Digital dentistry encompasses any digital or computer-based technology that your dental professional may use to examine, diagnose, and treat the health of your mouth.
But what exactly is digital dentistry, and how is it having such an impact on the level of care you receive? If you’re curious about digital dentistry, we’ll break down how computers may be helping to improve your smile
Small cameras are fast-replacing the tiny round mirrors dental professionals have historically used to examine the inside of your mouth. One of the biggest benefits of these cameras is magnification. When they can make your tooth about your head's size on a flat screen, they can better identify any potential issues with your oral health that need to be addressed.
X-rays have been used in dental offices for a very long time, but the traditional x-ray process required film processing, which took time, was expensive, and the prints needed to be filed away in cabinets and physically delivered to other offices and specialists if necessary. Digital radiography is faster.
Intraoral scanning and CAD (Computer-aided design)/CAM (Computer-aided manufacturing) technology
There was a time not so long ago when dental professionals would put a gooey substance (impression material) in a mouthguard and place it in your mouth in the right position and have you bite down until it hardened. They'd use that form to make a mold and send it off to a lab where a dental technician creates whatever device you need to repair, replace, or better align your teet
Cancer screening tools
Fluorescence imaging can help dental professionals see abnormalities and signs of cancer that may not be visible to the naked eye. When diseases are diagnosed early with these tools, they can be treated at an earlier stage, giving the patient an improved prognosis and a shorter recovery time
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Digitally guided implant surgery
This relatively new innovation isn't widely used yet. Still, it helps dental professionals identify the most precise and effective way to place an implant in your specific jawbone structure using an intraoral scan. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry says that 3 million Americans have dental implants. That number is growing by 500,000 every year, so this innovation could ensure many people receive the best dental implant possible
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