How lucky!

added on: March 10, 2017

Advancements in dentistry have come a long way.  Dentistry dates back with evidence to 7000 B.C. The first dental filling was made with beeswax.  Barbers and general physicians were the ones to perform dental procedures prior to dentistry being its own profession. Barbers usually limited themselves to extractions.  Dental fillings weren’t introduced until the late 17th century.  Pierre Fauchard was the “father of modern dentistry”.  He not only discovered dental fillings but causes of abscess, braces and replacement of teeth with ivory or bone. Egyptians use to provide replacement teeth with a gold wire.

The profession of a dentist developed on the 18th century.  Flash forward to today, dentists are very easy to find. In addition to general dentist, there are many specialists who extend education for specific areas of dentistry. These include endodontists (root canal specialist), orthodontists (braces), oral surgeons (extractions, bone grafts, dental implants), periodontists (gum tissue specialists), pediatric dentist (specialize with children), prosthodontist (replacement in damages and missing teeth), and even cosmetic dentists.

What’s new in dentistry?

Technology has come so far helping us with early cancer detection unseen by the naked eye.  One example is Velscope.  The first dental x-ray was taken in 1985.  Radiation wasn’t a concern like is today and with digital x-rays and fast film, we can provide patient’s with much less radiation exposure.  Digital x-rays are available at most dental offices and it appears right on the computer.  It’s a great aid for educating patients since we can enlarge the film on screen.  X-rays are an excellent tool so we can remove the guess work. When it comes to a patient’s health, we definitely do not want to guess.

Orthodontic braces weren’t invented until the early 1800’s, although the desire of straightening teeth dates back to the Egyptians. Invisalign is an option for adults who do not want to wear metal braces.  These clear and nearly invisible adult braces are perfect cosmetically to obtain straight teeth.  These were discovered in 1997.

Laser dentistry is available and can be used to treat teeth and gum tissues for things like bone grafts and cancer removal. The first laser was developed and approved in 1960, as well as the first electric toothbrush.

Dental implants are an excellent option for replacing missing teeth or a single tooth. It can give the person the feel of a natural tooth and there’s no trouble with having to learn to remove and appliance in and out of the mouth.  These were first introduced in 1980.

Intra-oral cameras are an excellent tool to take photos of area inside the mouth. It can help educate the patient and monitor tissue and teeth abnormalities for observation like a tissue fibroma or small fracture.  A description can be more accurate along with a visual aide.

A new 3D printer is available to fabricate dental crowns, or caps. The Cerec machine, as it is named, can mill strong restorations and crowns. The material used is ceramic. Why ceramic? It is metal free, highly aesthetic and long lasting.  A patient can be prepped and walk out with a new permanent crown in the same day. There is no return visits needed when the Cerec is used and studies show they are just as strong as a gold crown.  This machine eliminates the need for putty impressions, which can be helpful to a patient who has a gag reflex.  The computer impression is then sent to the milling machine—no temporary crowns or long wait times like traditional crowns that are sent out to a lab.

What could happen in dentistry?

  • Nanodiamonds can prevent tooth loss after root canals,
  • If enamel can be rebuilt
  • Alternatives to antibiotics (due to the rise in antibiotic resistance)
  • A protein that can inhibit bone loss with periodontal disease.
  • Stem cells can be used to “build” a new tooth.

These are all newer studies, but the advancement in dentistry can continue on as more and more studies are being made.We are seeing more aging adults living longer with their full set of teeth.

Dentures, although still common, are needed less and less as dental advanced continue. Even with all the advancements in dentistry, it is still very important to give your teeth the attention they deserve. You should continue to have good brushing and flossing habits, incorporate a mouth rinse into your routine and see your dentist as often as recommended. Take care of your teeth and they can last your entire life, dental advancements are here to guide you through your lifetime and provide you with the best optimal oral health. We are really lucky to have all these options, dental guidance and studies continue.

Posted In: Blog, Uncategorized