No matter where you go, you’ll find the influences of technology all around you – some are good, others, not so much. There is no doubt, however, that technology has greatly influenced the medical field (including dentistry) and given a lot of benefits. It doesn’t just influence the way dentistry is done, it also affects the time it takes, the costs, and the general comfort and efficiency in which things are done.
The major differences
It’s not always easy to imagine how a new technology can benefit something when the profession has been established – it’s often hard to imagine how the digital age can influence a calling such as dentistry and transforming it into digital dentistry. However, the benefits are numerous, and the differences are real. Here are the three major ones:
- Digital photography – Consider the traditional camera (with film and exposure time). Consider, on the other hand, the digital photograph (instantaneous, and easy to manipulate). The same holds true when it comes to X-rays for teeth, dentures, jaw lines, and gum impressions. It allows the necessary pictures to be taken, saved, stored, sent, and retrieved instantaneously. It saves a lot of time, a lot of costs, and a lot of space. In the end, it saves a lot of money, and it allows dentists to seek expert advice with a simple email. A few clicks and it’s done.
- Digital impressions – The age of technology allows us not only to be more efficient, but also to be more creative. Thanks to intra-oral scanning and photography (together with some nifty software that allows us to create 3D imaging and state-of-the-art topological imaging), 3D printers can be used to create dentures from miles and miles away. New dentures and implants can be created within the fraction of the time it used to take with traditional methods.
- Improved customer service – Imagine this: digital radiography exposes the patient to only 25% of the harmful rays than the traditional method does. And more: it’s more precise and the image offers greater detail. How’s that for customer service?
But it’s not just about the three points mentioned above – there are a lot more benefits that make the whole profession of dentistry much more efficient. Images can be stored in a much safer way, and the storing takes a lot less space. Furthermore, it takes a lot less time to store and retrieve images. What’s more, information can be passed from one dentist to other experts in seconds, meaning that a patient can receive the best advice and best care in a fraction of the time it used to take before. Dentistry has become digital, and has – like other fields – taken a major leap.