9 Cutting-Edge Dental Technologies Revolutionizing Patient Care

9 Cutting-Edge Dental Technologies Revolutionizing Patient Care


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Introduction

Developing newer technologies is a continuous process. Including them in the healthcare industry is a necessity. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), ML (Machine Learning), Blockchain, 3D Printing, the Internet of Things (IoT), etc., have taken all industries by storm. Dentistry is not alien to it. You can get an insight into how these cutting-edge technologies have transformed patient care in dentistry.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Health Records

AI is a booming technology that impressively penetrated healthcare and its fields.1 The use of AI in Electronic Health Records (EHRs) has increasingly become a compulsion rather than a choice in the post-pandemic era worldwide. Undoubtedly, record-keeping helps in efficient healthcare provision, research, and administration.

At large, this has revolutionized patient care as healthcare providers have access to the previous records of the patients. And they can prepare adequately in advance for any dental surgical procedures and their complications.

Also, recent advancements in machine learning and deep learning models have the potential to facilitate health informatics further by providing complex data for designing efficient aftercare regimens for wisdom teeth extractions or periodontal procedures and redefining patient care.

Oral Cancer Screening- (AI) models

It isn’t a secret anymore that early detection of cancers helps increase the survival rate. Technologies like Direct Fluorescence (DF) using green light, 400 to 460 nm, are rising in popularity. The application of AI on the images captured with green light is helping to enhance diagnostic predictions.

With the increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in diagnostic medicine, researchers have focused mainly on considering the diagnostic accuracy of AI in the early detection of oral cancers.

Research2 suggests AI is a valuable diagnostic tool that showcases a significant evolutionary leap in the early-stage detection of oral cancers.

However, based on the evidence, deep learning (DL), such as a deep convolutional neural network, is more accurate in the early detection of oral cancer. Whether with DI, AI, DL, or their combinations, Oral cancer screening is bound to achieve exceptional results and revolutionize patient care by saving more lives.

Blockchain Technology1,3

The blockchain is a distributed digital ledger that stores data. Here, individual records are called blocks, which are linked, i.e. ‘chained’ together, and so-named blockchains.

Dentistry typically relies on a smooth workflow with multiple stakeholders involved in providing the desired patient care experience.

The data entered by laboratories, dental technicians, oral pathologists, dental specialists, and physicians contribute to the Data Lake and is also available to government agencies and patients. This way, it stores a copy in a shared ledger. Any change reflects in every document with the information of the changing stakeholder. It helps to verify its authenticity.

The benefits of it can be in the fast-growing technology of wearable sensors and mobile phones, collecting real-time data and enhancing critical clinical care, even on the dental chair. Increasing exploration, based on more authenticated data derived by blockchain technology for dental research and clinical studies, compels patient care to revolutionize.

Haptics Technology

Haptics is the science of sensing and operating through touch, the application of which makes your experience “Real” in Virtual Reality (VR). It facilitates communication in both directions by providing feedback to the operator through the equipment in use, like the joystick, data gloves, etc. In combination with visual display, Haptics is a promising technology for Telehealth.

During the pandemic, healthcare providers were swift to close the gaps in virtual care. However, haptics is required to elicit the response by teeth to make it the healthcare of the future. This innovative technology is changing dental education and the dental surgeons’ practice of planned surgeries before performing them on the patient.

3D Printing for Dental Implants4

Dental implants are an effective way to restore missing teeth without damaging neighbouring healthy teeth. 3D printing has substantially increased the success rate of dental implants with digital technology, which has also revolutionized the process and practice of placing them.

Along with other unique bio-medical purposes, like those used to create personal protective equipment (PPE) components to meet COVID-19-driven demand spikes. 3D printing has a significant impact on dental implants and prostheses.

Increased speed and reduced effort are the benefits of customized 3D printing. It is possible with computer-aided designing (CAD), manufacturing, and placing the same implant made with patient-specific polymeric materials. Materials chosen can vary according to the patient’s necessity, reducing the burden faced by the dental implant manufacturing industry. Additive printing is also cost-effective. However, there are a few teething problems with materials, operators, and maintenance. And only time can testify to the enhancement in patient care.

Internet of Things (IoT) in Dental

In the past, real-time tracking of critical body parameters (pulse, oxygen saturation, etc.) was only available in a tertiary care hospital. Now it’s part of your daily routine, made possible by the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Internet of things (IoT) has made real-time tracking of critical body parameters previously possible only in a high-end hospital now a part of your day-to-day life.

It is a network of physical devices (like a watch or a smartphone embedded with sensors) connected wirelessly with each other and monitoring devices of healthcare providers using the Internet. It relays real-time data exchange, ensuring no human intervention, enabling remote monitoring, and reducing hospital time. In dentistry, the role of systemic conditions is vital.

Noting and monitoring general health conditions before scheduling every dental appointment using IoT Apps has the potential to revolutionize patient care soon.

Chat-GPT in Patient Education

AI-powered Chat-GPT can facilitate personalized and effective communication between healthcare providers and patients by analyzing problems and sentiments in patient messages. AI-powered language models can aid in the personalization of patient-physician communication.

The real transformation is yet to be determined. However, the possibilities remain immense in pre-treatment and aftercare communication. It can work as a guide in creating a unique patient experience, effectively reducing the doctor’s time in counselling with a greater focus on treatment.

Intraoral Scanners

Digital dental scanners are devices used to capture the optical impression of intra- and extra-oral structures of the patient’s mouth. As previously emphasized, the importance of workflow. Intraoral scanners have revolutionized the workflow. The digital file exchange is more accurate than its analogous counterpart. The application of intra-oral scanners has influenced implant dentistry and aligner therapy to position the teeth without using braces.

Silicon Carbide Technology for Advanced Human Healthcare Applications

The wearable devices for continuous health monitoring have a limitation that the patients can remove at will. And thus, there lies the need for implantable material. One challenge with this is the lack of biocompatible materials that are inherently ‘smart,’ i.e. capable of functioning electronically.

Implantable devices currently use silicon technology. These require an airtight seal, so there is no interaction with biological tissues, resulting in a short-term benefit. A material that neither produces an inflammatory or foreign body response nor degrades over time is suitable for long-term, permanent implantation.

SiC has displayed these exceptional material properties, which opens up a whole new host of applications and allows for the development of many advanced biomedical devices never possible for long-term use in vivo. Silicon Caride (SiC) is compatible with both body and blood. It is already in commercial use for humans. The long-term use ranges from heart stent coatings and dental implants to short-term diagnostic applications involving neural implants and sensors.

Conclusion

These are some of the many developing technologies. Dentistry has come a long way, from need-based therapies to advanced cosmetic treatments that require high predictability and a welcoming patient experience. The dentists and dental offices updated with all or most of these cutting-edge dental technologies should be your obvious choice.

References

  1. Siripurapu, S.; Darimireddy, N.K.; Chehri, A.; Sridhar, B.;Paramkusam, A.V. Technological Advancements and Elucidation Gadgets for Healthcare Applications: An Exhaustive Methodological Review-Part-I (AI, Big Data, BlockChain, Open-Source Technologies, and Cloud Computing). Electronics 2023, 12, 750. https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics12030750
  2. Al-Rawi N, Sultan A, Rajai B, Shuaeeb H, Alnajjar M, Alketbi M, Mohammad Y, Shetty SR, Mashrah MA. The effectiveness of artificial intelligence in detection of oral cancer. International Dental Journal. 2022 May 14
  3. Hassani, Hossein & Norouzi, Kimia & Ghodsi, Alireza & Huang, Xu. (2023). Revolutionary Dentistry through Blockchain Technology. Big Data and Cognitive Computing. 7. 9. 10.3390/bdcc7010009.
  4. Siripurapu, S.; Darimireddy, N.K.; Chehri, A.; B., S.; A.V., P. Technological Advancements and Elucidation Gadgets for Healthcare Applications: An Exhaustive Methodological Review-Part-II (Robotics, Drones, 3D-Printing, Internet of Things, Virtual/Augmented and Mixed Reality).Electronics 2023, 12, 548. https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics12030548

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