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January 8, 2024

An overview of the latest dental technologies to be adopted in 2024

The world of dentistry is constantly evolving, with new technologies emerging every day to improve patient care and oral health in general. These innovations are transforming the way dentists diagnose, treat, organize and control, while offering patients more personalized, efficient and comfortable experiences. In this article, we take a look at the new technologies you can adopt to simplify your practice, streamline the exchange of information with your contacts and offer an enhanced patient experience. 

Hard-ware: 

Intra-oral scanners

Intraoral scanners use optical scanning technology to create precise 3D models of teeth. They replace traditional impressions taken with dental paste. Not only do they help you reduce errors, they also improve the patient experience, digitize shipping to the laboratory and reduce your need for consumables for a greener practice. The digital models obtained are then used for computer-aided design: the intra-oral scanner sends the digital data to the design software (CAD/CAM). 

CAD/CAM technology

The use of computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) has revolutionized our field, making the production of materials for dental restorations much faster and more efficient. With just a few clicks, you can create highly accurate 3D models of your patient's tooth or teeth, and then design restorations directly from your computer. You can adjust the shape, size, color and other details of the component to achieve the optimum result. Once the design is complete, the data is ready for computer-aided manufacturing. They are sent to your laboratory or to a computer-aided manufacturing machine, such as a 3D printer. The printer will then physically produce the component according to the design specifications. Depending on the type of machine used, the manufacturing process can take from a few minutes to a few hours. This technology will save you a lot of time, and you'll now be able to carry out restorations in just one appointment!

The 3D facial scanner 

A 3D facial scanner is a device that captures a precise digital representation of a person's face. It uses various technologies, such as structured light, laser scanning or photogrammetry, to create a detailed 3D model of facial features and topography.

They provide a remarkably accurate and detailed representation of the face, capturing its unique features and contours. This is particularly useful for applications such as smile design, orthodontic planning and surgical simulation.

This technology is used, for example, by the Rayface brand. Rayface creates a 3D representation of your patient's face, facilitating dental treatment planning and simulation. 

CBCT

CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography) has revolutionized dental imaging thanks to its ability to provide detailed 3D images. With it, you can accurately visualize tooth structure, maxillary and mandibular bones, sinuses, temporomandibular joints, etc... . 3D provides a better understanding of spatial relationships, enabling more precise planning of dental treatments.

Its other advantage lies in its advanced diagnostic power, far surpassing conventional 2D X-rays. By scanning teeth, roots, bone, oral structure, etc. with greater resolution and precision, CBCT enables you to detect invisible problems, enabling more accurate and earlier diagnoses.

3D images, with slice navigation, make the work of the dental surgeon even easier and more precise, providing a clearer view of elements invisible through other analysis technologies: bone density for dental implants, locating roots before extraction, confirming a lesion, determining the optimum position for implants, assessing nerve pathways to avoid complications, and much more. With it, you reduce risks and improve dental treatment results.

The symbiosis between CBCT and advanced planning software gives rise to computer-guided surgery. With this approach, you can surgically simulate a procedure before performing it, and issue surgical guides for even greater precision. 

Bonus: Recently, a robotic navigation system used in computer-assisted dental surgery was launched under the name Yomi. It combines intra-oral scans and CBCT data to create precise 3D models of the patient's mouth. These models guide dentists through complex procedures. The Yomi system provides real-time information on the position, angle and depth of the instruments used, enabling a more precise and safer procedure.

Dental lasers 

Dental lasers are lasers specially designed to perform certain dental treatments, such as whitening or soft tissue treatments. They emit a narrow beam of light that can be used to cut, vaporize or coagulate tissue. Dental lasers offer a number of advantages over traditional dental instruments, including the promise of less pain, reduced post-operative bleeding and swelling, improved tissue healing and less tissue damage, faster healing and improved patient comfort. 

The rise of the slow dentistry movement is highlighting a more ethical, less invasive approach to our practice. As part of this movement, which advocates higher-quality, more ethical dental care and puts the practitioner-patient relationship back at the center, dental lasers are proving popular. 

Dental software : 

Management software: 

Dental practice management software is an essential tool for managing your administrative and operational tasks. They enable you to book appointments, manage patient files, handle billing and more. In short, they help you manage your practice and your teams efficiently, improve communication with your patients and organize your time with your diary. Most of them are also often integrated with other software applications, such as digital imaging systems and electronic medical records (EMR), creating a centralized platform for complete practice management. 

Want to change your software? We'll give you the information you need to make the right choice!

Digital imaging and CAD/CAM software: 

As previously mentioned, digital imaging and CAD/CAM software play an essential role in modern dentistry by facilitating the acquisition, analysis and manipulation of different types of dental images. They are used in conjunction with imaging technologies such as intra-oral cameras, extra-oral radiography and CBCT to capture digital images of your patients' teeth, jaws and surrounding structures. They enable you to enhance and analyze these images, which will facilitate your diagnosis and treatment planning. They will enable you to design and create digital models to produce dental restorations much more efficiently and rapidly than ever before.

Smile design software:

Virtual treatment planning and smile design software are tools for digitally simulating and planning complex dental procedures. Using digital models, you can visualize and manipulate different smile design options. You can also analyze facial aesthetics, tooth alignment, occlusion and other factors to create an ever more personalized treatment plan for each patient. What's more, it's also a collaborative platform where you can interact with your patients, share treatment proposals and visualize potential outcomes. As a result, you'll be able to increase your patients' engagement and help them make informed decisions by offering them a preview of possible outcomes before treatment begins.  

What's more, these solutions are no longer just for professionals: they're also available for your patients. For example, SmileCloud is an innovative online software that allows your patients to actively participate in the smile design process. SmileCloud uses augmented reality (AR) and 3D modeling to enable users to upload photos of their current smile and experiment with different aesthetic enhancements. Your patients can change the shape, size, color of teeth, even adjust the smile line to instantly see how these changes affect their appearances. 

Materials : 

New materials in dentistry are constantly evolving and play an essential role in the quest for a more environmentally friendly, responsible and ethical dental dimension. Over the years, the dental industry has made huge strides in developing materials that are more sustainable, safer and less polluting for the ecosystem and your patients. More and more materials are biocompatible, recyclable and have a low environmental impact. What's more, more and more patients may ask you questions about sustainability and ethics, contributing to a more responsible dental practice that respects our planet. 

Zirconia

Zirconia is an extremely resistant ceramic material that is increasingly used for dental restorations such as crowns and bridges. It offers exceptional strength, durability and biocompatibility. What's more, it offers outstanding aesthetics, blending naturally with existing teeth in a choice of shades. Highly resistant, it enables the creation of thin, minimally invasive restorations without compromising durability. What's more, zirconia's biocompatibility reduces the risk of adverse or allergic reactions. It therefore has the potential to replace traditional materials such as metal-based restorations, offering your patients a more aesthetic and longer-lasting option.

Composite resins

Composite resins are tooth-colored materials used for dental fillings, bonding procedures and cosmetic dentistry. Technological advances in composite resins have improved their aesthetics, durability and handling properties. These materials are composed of a combination of resin and inorganic fillers, resulting in a material that closely resembles natural tooth structure. Composite resins can be matched to the shade of the patient's teeth, making them a popular choice for dental restorations in visible areas. Advances in nanotechnology have led to the creation of nanofilled composite resins, offering increased wear resistance, strength and ease of polishing. They have thus become the material of choice for minimally invasive dental treatments.

3D printing materials

3D printing materials are used in dentistry, in what is known as additive manufacturing, to produce dental models, surgical guides and temporary restorations. Various materials are used in dental 3D printing, such as biocompatible resins, ceramics and metals. 3D printing makes it possible to create complex dental structures with precise detail, improving the efficiency and accuracy of various dental procedures. For example, surgical guides printed using biocompatible materials facilitate the precise placement of implants, while 3D-printed dental models improve treatment planning and the manufacture of orthodontic aligners. The use of 3D printing materials in dentistry has the potential to transform workflows, reduce costs and improve outcomes for your patients.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the dental field in a variety of ways, bringing significant changes:

Improved diagnostic capabilities: 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is globally transforming the field of radiology by automating and improving many tasks performed by radiologists, from image analysis to report generation.

AI algorithms can analyze medical images, such as X-rays, CT scans and MRIs, to detect abnormalities and early signs of disease with remarkable accuracy. Hand in hand with technology, radiologists can thus identify potential problems more quickly and accurately, which can lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment of disease. The same applies to dentistry, with artificial intelligence applications in 2D and 3D. 

Treatment planning and predictive analysis

AI algorithms contribute to the development of personalized treatment plans by analyzing your patients' data and the results of previous treatments. Thanks to machine learning techniques, AI can predict, for example, the best methodology and trajectory in orthodontic treatment, or even assist you with implant placement. You can then use this information to optimize treatment plans, anticipate possible complications and improve treatment results.

Workflow optimization and automation

AI enables you to streamline administrative tasks within your dental practice. AI-powered dental practice management software automates appointment scheduling, billing, insurance claims processing and communication with your patients, easing the administrative burden on your staff. What's more, AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants, if set up correctly, can respond to patient queries, provide oral health advice and offer appointment reminders, improving engagement and satisfaction with your patients.

Tele-dentistry and remote monitoring

Thanks to AI technology, it's now possible to carry out remote consultations and monitor your patients' oral health. You can assess your patients' dental condition through virtual consultations using AI-powered tools and imaging analysis. AI-powered remote monitoring devices can track oral health parameters such as plaque levels or tooth movement, and provide you with information to bring your patients back for timely intervention.

Patient education and oral health management, facilitating understanding 

AI-powered apps can provide your patients with personalized oral health recommendations and educational resources. AI-powered virtual assistants and chatbots can answer patients' questions, provide oral hygiene advice and guide them in maintaining optimal oral health. AI-driven oral health apps can track patients' brushing habits, provide reminders and offer advice on how to improve their oral hygiene routines.

AI's impact on the field of dentistry is continually evolving as new applications and advances emerge. It has the potential to improve diagnostics, treatment planning, practice management, patient engagement and overall oral health outcomes. Dentists and dental professionals can leverage AI technologies to improve their clinical decision-making, optimize workflows and deliver more personalized and effective patient care. It can also be a major support in chairside pedagogy and patient support in understanding their health status and understanding their care needs. 

Allisone is a software program based on artificial intelligence that enables you to explain dental X-rays to your patients in a visual, entertaining and educational way, making them easier to understand and more involved in their oral health. It uses color codes to show the elements present on an x-ray. In this way, patients can easily visualize what is being explained to them by their practitioner, and better understand what is at stake in the care proposed. But that's not all... Allisone simplifies patient education by providing all the information needed for patient care. You can quickly draw up your treatment plan in Allisone and print out or send a report and the patient's teaching sheets.

Orthodontics in the age of Artificial Intelligence 

Orthodontics has also made great strides over the years in correcting problems caused by malpositioned teeth and jaws. Today, a new revolution is taking shape thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), which is transforming this discipline. Advances in AI-assisted orthodontics promise more accurate, faster and more personalized results for patients.

It uses algorithms and mathematical models to analyze patient data and design optimal treatment plans. X-ray images, dental impressions and facial photographs are digitized and processed by specialized software. These tools then use machine learning techniques to detect orthodontic problems, predict the evolution of dentition and design personalized braces.

The potential impact of metavers on dentistry: a new frontier for learning and care 

The emerging concept of the metaverse presents exciting possibilities for the field of dentistry. By combining augmented reality, virtual reality and social interaction, the metaverse offers revolutionary potential for learning, training, collaboration and dental care. Although its specific integration into dentistry is still under development, it could potentially have an impact in these areas. 

Tel Dentistry and virtual consultations

Metavers could revolutionize tele-dentistry by offering more immersive and interactive virtual consultations. Dentists could use avatars to interact with patients, examine virtual dental models and discuss treatment options in real time. This would improve access to dental care, particularly in remote areas, while providing a more personalized experience for patients.

Collaboration and research in the metaverse 

The metaverse would facilitate collaboration between dentists and researchers worldwide. Through shared virtual environments, they could collaborate on projects, collectively analyze data, simulate dental procedures and explore innovative approaches. This interdisciplinary collaboration would promote the advancement of dental research and the adoption of new technologies.

Virtual reality revolution in dentistry: A new immersive approach to improved dental care

Immersive experience and reduced anxiety

Virtual reality offers a real solution for your anxious patients by creating an immersive experience that will allow them to escape for the duration of the procedure.via a virtual reality headset, your patients can be transported into soothing, distracting and relaxing environments... 

Training and treatment planning

Virtual reality is used to train future dentists. Indeed, there's no substitute for hands-on practice, and VR enables students to practice dental care in an ultra-realistic environment, even before touching their first patient. They develop their skills and confidence while minimizing the risks to patients.

Virtual reality also enables them to visualize and manipulate dental structures in 3D. They can examine virtual models of teeth and gums, enabling them to accurately plan complex procedures. This visualization can also benefit patients by enabling them to better understand their oral health and treatment options.

Assistance during dental procedures

Virtual reality can also guide you through your procedures. Virtual image overlays can be displayed in real time in your field of vision, giving you precise information on anatomical structures and treatment stages. This saves time and reduces errors. 

As you can see, innovations in the dental sector are booming, and this trend is not about to stop. In France today, there are over 2,600 HealthTech start-ups, and this number continues to grow every year. Our profession is evolving, and we need to keep pace if we are not to disappear. The easiest thing to do is to take an interest in and embrace these new technologies, and incorporate them into your daily practice right away. 

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