Back to the Future

superdentistNo longer fantasy, these dental products and technologies are available now, or will soon be here:

  • Lasers – Gum surgery using soft tissue lasers is relatively painless and heals rapidly. Hard tissue lasers are now being introduced to treat tooth decay – and may someday replace today’s high-speed drills.
  • Smart Toothbrushes – Sensors and microchips no track the amount of time spent brushing, pressure used, brushing habits, and more, and send data to smart electronic devices via Bluetooth. Smart brushes may soon be able to detect certain diseases too.
  • Biomaterial – A new type of filling made of synthetic biomaterial stimulates the growth of stem cells in the pulp of decayed and drilled teeth – essentially regrowing teeth.
  • 3-D Printed Teeth – These printers can manufacture a crown, tooth, bridge or orthodontic appliance in minutes – and new research is seeking to incorporate antibacterial chemicals into replacement teeth that will fight decay.
  • Tooth Decay Detecting Lasers – The Canary is an advanced digital imaging tool. This electric toothbrush-sized device emits pulsing red laser light that may detect cracks and decay that is too small to show up on an x-ray – in about 3 seconds.
  • Nanobots – In the coming decades, nanodentistry may turn to microscopic, computer-directed nanorobots to diagnose or treat oral cancer or other diseases, destroy cavity-causing bacteria, deliver anesthesia, clean, repair, fill and straighten teeth, replace damaged bone – or other things that we have yet to imagine.

Source: Scientific American 2016

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