Dentistry in 2023 exists in a state of change that brings patients more technology (and more comfort) with each new advancement. From the popularization of emotional and cosmetic dentistry practices to the rise of VR from an emerging technology to consumer-ready entertainment, dentists and their patients have a lot to be excited about.
If you’re wondering how dentistry is advancing for the better in 2023, here are the four major areas that have seen the most change in recent years.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
Smiling has been shown to improve mental health. But emotional dentistry suggests that dental care should actively support mental health in more ways than just the result of clean teeth.
With emotional dentistry in mind, providers offer new levels of comfort and customization to strengthen the relationship between dental care and mental health. Some of its principles are simple. For instance, instead of just telling a patient which procedure is “correct,” modern technology allows dentists to present patients with multiple predictive models that show the effects certain treatments will have. They can then ask them which they think is the best.
This not only improves the day-to-day experiences of visiting the dentist but also gives patients greater feelings of control over their overall treatment.
Advancements in 3D scanning and printing have accelerated the popularity of cosmetic dentistry practices by providing patients with more options than ever before.
Implants, aligners, and veneers are more durable and personalized than they ever were in the past since 3D scanners can create cosmetic appliances personalized to the patient’s exact oral structures. Printable materials have also gotten stronger, with acrylic appliances lasting longer than they used to and being more comfortable while they last.
Despite these changes, 3D technology has only just begun to advance the art of cosmetic dentistry. In the next decade, expect offshoots of cosmetic dentistry such as prosthodontics (an orthodontic specialty for patients with missing teeth) and implantology (a dental specialty focusing on implants) to advance in popularity, affordability, and cosmetic quality.
Virtual reality (VR) has applications for dentistry that go beyond entertainment. The technology is useful as a distraction for anxiety-prone children, which keeps the kids occupied and even decreases their perceived levels of pain and the resulting stress they experience.
VR supplementation in painful dental procedures has also been shown to work on adults, with patients who are submerged in a VR distraction showing lower pain scores and requiring less nitrous oxide during procedures. This increases patient comfort and even lowers the cost of procedures for dental offices by requiring fewer pain relief methods during complex treatments.
VR is continuing to advance and will likely become a more common practice at dental offices as both an entertainment and as a replacement for more conventional pain and anxiety relief methods.
The principles of music therapy suggest that music can assist relaxation and as a result, lower anxiety in patients of any age. Since dental anxiety can lead to patients refusing or delaying the dental care they need, anxiety-reducing therapies have wide-reaching implications for patients’ physical health, in addition to their emotional well-being.
In fact, dental anxiety was comparable to a fear of physical injuries in a survey conducted by the Journal of Dental Hygiene. Anything that can reduce this anxiety would provide dental offices with a way to retain more patients, cater to their emotional needs more sensitively, and use less pain-relieving drugs during procedures.
By immersing patients in music, dental professionals can use it to save money and increase patient comfort. More dental offices will offer headphones for patients during treatment, allowing them to experience relaxing musical therapy during their treatments.
Just as music has been shown to improve patient response in an emergency care situation, it has applications for dental offices that will be explored more frequently in the coming years.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.