What is the future of dental care?

From virtual reality to 3D printing – and even growing your own teeth! – we explore the future of dental care.

What is the future of dental care Notting Hill dental Number 18 dental

Technology moves so fast you only have to blink and you’ve missed the latest innovation! However, developments in dentistry have been relatively slow to hit the dental surgery. Let’s take a look at some surprising research which could shed light on the future of dental treatment…

Smart devices

Some electric toothbrushes out there already adapt to different parts of our mouths and can even be synced to an app so that we can see a 3D map of the inside of our mouths. But this smart dental tech could go one step further…

It’s possible that, with the help of teledensitry, your toothbrush could scan your mouth for signs of upcoming trouble, allow you to share this with your dentist and get advice there and then! This could save both you and your dentist time and put your mind at ease much quicker than waiting for an appointment.

Smart tooth sensors are also in development which could help dentists know exactly what you eat so that they can offer more tailored dietary and hygiene advice.

Virtual reality

Even with a patient sat in the dentist’s chair, it’s not always easy to see exactly what’s going on in their mouth. That’s because the jaw’s restrictions make it a relatively small space to work within, and when teeth grow at funny angles (particularly wisdom teeth), it gets even harder.

Enter: virtual reality. With special sensors, dentists might, in the future, be able to step into your mouth and get a much closer look at the problem!

What’s more, VR could be used to help improve the patient experience by immersing them in a soothing natural landscape which has been proven to reduce dental anxiety!

Robot dentists

Robots, or artificial intelligence, are already making rapid progress, and in the not-too-distant future could help dentists perform some of the most uncomfortable and intricate work. What’s more, with the use of lasers, they could remove decay with expert precision, without the need for injections or drilling.

If treatment becomes associated with zero pain, hopefully rates of dental anxiety will reduce and more people will attend for checkups. Between 2015 and 2017, just over half of UK adults went to the dentist.

3D printing

Nowadays when patients need a crown, we need to take a mould that is sent to a lab for a new tooth to be made up. In future, the use of computer-assisted design (CAD) and 3D printing could bring this right to the dental practice, meaning a customised tooth could be produced while you wait!

Growing your own teeth

With the phasing out of mercury fillings and the potential uses of 3D technology, it’s clear our options for replacement teeth are only going to become more natural looking. But what about growing your own teeth?

Stem cell research is a fascinating area of medicine that has already helped in the treatment of cancer and other conditions. It works by activating stem cells (those which don’t yet have a designated purpose) to replace damaged old cells. Researchers are currently testing whether this could be done with teeth, enabling stem cells to produce new tooth structures where decay has set in.

Gene therapy

Gene therapy is another exciting scientific breakthrough full of potential. It’s possible that in the future scientists might be able to identify specific genes behind some of the biggest oral health diseases, including mouth cancer and chronic gum disease, which could enable them to revise their structure and prevent their occurrence.

If you’re looking for modern dental care in Notting Hill, book an appointment at Number 18 Dental. We already specialise in minimally invasive dentistry and utilise some of the most cutting-edge dental technology to make your experience more comfortable.

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