Dr. Vikrant Kundu

BDS (Hons)
MDS ( Orthodontics )
CAIC ( Implantology Korea )
ADIC ( Implantology Israel )
CHIEF MENTOR, Mirell International

Advancement in Dentistry


Top 10 Revolutionary Technologies in Dentistry

Time and technology have shown rapid development overtime. The dental industry has vastly advanced, meaning the way the Indian dental surgeons and orthodontist work and serve to patients have adapted to state-of-the-art dental technologies to cater the needs. With excellent and on-going learning structures available to patients through their dentists and oral care professional, patients are becoming increasingly informed about the evolving dental technologies.

Digital impressions have terminated the issue of patients going back home with alginate on their neck, face and clothing.

Diagnosis can be made just instantly while the patient is resting in doc’s chair by scrapping film and going digital.

Invisalign has transformed cosmetic dentistry knocking out the pain and bleed of braces.

Here are the top 10 revolutionary technologies in dentistry for keeping up with patient’s distinct demand in this advanced technology driven market.



Air Abrasion

Many of us while think of a dentist, start imagining the sound of the dental drill. This is because whether performing a root canal, preparing a tooth for a dental crown, removing cavities, dentists have been dependant on this time-tested technology for decades. However, modern dentists have a newer alternative for removing portions of the tooth structure i.e., air abrasion.

Patients who feel some sort of twitchiness at the thought of a traditional drill may be cheerfully surprised to recognize that air abrasion, a substitute to drills, is available for many dental procedures.



What Is Air Abrasion?

Air abrasion technique is a way of removing tooth decay with miniaturized particles of silica or aluminum oxide - visualize a tiny sandblaster smoothly wearing away the decayed material without the friction of a drill. The dentist uses compressed air to sprinkle a flow of the sand-like tiny molecules at the affected tooth while an assistant usually suctions away the excess. Since air abrasion or micro abrasion, is widely used to prepare a tooth for tooth filling, it is also often termed as kinetic cavity preparation.

The dentist will usually provide the patients with safety eyewear to protect the eyes against the spray of particles. Preventive steps are simultaneously taken to safeguard the adjacent teeth, to avoid accidental wear of healthy tooth surface. For teeth not to be treated, a rubber dam or a layer of resin may also be placed around the teeth to use as a shield to achieve the same effect.

Besides removing tooth decay, dentists often conduct air abrasion to prepare a tooth for dental bonding or dental sealants or removing stains from the tooth surface.



PROS

  • Unlike drills, air abrasion method produces no friction or heat during the treatment.
  • Air abrasion eradicates the drilling sound that many patients find so agitating, no pun intended!
  • The method requires less of the tooth to be removed, which may minimize a patient’s discomfort or may eliminate the need for an anesthesia injection.
  • Huge advantage lies in its capability to treat multiple parts of your mouth in a single appointment or a fewer appointments.


CONS

  • Some dental treatments still require call for the use of a traditional drill, like for preparing a tooth for removing deep decay, dental crown or root canal therapy.
  • Since the "sandblasting" equalize and even out the tooth as it takes off tooth decay, it can only be executed for patients who will get composite resin fillings.
  • Amalgam fillings need the rough surface formed by a drill to adhere properly.
  • Air abrasion may be slightly expensive than other methods.


Ideal patients for Air abrasion

Since air abrasion removes the heat, friction and noise of dental drills, children and patients with dental nervous are often the ideal candidates. Before bumping into air abrasion procedure, ask your dentist whether air abrasion is right for you.



Autoclave Sterilizers

In today’s time, the most advanced sterilizers are used in the medical profession especially in dentistry to sanitize and sterilize their dental tools to prevent both patients and practitioners from any possible infection or septic diseases.

Following are some advisable autoclave sterilizers used in dental treatments:-

  • Steam Autoclave Sterilizer- Steam Autoclace most commonly uses vaporized or steamed water, to sterilize. This kind of sterilizer can also kill microorganisms with different other methods. Though steaming or heating in a layman’s language is the most widely used method of sterilization used all across the world, it has a few drawback such as that Steam autoclave sterilizers can perish some unprotected dental tools.
  • Dry Heat Autoclave Sterilizer- As the name implies this sterilizer uses dry heat; it is used for dental instruments that can be deteriorated by moisture.
  • Gas Autoclave Sterilizer- Also referred to as chemiclaves, gas autoclave sterilize in low humidity with a vapor solution. It needs less heat-up time and are most commonly used for dental instruments that may be vandalized by heat such as rubber, plastic and fiber optic devices.
  • Cold Sterilization Autoclave- This was created using a cold sterilization liquid for high-level disinfection.
  • Ultraviolet Autoclave- Ultraviolet sterilizer produces UV rays that kill microorganisms.

These sterilization tools are not typically found in the dentist's treatment room, but you can always request to see how it is done.

Besides sterilization method, dentists follow other safety and sanitization guidelines set by the designated dental health association to protect not just patients but also practitioners and their staff, from infections and illness. For example, use of gloves is one such practice.

Apart from sterilizers and discarding of everything used in a patient's mouth, an ideal dental clinic must have or practice the following:

  • A clean and organized treatment room
  • Use of protective gear dental processes
  • Dispose of needles and other sharp instruments in puncture-resistant containers after use
  • Wash hands before putting on pair of clean gloves

As a patient, you have all the right to make sure that your dentist and attendants can guarantee a germ-free and safe environment for you.



Invisalign

Invisalign are practically invisible braces that can smoothly align your dispositional teeth. The newly developed method provides an effective and easy way to beautify your smile without the embarrassment of wearing metal, heavy braces. Invisalign braces are very clean and convenient to take off for cleaning and do not set a limitation on what kinds of foods to eat. They get the job done in promptly and painlessly.



Bitewing X-rays

Dental X-rays are a significant part of the dental exam. It is used to detect problems with the gums, jaws and teeth. X-rays use electromagnetic wave to create these pictures - they produce radiations that perforate in the soft tissue of the body and are soaked by denser materials, producing images pictures of your teeth and bones.

X-ray vision is most necessary to distinguish dental issues not seen to the naked eye, so a dentist needs to have a x-ray medium. Periodontal disease, Tooth decay, bite problems, impacted tooth and even the dental tumors are some of the dental conditions conveniently diagnosed with dental X-rays.

Bitewings are a kind of dental X-rays mainly used to check the back teeth. These X-rays are excellent in identifying tooth decay located in between teeth, issues with teeth alignment and different stages of gum disease. Bitewings are also majorly helpful for measuring bone loss due to advanced periodontal disease and also diagnosing a buildup of tartar.

Bitewing X-rays get their name from how they appear: The film mimics a "T-shape" which is placed on the inside of the jaw. The film stretches to cover both the lower and upper teeth, and the patient bites a tab in the middle to grasp the film in place. After the dental surgeon rightly places the bitewing in the mouth, the patient closes their teeth to secure the film. An X-ray camera is then used to photograph number of teeth at once.

PROS and CONS of Bitewings


Offers Custom Photo Shoot

With Bitewing the most prominent X-rays for dental exam in India, patients may literally find themselves receiving a complete set of periapical X-rays during the first visit itself. This standard fixture among dental practices is also used during periodic checkups to check for changes in the gums and teeth.

Not only Bitewings is convenient for the dentist, but it prevents the patient from having to sit through a full set of X-rays every 6 months thus saving your money and time in the long run.

Some futuristic practitioners are also choosing to use avant-grade digital as well as panoramic X-rays.



Reliable and Safe

Choosing bitewings is a painless and rapid process, and the film is generally ready for the dentist to see in just few minutes. Though you cannot feel the X-ray radiations, holding the film in place can be bit uneasy for some anxious patients who may encounter minor pinching or gagging sensation against the roof of their mouth. If something like that happens, the dentist may reposition the film and have you breathe through nose for more comfort.

The level of radiation from bitewings, or any dental X-rays for matter of standard safety precautions is actually quite low. As patients take bitewing X-rays occasionally, the amount of radiation they experience is not enough to cause a health concern. Regardless, of how and when is bitewing taken, patients must always be covered with a lead apron.

For a pregnant lady, the dental hygienist will determine whether X-rays are required during your appointment.



Essential for early diagnosis and dental care regime

No matter of Bitewing being periodical but these X-rays are a significant part of your dental care. As many early dental conditions do not have symptoms, you and your doctor may not be aware of them. Without use of bitewing X-rays, your dental problem will continue to grow, setting you up for a massive, aching problem in the future.



Lasers for Tooth Cavity Detection

In older times, orthodontists used to have an instrument they call the "explorer" to detect cavities. That is the instrument they poke in your mouth at the time of checkup. When it "sticks" in a tooth, they see closer and deeper to check for tooth decay.

But ditching the traditional dental techniques, many dental professional are now switching to the upgraded diode laser- a hi-tech method for finding and removing cavities. The laser can also be used to identify if there is decay in the tooth. Lasers technology has been observed to revolutionize multiple industries, and oral care is no exception. Laser periodontal therapy is still in its onset but has shown promising results for eligible patients.

The mechanism of diode laser works in a manner that when healthy teeth are revealed to the laser beam of the diode, they do not glow or incandescence, so the reading on the digital display is likely low. But the decayed teeth glow and fluoresce in ratio to the degree of decay, resulting in higher readings on the digital screen.



DIAGNOdent® Laser

Well we can’t deny the cleverness of cavities at playing hide and seek. They are really smart at hiding in places of your mouth where even dental X-rays are unable to find them. But the new technology of DIAGNOdent has no match in cavity-detection power. DIAGNOdent device is known to detect even smallest amounts of tooth decay at the earliest stages using a laser. Many dentists also call it as laser cavity detector. The dental surgeon uses this laser device to scan zones of tooth decay or even areas where decay is like to attack. When it detects any problem in the tooth, it immediately makes a beeping sound or glows automatically. The more tooth decay, the more visible light and the faster the beeps. Numerical readings are also shown on the display of the DIAGNOdent.

It is proven to be 90% accurate and saves dentists and patients from irrelevant exploration of suspected tooth cavities. And when it is combined with the dental X-ray, there are no chances for dental cavity to hide.



Understanding Periodontal Disease

Periodontal or gum disease is an infection of bone and supporting tissues that holds the teeth in place. The condition principally affects adults in their 30s and 40s, and is generally caused by:

  • Chronic disease like diabetes
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Genetic susceptibility
  • Smoking
  • Certain medications

How Laser Therapy Works in Periodontal disease

In laser therapy treatment of periodontal, your dentist uses a laser to access and eliminate the inflamed gum tissue from all around the root of the tooth. When the infected tissue is removed and the root is revealed, the root scaling starts. This involves scraping off the formation of plaque and calculus around the root and below gum line. The dentist then using an instrument smooths out the root and removes uneven spots that may attract germs and cause future infections. The area between the root and gum can then regenerate during the healing process.



Risks and Benefits of using dental lasers

There are numerous advantages of using lasers for excising infected gum tissue such as:

  • No anesthesia is required.
  • Lasers have the capability to target the affected areas accurately and precisely.
  • Swelling, Bleeding and pain are minimal as periodontal laser therapy is less invasive than other surgery.
  • Healing and recovery takes lesser time in comparison to other surgeries.


Nevertheless, the major risk associated with use of laser periodontal therapy is of inappropriate application of wavelength or power level. You are a human being and if your dentist uses an incorrect wavelength, it could further cause serious damage to the periodontal tissue.

Remember that the diode laser does not replace dental X-rays; it finds decay in grooves on the chewing surface, while bitewing and other various X-rays can detect decay inside and between teeth.

The diode laser does not always perform well with teeth that already have fillings, but for other teeth, it could mean earlier diagnosis of cavities.



GALILEOS 3-D Imaging System

Traditional X-rays after 125 years have finally entered a whole new dimension with the GALILEOS 3-D imaging system. GALILEOS is a newly upgraded dental technology that provides excellent quality pictures of your teeth with the lowest possible level of radiation.

The main reason why dentists and patients prefer GALILEOS is due to its 3-D imaging capability that translates into more natural-looking, pin-point dental restorations. While traditional 2-D imaging is restricted in its scope, with GALILEOS your orthodontist can gauge elements like bone density, which is essential for positioning dental implants.

The quality and density of your jaw bone is the primary thing to be evaluated for you to undergo Gallileo. It is crucial because dental implants are attached to your jaw permanently, and it is essential that your jaw is thick and healthy enough for implants to be possible and successful.



How it works

A patient needs to stand still for around 14 seconds while GALILEOS travels around your head and captures about 200 images. The Gallileo’s 3-D scans can also measure the thickness of your bone structure to recognize what size dental implants are relevant for your mouth. These 3-D scans capture much more information of your teeth than any traditional X-rays. The fastest 3-D scans give an in-depth picture of your mouth, jaw and teeth to the dentist which is most essential for implants.

Your dentist can use this data to recognize whether certain problems like sleep apnea, sinus, nerve damage, cavities or abnormal growths exist- conditions that are not traceable with a traditional 2-D image.



Endolase Root Canal Laser

What sets apart this newest laser is the distinct design that makes the energy radiates from its fine EndoTips- that are just 2-3 times wider than human hair. With Endolase fine EndoTips, it allows dentist to have exact point precision while cleaning, disinfecting and shaping the root canals.



How Endolase works

The EndoTips releases laser energy in a radial pattern to remove off the infection-harboring smear layer, penetrating deep into the root canal to clear off all the bacteria in just 2-3 minutes per canal. Unlike traditional methods (take about 20-30 minutes/canal), Endolase saves and preserves tooth structure.



Advantages of Endolase


Proven and Long Term-Results

Some root canals need a root canal "redo" treatment when the tooth does not heal after a root canal treatment. It could be due to few reasons like contamination in roots by saliva during dental process, a cracked dental crown that caught new infection to seep in; some roots missed cleaning or altogether during the first process, which can happen because some roots are difficult to reach or even see.

However With newly developed Endolase, your risk of “canal redo” treatment is largely reduced. The EndoTips™ system is principally designed to destroy hidden bacteria. A specific type of bacteria called E.faecalis is known to make ongoing attacks, but the Endolase laser has proven to be a mighty damper. In fact, Endolase is reported to reduce bacterial counts by 99.7 percent by some dental experts.



Dumping Root Canal Myths

These are some root canal myths and Endolase is a myth buster. Make sure to spread the word once you read to help set loved overcome a fear and save a tooth!

  • Root canal is painful (MYTH#1)- Technology Advances in dentistry have concentrated greatly on making comfortable dental treatments- including root canals. Endolase is one of those devices that can accomplish minimally invasive root canal surgeries quicker and more conveniently.
  • Root Canals are comparatively costly(MYTH#2)- Cost of any dental surgery mainly depends upon dentist’s experience, technology, clinical facilities, location, reputation, and/or if you a dental insurance, what it covers. But root canals can cost much less than treatments like dental implants (which you will surely require if you ignore getting a root canal and land up losing a tooth).


Dental Microsurgery

Like High definition (HD) technology in television, HD with dental microsurgery technique allows the dentist to notice every detail of your mouth and thus improves your dental treatment.

Dental microsurgery is actually a dental surgery that uses a dental operating microscope (DOM) and fiber optic lighting system. Dentists use a DOM to magnify the area, proving a more precise view.

DOM has begun to replace the demand for dental loupes, which operates like a magnifying glass. Unlike dental loupes, dental microsurgery provides better magnification of up to magnifying the surgical area 20 times its orginal size, which is just 3 to 6 times of vision in traditional dental loupes. DOM alike traditional dental loupes is worn like glasses, but they can also be mounted on a table or wall.



Advantages of dental microsurgery from the Dental Angle

  • Easy placement of dental implants
  • Tracing of tooth's roots and infection during root canal treatment
  • Gum disease or Periodontal surgery
  • Easily identifies minor defects or cracks in the tooth
  • Removal of dental restorations and instruments, including fillings, files and posts that requires to be dislodged during endodontic procedure.


Advantages of dental microsurgery from Patient’s Angle

Let’s know what you get out of it.

  • Lesser cuts and stitches as dental microscope magnify the area
  • Minimize the need to pull back gums, thus less bleeding
  • Pin-point precision makes for quick treatment and shorter healing time
  • Appropriate utilization of dental microsurgery also minimizes the occurrence of failed dental treatments, which prevents need for retreatment.


Nitrous Oxide and IV Sedation

Nitrous oxide, also referred to as laughing gas, can calm down an anxious patient to a point that they are relaxed and can still communicate with their dentist. On the other hand, IV sedation completely puts a patient to sleep so that they are unconscious of what happened during their dental procedure. This is generally recommended for people who are afraid of going under a dental session that are known to be painful such as wisdom teeth extraction.



Zoom! Whitening

Zoom! Whitening is a modern and state-of the-art whitening treatment that provides patients with whiter and cleaner teeth in a single session. In a single session, zoom! Whitening can make a visible change in a person’s smile and can make their teeth about 6-7 shades whiter. The Zoom in technology offers fast and easy results.

So, a consistent advancement in the field of dentistry in India has actually made a remarkable impression that has been attracting people from worldwide for expert’s consultation and treatments. You can get your teeth straighten with minimal hassle, no more needles, instant X-rays, impressions made easy with new products and new technologies and Educational Imaging for dentists, patients and dental students, have all become so realistic and so easy flowing as compared to traditional dental care practices.


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