Digital Dentistry

Technology has developed modern, state-of-the-art equipment that increases efficiency and productivity in our daily lives. In the field of healthcare, dentistry has evolved from age-old texts. It implied that 'tooth worms' were a cause of tooth decay in digitized dentistry that uses CAD/CAM technology. It allows high-quality restoration of teeth, which provides not only functional but also aesthetic satisfaction to the patient. It involves replacing the old with the new and developing better techniques and equipment for faster and more accurate results. This technology has been used in dentistry increasingly in the 21st century, focusing on prosthodontics-related procedures. Research in this field has successfully aided in many dental practices and has decreased treatment time, minimized error, and provided better quality assurance and oral health preservation.

Many such benefits of digitized dentistry include:

Decreased treatment time

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Digital dentistry has a direct impact on healthcare and clinical practice. It leads to increased accuracy, decreased time duration, and less room for human error. It involves the use of computer-controlled equipment for both clinical and administrative purposes. The use of digital dentistry in clinical practice includes digital radiographs, digital shade matching, prosthetic fabrication, rapid prototyping, virtual articulators, and many other emerging methods. CAD/CAM technology and 3D printing create a replica of the patient's teeth. The software can develop modifications and changes in the same model, increasing time efficiency and leading to fewer errors. Since these methods cause an increased amount of predictability in treatment, the patient can have less number of sittings. According to the Journal of Indian Prosthodontics Society, if CAD/CAM technologies continue to evolve at the same rate they do, single-sitting restorations might soon be a possibility.

Decreased cost

Digital radiography provides nuclear, magnetic, and cone beam imaging of dental procedures, which helps create lighter metal alloys for cavities, thereby reducing operating costs. More efficient and faster computers cause rapid data processing for physiological assessment, which also reduces the procedure's cost. Using computers and database technologies decreases administrative tasks and causes effective time management and filing procedures to become more accessible for the staff. Digital dentistry also helps dentists avoid invasive procedures, and a sedation dentist allows patients to feel minimal pain through a computer-assisted anesthesia system so that there is no discomfort to the patient and allows pre-operative assessment of the implant procedure for the patient.

Oral health preservation

The use of digital dentistry could lead to increased longevity of oral health. Digital X-rays are a diagnostic aid and lead to an accurate assessment of the condition, leading to a better treatment plan and oral care. Many such methods of detecting tooth disorders are better than the traditional methods of diagnosing a patient. Digitized radiograph leads to early diagnosis of dental caries, especially at the initial stages, ensuring the infection does not spread and affect the rest of the gums. Digitized images allow us to view implant procedures and see a patient's progress post-treatment, ensuring that the patient is healing and no complications occur. Accurate imaging leads to decreased exposure to laser or radiation for the patient. Radiovisiography involves the use of colored images and viewing them on a computer. It helps the dentist and the rest of their team accurately assess the condition, analyze all facets of the procedure before invasive treatments, and treat the patient accordingly.

Improves dentist-patient interaction

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Aesthetic treatment of the teeth is now much easier for both the dentist and the patient. Dental photography and software allow the patient to see the post-treatment look and changes in structure, form, and color of teeth and mouth. Changes caused by aging in bone structure, jaw placement, malocclusions, etc., can be viewed and prevented through various software technologies.

Software like Adobe Photoshop can help detect caries, tooth decay, etc., following a dental procedure that can help in the patient's assessment and better oral care. The dentist is now aware of the patient's needs and can ensure they get the treatment for the desired results. This helps reduce patient fear and creates trust and understanding between the dentist and the patient, which saves time and is helpful for better treatment.

Better dental research

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Digital dentistry not only provides benefits to the patients but also to the people developing these tools to treat patients better. New developments and methods recently incorporated in dentistry have led to a far more efficient assessment and treatment of patients and have exponentially improved the practice of modern-day dentistry. Computer software, online web-based studies, and surveys have greatly assisted in researching dental procedures. The use of CorelDraw and Adobe PhotoShop has led to better imaging of teeth, and this 3D technique has led to far greater accuracy than the previous traditional methods of measurement. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) has helped design better dental implants, keeping the materials used and their respective properties in mind. The CAD/CAM software has been used to create more efficient dentures than traditional, manually made ones. Systems like T-scan have helped monitor and detect occlusal conditions after treatment of a patient, which helps in the better clinical evaluation of the patient.