Overbites, underbites, and other dental problems which require an orthodontist usually take a low precedence or priority compared to making bridges as well as oral surgery. Although the aim of current orthodontal practice is to prevent problems later on in life, these are treated as elective procedures which children and teens can opt not to take.
In much the same way, there is a lot of technology being developed for almost everything, except health tech which takes a back seat with startups. Unfortunately, dental health tech is much slower than general health tech because there is no urgency in dentistry. There are priorities in life, and braces for crooked teeth, as well as dental tech are on the lowest of their respective rungs.
3D Imaging for Dental Technology
Take for instance the news that it is possible to take a picture of a person and come up with a 3D model of the teeth, from crown to root. The whole set of teeth can be drawn based on deductions done by a computer. This is a big step forward considering that to create an accurate 3D model requires specialised equipment which is seldom found in the regular dentist’s office. The new technology only requires pictures of the jaw and mouth, and a 3D image is created.
With the new technology, dentists can have a better understanding of the patient’s problems. Whether it stems from a missing tooth, a misalignment, or even an impacted wisdom tooth, the tool itself can be a big help.
The primary reason that a full smile or an open mouth is not needed is because the whole image is a best guess, based on the available images. The images are based on real world advances in dentistry. The development teams used high-quality dental scans to develop the necessary algorithm to create a 3D model. The model itself deduces what the teeth would look like. There is no word regarding the level of accuracy of the 3D models. However, it is a good start for this technology.
The future of dentistry has arrived
This development has a long way to go before it can be useful to dental practices. Like the rest of the world of dental medicine, companies like http://www.blueprintdental.co.uk understand that this is a huge leap from the 3D modelling of today. What is important is that the technology to create a close enough 3D image exists. It may take a while before this can be refined into something that can be used by today’s practitioners.
As a health technology, digital dentistry has not evolved very far from the dentist’s clinic. Current dental technology makes use of X-rays and moulds in making dentures for reconstructive dentistry. The whole process usually takes a while with the patient in the dentist chair awkwardly waiting with mouth wide open. There is, however, a new technology already in existence but not being used specifically for dental use.
It’s only a matter of time before the industry embraces these developments fully.
Image via blueprintdental.co.uk