5 Dentistry Trends to Lookout for in 2020
As technology continues to advance so too does our adoption of its innovation to make work easier. In recent years the dental industry has seen new developments come to light that are likely to have a significant impact on services in the coming year. Let’s look at some of these new trends that are likely to change how we approach dental care.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The use of AI and robotics have become more commonplace in healthcare but has been much slower at gaining traction within the dental niche. From robotic systems that help diagnose cancer cases to applications that run smart prosthesis’, there are many ways in which AI development is helping to support and better medicine.
Now, dentistry is reaping the benefits of this advancement through robotic machines that can carry out minimally invasive procedures such as tooth cleaning and whitening. Their ability to improve precision, safety and build on standardization of procedures can improve the speed of patient recovery. Though people are still wary of robotic dentists, a study has shown more acceptance of its use in less invasive procedures.
Your most recent visit to the supermarket will likely have emphasized the growing inclination towards natural products and ecological practices that safeguard the environment. This trend is also evident in dentistry thanks to the growing popularity of all-natural toothpaste and bio-degradable bamboo toothbrushes.
The adoption of these green dental care solutions is likely to keep growing as more people seek to reduce their carbon footprint. Dental practices cannot be left behind in this endeavor. Utilizing new technologies that reduce waste, saving on utility bills by opting for tooth-colored rather than silver amalgam fillings, and switching out artificial chemical-laced products for more sustainable and healthier alternatives are just a few ways dental practices can get on the bandwagon. It is also worth noting that many consumers are willing to pay more and be more loyal to eco-friendly businesses.
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As 3D printers become more commercially accessible, it has proven to be a technological opportunity for dentists. Now many procedures that require dental appliances can be completed within a single session, such as crowns, veneers and replacements can be precisely and quickly created in-office.
Same-day procedures are likely to become more of the norm in 2020 as this technology reduces reliance on external labs or manufacturers. Dental practices can now hire their own technician to run the printer, or choose someone from within to train up. This move can save a lot of money and improve customer retention as dental procedures are completed all in one day.
This is another development that is expected to grow in use in 2020. The use of the light energy emitted by lasers has allowed for more precise and sterile cutting. This means less invasive surgery and a shorter healing time for dental patients. Some dentists have already begun using lasers to treat conditions such as tooth decay, gum disease, lesion eradication, and for teeth whitening where it is applied as a light source for activating whitening agents rather than as a cutting tool.
The use of lasers has been found to result in less bleeding and pain, often reducing the need for anesthesia. Because the sound of laser equipment is less jarring than traditional drilling tools, it does reduce the scare factor of many procedures. This quality can help patients become less fearful of visiting the dentist and going through much needed dental work.
Automation of Client Services
From sending patient appointment reminders to managing social media posts, there is a lot of busywork that goes on in a dentist’s office that is tedious and time-consuming. With the use of automated management software, many offices can streamline such processes so that there is more time to attend to other important tasks.
Using online calendars, pre-recorded follow-up voicemails and digital form submissions from handheld tablets are just a few ways in which you can use technology to reduce workload. This also ties in with AI as bots can be trained to interact with patients online, helping to attend to their queries without the need of a human operator. Better human resource allocation and added quality service can be achieved this way.
Feel free to let us know what other dental tech you know of or are aware of that would be of interest to our readers. We would love to update our articles with some of your inputs.