The Importance of Dental Technology When Treating Tooth Decay

Iqaluit Dental Clinic image of stages of tooth decay.
May 3, 2023 0 Comments

At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we believe that dental technology has made significant strides in recent years, and this has revolutionised the way dental professionals approach tooth decay treatment. Tooth decay, also known as dental caries, is a prevalent dental problem that affects millions of people worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation, tooth decay is the most common non-communicable disease globally, and it affects people of all ages.

Now, let’s look at a few points that highlight the importance of dental technology:

1. Early detection – One of the significant advantages of dental technology is the ability to detect tooth decay at its earliest stages. Early detection is crucial because it allows dental professionals to prevent further damage to the tooth structure and provide conservative treatment options. The use of digital radiography, intraoral cameras, and 3D imaging has revolutionized the way dental professionals diagnose and treat tooth decay.

Digital radiography is a technology that uses digital sensors to capture images of the teeth and gums. These images are more accurate, faster, and safer than traditional X-rays, and they provide a clear view of the tooth structure and any signs of decay.

Intraoral cameras are another dental technology that has transformed the way dental professionals diagnose tooth decay. Intraoral cameras are small, handheld devices that allow dentists to see inside the mouth and capture images of the teeth and gums. These images are displayed on a monitor, which allows the dentist to identify areas of concern and provide targeted treatment.

2. Conservative treatment options – Dental technology has also made it possible to provide more conservative treatment options for tooth decay. In the past, the only treatment option for tooth decay was filling, which required the removal of a significant amount of tooth structure. However, with the advent of dental technology, dental professionals can now provide less invasive treatment options such as fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and minimally invasive fillings.

Fluoride treatments involve the application of a fluoride gel or varnish to the teeth to help remineralize and strengthen the enamel. Dental sealants, on the other hand, are thin, plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to prevent tooth decay. Minimally invasive fillings, such as resin composites, require less removal of tooth structure than traditional fillings, making them a more conservative treatment option.

3. Improved patient experience – Dental technology has also improved the patient experience when it comes to treating tooth decay. In the past, many patients were hesitant to seek treatment for tooth decay due to fear or anxiety about the dental procedure. However, with the use of dental technology, dental professionals can now provide more comfortable and less invasive treatment options.

For example, the use of laser technology in dentistry has made it possible to perform certain procedures without the need for anaesthesia or drills. Laser technology is also less invasive and more precise, which results in faster healing times and less discomfort for the patient.

4. Better outcomes – Dental technology has led to better outcomes when it comes to treating tooth decay. With the use of digital technology, dental professionals can provide more accurate diagnoses and treatment plans, which results in better outcomes for the patient.

In addition, the use of more conservative treatment options has also led to better outcomes, as patients are less likely to experience complications or require additional treatments.

5. Precision and accuracy – Dental technology has greatly improved the precision and accuracy of tooth decay treatment. For instance, computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology allow dental professionals to create precise dental restorations like crowns, bridges, and veneers.

This technology uses digital impressions to create a 3D model of the patient’s teeth, which is then used to manufacture a custom-made restoration that perfectly fits the patient’s mouth.

6. Patient education – Dental technology also plays a significant role in patient education. Using advanced imaging techniques like 3D imaging, dental professionals can show patients a visual representation of their dental issues and explain the proposed treatment plan more effectively. Patients can then make informed decisions about their dental health, which leads to better oral health outcomes.

7. Improved communication – Dental technology has improved communication between dental professionals, allowing for more efficient and effective collaboration. Digital platforms like teleconferencing and messaging apps enable dental professionals to communicate with each other in real time, making it easier to share information, discuss treatment plans, and coordinate patient care.

8. Prevention of future tooth decay – Dental technology can help prevent future tooth decay. Digital caries detection devices, for example, can detect and quantify areas of tooth decay that are not yet visible to the naked eye. This allows dental professionals to take preventive measures like applying fluoride treatments and providing dietary advice to prevent further decay from occurring.

Additionally, digital patient records and reminders can help dental professionals keep track of a patient’s oral health history and schedule regular check-ups to catch and treat decay early.

9. Better infection control – Dental technology has also led to better infection control practices in dental offices, which is crucial in preventing the spread of infections and diseases. For instance, digital radiography eliminates the need for traditional film X-rays, which often required the use of toxic chemicals for processing. This not only reduces environmental waste but also eliminates the risk of infection from contaminated processing chemicals.

Similarly, dental technology has led to the development of specialised equipment like autoclaves and ultrasonic cleaners, which are designed to sterilise dental instruments and equipment to prevent cross-contamination between patients. In addition, dental professionals now use disposable items like gloves, masks, and gowns to further reduce the risk of infection.

At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we suggest you understand how dental technology has revolutionised the way dental professionals approach the treatment of tooth decay. With the ability to detect tooth decay at its earliest stages, provide more conservative treatment options, improve the patient experience, and achieve better outcomes, dental technology has become an essential tool in the fight against tooth decay. As dental technology continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see even more advancements in the field of dentistry, leading to even better outcomes for patients.