There was a time when dentistry was really quite rudimentary. Dentists would be armed with little more than a pair of pliers, and perhaps a few shots of something strong to help take the edge off the pain. At the time, dentistry would have been low on most peoples’ priorities with only emergency visits being made. As times have changed, however, cosmetic dentistry has become increasingly important to us. As a result, more has been spent on dentistry, and much of this money has been reinvested in research and development. According to Dental Plans, 2010 saw more than $100 billion spent on dental care in the US alone.
With demand for ever improved equipment and methods high, a range of high-tech tools has become available. Some of these would, not so long ago, have sounded like something from science fiction. Nowadays, however, they are very much real and are a common sight in dentists’ surgeries around the world. The next time you visit an aesthetic dental clinic in Singapore, there is a good chance that high-tech equipment will be used to help make sure that you have the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.
Dentistry often involves creating dentures to replace lost teeth. Quite often, individual tooth replacements will also be required. In the past, dentures and other fittings would often have been made of wood and then painted to provide some degree of realism. Dentures would have been crafted from solid blocks of wood, and probably not have had anywhere near the comfort levels or usability of today’s dental fittings. Those that could have afforded it might have used more realistic looking materials instead, such as ivory. Regardless, they would still have been quite uncomfortable, and perhaps even useless when eating.
You will be pleased to hear, though, that modern dentures and other dentistry fittings like dental implants are made from far more sophisticated materials. Pure ceramics are a perfect material in terms of both durability and aesthetics and can be combined well with other materials such as alloys and polymers. Orchard Scotts Dental employs Straumann dental implants which uses much harder materials than many other brands as well as PURE ceramic which are ivory-colored and non-metallic. Modern fittings are also designed to fit so well that you could even forget that they are in place at all. Materials are also designed to not be irritating to even soft, sensitive tissues such as the gums.
Plastics have also come a long way since we first started developing them, and some have been developed for use specifically in the dentistry industry. Materials such as those used in the Invisalign system have been developed specifically for providing enough tension to help guide teeth into position, while also offering flexibility. The material also allows for an accurate, personalised fit and discretion. Thanks, in part, to the high-tech materials used to make the Invisalign system, it has numerous advantages over traditional braces.
Many dental procedures require an in-depth map of the mouth and the teeth. In the past, this would mean using plaster on which the patient would bite in to make an impression. This could then be used as a mould from which to make a physical model. The dentist could then use this 3D model for a full map of the mouth and teeth, helping them to easily identify what work needs to be done.
Although this method was reasonably effective, it could also be quite inconvenient. For starters, young children found the plaster to be quite an unpleasant experience, making it difficult to get a suitable impression. In addition, the cast would often need to be sent away to have a model produced from it, and this could take days or even weeks in some cases. This would add to the inconvenience of having to wait and make repeat appointments.
The good news, though, is that dentists now have access to high-tech scanning technology that allows them to get an accurate and detailed map of the mouth. Intra-oral scanners allow the dentists to get a complete map of the mouth quickly and easily. The information gained from the scan can be transformed almost immediately into a 3D digital model, which can then be used by the dentist for planning treatment. Software can also help create physical 3D models for use by the dentist.
It wasn’t so long ago that lasers were firmly in the realm of science fiction. Nowadays, however, they are very much science fact. It is not only in high-security military installations or cutting-edge science projects that you are likely to find lasers, either. In fact, you are also likely to find them in your dentist’s surgery. Lasers are little more than concentrated beams of light, but that beam of light packs energy that can be useful in a variety of applications.
One common use of lasers in dentistry is gum contouring. The laser is used to remove excess gum material and allows the dentist to correct uneven gum lines. Should there be too much gum showing in a smile, then laser surgery is available to help you achieve the beautiful smile you always wanted. One of the greatest benefits of using lasers in surgery is that the fine beam allows for great accuracy, making it ideal for precision surgery such as gum contouring.
Lasers are also commonly found in teeth whitening techniques. A paste is applied to the teeth which contains various chemical elements that require an input of energy to become active. Laser beams will provide this energy to these compounds, allowing them to then continue with the job of getting your teeth white for a beaming smile.
While you will still find some traditional looking equipment in your dentist’s surgery, much of what they have in their arsenal is very high-tech. Many materials and equipment used in dentistry nowadays have been developed with considerable research funds, and with help from some of the greatest minds. While much of the equipment that dentists have available to them may seem high-tech now, however, even the latest items will themselves become obsolete one day. In a generation or two, a trip to the dentists may be a very different experience to a trip to the dentist today.
Orchard Scotts Dental surgery is equipped with the specialty skills, experience as well as tried and tested technologies and methodologies. If you would like to know more about how high-tech equipment can help give you a beautiful smile, we will be more than happy to hear from you.