Although the experience of visiting a dentist can be debilitating for some, advancements in technology are helping to make many procedures easier. Think lasers and stem cells, digital therapies tailored to the individual in an effort to reduce time and pain. Practices recognise the importance of care quality and believe that by improving the overall experience, they can build client trust.
We’ve come a long way since the Victorian practice of chaining patients to a chair so that dentists can pull out their teeth with pliers. We’re lucky to have so much technology at our fingertips and the healthcare landscape is rapidly changing as it utilises innovations in technology to reduce error, speed up diagnosis and improve the overall patient experience.
We’re heading towards a future fueled by rapid development where drills and injections may be a thing of the past. Dental staff will need to keep up with the latest skills and knowledge to make sure they can meet the demands of patients wanting these new procedures.
Drills are incredibly intimidating for patients but thankfully, there are alternatives for those who quiver at the whirring of a drill. Dental lasers have been an option for some time now for those who prefer something a bit more discreet. Lasers can be used to reshape gum tissue, remove bits of enamel, and repair fillings. It not only results in less bleeding but there’s less damage caused to the surrounding tissue and the healing period is much quicker. They’re approved for use in both adults and children making it the preferred choice by many patients.
In the not too distant future, medicines and treatments will be designed to suit one’s own needs and wishes. The way in which we diagnose and manage conditions will be fine-tuned thanks to technology. The concept of ‘one size fits all’ in healthcare assumes that one treatment will work for everyone but in dentistry, technology is changing the way we think about patient care. Bioprinting is a technique that uses 3D printing technology to generate dental pulp, replicate enamel and rebuild damaged teeth. The type of treatment is incredibly customisable and opens up a world of possibilities for all types of medical care.
If there’s one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it is the ability to adapt. Throughout 2020, Healthcare services maintained appointments by providing virtual phone consultations to patients. It reduced waiting times and improved accessibility for countless patients who were either uncomfortable about coming in or couldn’t access services. Many practices are now considering these measures even after the pandemic ends as it’s proven to be a viable option.
The same practice can be utilised in dentistry. During the pandemic, dentists have been forced to shut their doors to non-essential procedures. Appointments, however, have been held over the phone giving patients the opportunity to discuss their ailments with a professional. Ofcourse, in-person procedures such as surgery can’t utilise the benefits of teledentistry, but it can allow people to seek help sooner. If a patient needs to renew a prescription or recieve pain management advice on how to ease discomfort, a telephone call might be the easiest way to do this. It makes dental advice far more accessible and removes the fear of actually having to visit the dentist.