More Than Brushing and Flossing: New Ways to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

couple brushing their teeth
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At any given time, you can point at a kid living in Littleton, CO or an adult in Milford, DE and they will probably recoil at the mention of getting a root canal. An essential dental procedure, a root canal treatment is slowly being joined by new dental techniques that make it easier for dentists to treat patients.

Some of these advancements include:

Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing

Nearly every aspect of healthcare has gone digital and dental hygiene is no exception. Dentists use computer-aided design and manufacturing software in tandem with digital impressions to create all types of customized dental appliances. Dentures, orthodontic aligners, and surgical templates can be manufactured through 3D printing once they are designed through CAD.

Teeth restorations are made easier with Interim Temporary Restorations. Tooth decay progression is delayed by this procedure until the patient can be treated.

Silver Diamine Fluoride

Older adults, in particular, need specialized treatment as their teeth and gums change. Having exposed root surfaces is one consequence of getting old. Exposed root surfaces are vulnerable to caries or tooth decay and crumbling.

A cheap way to prevent caries is the use of silver diamine fluoride. The substance is a topical drug recently made available in the United States after decades of use in other countries. The application of silver diamine fluoride to exposed root surfaces was found to prevent the formation of dental caries in some cases.

girl flossing her teeth at home

Robot Assistance and AI

Dental practitioners in countries with a dearth of trained colleagues need a way to perform surgeries without constantly flying over colleagues. The response to this pressing need for some is to build robots and develop artificial intelligence that can help them with their tasks.

The first robot-led dental surgery occurred in 2017 in China, where there is a need for more qualified dentists. A human team supervised the robot’s surgery but otherwise kept their hands off the procedure. The surgery was successful and it opened up the possibility of building robot assistants and standalone surgeons.

AI that can do a rapid diagnosis of patient conditions is under development. Dentists hope that these AI models can spot present and developing caries. Learning AI is also being trained to read X-rays, scans, and patient data to expedite the workload of a practitioner.

Nothing Wrong with Good Old Checkups

Dental practitioners are also making a concerted effort to improve their patient’s knowledge of oral health. Dental care basics are still a problem in many areas in the world due to poor accessibility or misinformation regarding brushing or flossing.

Most dentists recommend brushing with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. The American Dental Association, in particular, recommends a duration of two minutes to clean all sides of the teeth. Soft-bristled brushes are preferred over manual and electric toothbrushes. Brushing starts at the area where teeth and gums meet and ends with rinsing the toothbrush.

Oral care is important not only because poor dental hygiene affects a person’s confidence. If the eyes are the window to the soul, oral health is the window to your overall health. Upset the balance of good bacteria in your mouth and you’re bound to develop a condition that could have serious negative implications to your overall health. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups are advisable to ensure good oral health.

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