Are you looking forward to your next trip to the dentist? If you are like most people, you probably understand that dental visits are crucial for your oral health, but might not necessarily look forward to exams, cleanings, and fillings. Fortunately, modern advances in dental technology could make your visits more effective and less painful. Here are three futuristic dental methods that could make all the difference.
1: New Exploration Tools
Because cavities tend to be softer than normal surrounding dental surfaces, most dentists and hygienists use a tool called an explorer to check for decay. This instrument is basically a pointy metal hook, and when it sticks to teeth, professionals look closer for problems. Unfortunately, although this method is effective, some patients don't enjoy having their teeth poked with a sharp instrument.
However, new diode lasers might be able to make detecting decay much less invasive. Laser exploration tools use light to quickly scan dental structures, spot abnormalities, and even detect the depth of the decay. In addition to helping dentists find hidden damage, lasers also provide a much better experience for you as a patient.
Another great thing about laser exploration is that it gives the dentist an easy way to collect digital data about your teeth. By using the laser for each examination, your dentist can keep track of areas that are prone to decay so that he or she can address problems early.
2: Lasers that Promote Tooth Self-Healing
In order to keep decay and infection from running rampant through your mouth and jaw, dentists drill away damage and use fillings to replace bad material. Although fillings are usually painless thanks to strong local anesthetics, some people have a hard time with the sounds, smells, and shots that accompany the procedure.
If you aren't crazy about getting fillings, you might be thrilled to hear about a device that can help cavities to heal on their own. Believe it or not, new lasers that use low frequency electrical currents might be able to kill bacteria while helping teeth to re-mineralize. These currents help the minerals and fluoride found in your saliva to rush to the damaged spot, where they can help your tooth to create its own natural filling.
While current laser models are only capable of repairing small cavities, researchers are looking for ways to use them to fix deeper damage. Lasers that promote self-healing might be tremendously helpful for people who don't tolerate dental procedures well, such as kids or folks who are afraid of needles. Although this technology might sound like something straight out of a science fiction movie, experts predict that they could be used as a mainstream dental device within three years.
3: Better Dental Bonding Materials
Nothing is worse than discovering a fresh chip out of one of your front teeth. In addition to making you look like one of the Beverly Hillbillies, it can also impact your ability to eat and drink comfortably. Before you bury your face in your hands and cry about your new look, you might be interested to know that dentists might be able to repair that chip by rebuilding the area with dental bonding.
Dental bonding is created from strong, tooth-colored resins that attach to surrounding structures. This material can be molded, shaped, smoothed, and polished to match existing teeth perfectly. Although bonding has been around for years, antiquated versions were susceptible to breakage, and didn't work well for permanent repairs. However, modern dental bonding materials are better than ever.
Universal bonding agents can adhere to all dental surfaces including enamel and dentin, along with repaired areas made from metal, ceramic, or porcelain. This means that if you have a chipped trouble tooth that has been worked on in the past, you won't have to worry about that bonding material failing.
Next time you visit a local dental clinic, like Schererville Family Dentistry, PC, take time to ask the dentist about these new treatment tools. You can learn if they're planning to implement them in their practice, or even influence them to consider doing so if they weren't planning to already.