oral hygiene, it can fill the vacancy permanently and boost confidence. So, what exactly is a dental implant? Here are a few things you need to know:
• Dental implants act as a replacement for the roots of a tooth. Metaphorically speaking, they can be the anchor for crowns, bridges, and dentures and are screwed into the jaw bone to provide support for replacement teeth. They are surgically inserted into the jawbone beneath the gum line.
• Dental implants resemble the shape of screws and once placed into the jawbone, will naturally bond with your natural bone to provide a strong base for artificial teeth.
• Dental implant surgery is one of the safest procedures done in dentistry.
• Dental implants will be the next best thing you’ll have for healthy and natural teeth.
• A dental implant depends on the oral health of the person undergoing treatment. There needs to be healthy tissue in the mouth and enough jaw bone to support these dental implants.
• After undergoing a dental implant procedure, keeping the structures healthy and clean should be done precisely and with attention to detail. This will help to maintain and ensure the long-term success of the treatment and the oral health of your mouth.
Don’t let a missing tooth or teeth stop you from living a full life without limits. Laugh and smile, indulge in foods without restriction, and most importantly, feel comfortable in your own skin. Call our office Visalia Phone Number (559) 732-7946 to find out how a dental implant can be beneficial to you and the overall health of your teeth. What have you got to lose? Call us today!