The Role of Technology in Modern Dental Reconstruction

dental reconstruction

Technological fields have seen massive global changes in recent years, from the invention of the Internet to 3D Printing to human genome mapping. No field has remained untouched by the future-altering, stellar progress of science in the 21st century. The same goes for the field of dental reconstruction. 

We now have advanced dental imaging techniques that render outdated processes like manually made prosthetics and slow, painful surgeries obsolete . Now, dentists can make natural-looking, stable prosthetics that last long and can retain the biting force of natural teeth. Let’s talk about these technologies and more, in depth.

What is Dental Reconstruction

Dental reconstruction is a comprehensive process aimed at restoring and enhancing oral health. It involves a series of procedures such as traditional dental implants, zygomatic dental implants, full-mouth dental implants, and implant bridges to address complex dental issues such as missing or damaged teeth, gum problems, bite misalignment, and overall oral health concerns.

These procedures are crucial as they target issues like extensive tooth decay, advanced periodontal disease, mouth trauma, severe wear due to bruxism (teeth grinding), or congenital conditions affecting the teeth or jaw structure.

The primary objective of dental reconstruction is to restore the function of the teeth and mouth while also preserving natural aesthetics. A successful reconstruction leads to improved speaking and chewing abilities, along with a rejuvenated smile

Technologies Used in Dental Reconstruction Today

In this section, we have compiled a list of the attributes of the major technological tools that dentists commonly use nowadays. 

Digital Imaging and Radiography

The technology that has modernized the dental reconstruction practices of today the most is digital imaging and radiography. The marriage of tools like digital X-Rays, CBCT (Cone beam computed tomography) and intra-oral cameras, have exponentially increased the level of security and speed related to the diagnostic procedure. You can get imaging done almost instantly.

These tools have also drastically brought down the level of human error that was possible with gauging measurements and accuracy of activities such as where to place implants, the shades and hues of the artificial teeth, etc. This enhanced accuracy translates into a greatly diminished rate of failure and anything going awry during the diagnostic or surgery process. 

Digital radiography also means way less exposure to radiation. As compared to traditional film-based systems, it used lesser levels of radiation to achieve its purpose. This is helpful for patients undergoing complex reconstruction and need to get imaging done frequently.

Intraoral scanners are yet another advanced digital technology. They are used in dentistry to capture a precise three-dimensional image of the inside area of a patient’s mouth. This technology replaces the traditional method of creating dental impressions with putty-like materials (like silicone) that can be uncomfortable. A laser or structured light is used to scan the teeth and gums. The scanner emits a light source onto dental structures, and particular sensors capture a light reflection or distortion as it bounces back from the surface of teeth and gums.

CAD/CAM Technology

CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing) has revitalized how we create dental restorations. This technology has given rise to increases in the speed of getting impressions and creating reconstructions, as well as their general accuracy.

The CAD (Computer-Aided Design) component pertains to the usage of specialized software that develops a digital restoration. This is based on impressions that are taken from a patient’s mouth. Dentists use this technology to create highly precise 3-D models of crowns, veneers, bridges, and other restorative dental prosthetics.

The Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) component is vital in the fabrication process after the design phase has been completed. This can involve using more technology like ‘milling machines’ that meticulously carve out dental prosthetics out of slabs of ceramic or composite resin. This amazing technology can produce artificial restorations that look almost exactly like their natural counterparts in terms of shape, color, and size.

3-D Printing

Like the technologies listed above, modern dental reconstruction would not be the same without the recently invented (1981) 3-D printing technology. This technology pertains to the Printing of actual physical models of digital three-dimensional ones. This means that dentists can create accurate and effective restorations that can be tailored perfectly to the individual contours of a patient’s mouth.

With the digital scans or impressions that the dentist has taken, he can now use 3-D printing technology to produce crowns, bridges, dentures, and even orthodontic devices that fit with a precision that was previously unprecedented. 

In the field of implantology, 3D Printing is also used to manufacture ‘surgical guides.’ These are designed using the specific anatomy of a patient’s jaw. This means ultimate accuracy, which is crucial for the success of the surgery and implant integration.

Laser Dentistry 

A very minimally invasive alternative for many procedures like cavity preparation, gum reshaping, and the removal of oral lesions, is laser dentistry. Lasers are helpful in placating the bleeding, swelling, and discomfort during and after procedures. This means less overall pain and discomfort.  

Lasers are used to treat a decayed part of the tooth and to prepare the surrounding enamel area for receipt of the filling. If you compare them to traditional drills, lasers are very accurate and can precisely target the specific affected area. 

They are also used as gum reshapers. This is to improve the appearance of a “gummy” smile or to prepare gums for different procedures, such as crowns. This level of precision means way fewer cuts and sutures for the contouring of the gum. 

Lasers can also remove any benign tumors and lesions in the mouth with the possibility of as minimal a level of discomfort as possible. They can also be used to remove tissue for a biopsy, helping to diagnose conditions like cancer.

Conclusion

We talked about the latest technological developments in the field of dental reconstruction along with the technology that dentists use today. If you want further information or want to consult with experienced professionals skilled in the use of advanced technological techniques, visit us at the Orlando Implant Clinic, a premier clinic located in Orlando, Florida. Schedule your free consultation today!

Share:
In this article