Dentistry in 2021: How the Industry is Changing

Think back to the old dentists of 1850, the images of poor souls strapped to their chairs while dentists hammer away at their unwilling mouths is a frightening sight. With no pain relief other than a few swigs of whisky, it’s the stuff of nightmares. There were no kind words or reassurance from supportive dental staff. No, you were there to have the procedure and go. How you dealt with the pain afterwards was your own problem. 

Despite the decades of industry advancements, many people still find a trip to the dentist a rather unpleasant experience. Nurses often find themselves with the task of reassuring, comforting and educating patients which can be a challenge in itself, particularly during anxious times in a global pandemic.

It’s fair to say that we’ve come a long way in 171 years. With technology, we are on course to create more accurate, painless and less-invasive treatments at a fraction of the cost. Dental nurses have a catalogue of courses at their fingertips which means that staff as a whole are becoming more skilled than ever.

Quicker (and cheaper) procedures

Better technology means a dentist can provide faster treatment. Cutting time equals less money since patients will require less of the dentist’s time. Computer assisted design, otherwise known as CAD, can be used to map a patient’s mouth and design the perfect dentures, braces and crowns. This means that rather than waiting for the laboratory to analyse scans and send results, the procedure can be done there and then – think same day crowns. The less time and money spent on outsourcing to other third parties, the cheaper and faster it is for the patient.

Photo by Evelina Zhu from Pexels.

Easing anxiety

There’s just something about the dentist’s chair that puts fear in most people. A chair positioned at 45 degrees, dominating the centre of the sterile white room can make it feel as though some serious surgery is about to happen. Practices have been working hard to improve the experience for their clients. With music, magazines and even toys for children, the experience begins with the waiting room. Nowadays, it’s common to see ipads and blankets adorning some practices in an attempt to boost comfort levels. Staff are dedicating more effort than before into providing a calm environment to alleviate patient concerns.

Photo by Yusuf Belek on Unsplash.

Fear of needles

For those that are terrified of needles, a visit to the dentist can be a daunting experience. Needles, however, may be a thing of the past now that anaesthesia can be administered directly to the tooth in a non-invasive way. Alternatively, fast-acting electric currents are also being used along with topical numbing creams. A lot of these technologies are still being trialled but it paints an attractive picture of what the future of dental practice will look like. 

Better technology expands the appeal to a wider range of people. For nervous patients, less invasive procedures will provide much needed relief. For those still deciding on what dentist to register with, a modern practice that follows the latest trends could be the deciding factor. Keeping your practice current can help boost your profile and build patient trust. Taking the time to train and refresh your skills can really give your practice that much needed boost of popularity, particularly after a year in which businesses have been hit pretty badly.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels
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