Dental anxiety, or fear of the dentist, affects more than a third of the population, but a number of dental professionals are using emerging technologies to make patients’ feel more at ease while enjoying more precise results. Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist Arthur Glosman, DDS is a smile makeover expert who’s reinventing the dental patient experience through technology. Dr. Glosman uses a number of technological innovations to ensure greater accuracy, more stunning results, and a more positive experience for his patients.
Though laser dentistry has been around since the late 1980s, it has been refined in recent years to provide patients with maximum comfort and shorter recovery times. LASER stands for “light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation,” which is a pretty apt summary of how the technology works. With a laser dental treatment, the patient is exposed to a gentle light energy using a focused beam that removes or reshapes hard and soft tissue.
Laser dentistry is now used by professionals like Dr. Glosman to white teeth, eliminate tooth decay, treat gum disease, and address other common oral health issues. Bleeding is minimal, and anesthesia is often unnecessary since there’s no actual drilling. Best of all, there’s little if any damage to the surrounding tissue, so it’s a much less invasive process.
An alternative to manual teeth-cleaning, ultrasonic scaling removes calculus from teeth gently and without damage to the teeth or roots. There’s no scraping involved. Rather, the process relies on an ultrasound machine that emits high vibrational energy to weaken and chip away the tartar. The process results in a smoother tooth surface that resists the formation of new plaque biofilms.
In the past, a patient would have to hold their mouth open for long stretches of time while the dentist poked around with various tools in search of common oral maladies. Intraoral cameras are making this uncomfortable process less and less necessary. The camera looks like a long pen, which is inserted into the mouth to take high-resolution photos and video footage. This allows dentists like Dr. Glosman to get a more complete and accurate picture of the patient’s oral health while subjecting the patient to less discomfort. The camera captures the surface of each tooth, the condition of the gums, the presence of cavities, and more.
Zoom Teeth Whitening
Zoom teeth whitening is an effective, non-invasive process for achieving a brighter smile. The dentist places a protective cover over the lips and gums, leaving the teeth exposed. A peroxide-based whitening gel is placed over the teeth, and a specialized heat lamp is used to activate the gel, removing stains from the tooth enamel. About every 15 minutes, additional gel is applied to the teeth. The whole process usually takes less than an hour.
Dental Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)
Dr. Glosman is one of a growing number of dentists using cone beam CT scans for implant dentistry. In instances where a traditional X-ray is insufficient, a CBCT scan can help the dentist to make custom surgical guides for implants. Unlike traditional scanners, cone beam systems take three-dimensional images of dental structures, tissues, and nerves for more precise treatment planning. Cone beam CT is also noted for exposing the patient to less radiation than a conventional CT scan.
It’s not just the machinery itself that’s going high-tech. More dentists are using teledentistry to connect with patients virtually via computer or smartphone. This is proving to be beneficial for fearful patients and for those with special needs. Using teledentistry, the doctor can capture images, provide consultations, and take clinical notes. Virtual consultations have become a popular staple of Dr. Glosman’s practice, as he’s able to use the results of his analyses to recommend further in-person treatment.
Other Technologies That Dentists Are Using
If you visit a modernized dental practice, you’ll notice a number of technological innovations from the moment you walk through the door. For example, Dr. Glosman’s office has gone paperless; patients sign in using iPads. In addition, treatment rooms are equipped with video-streaming platforms as well as Spotify and Pandora for enjoyable music-listening.
Every day, more and more dentists are bringing their practices into the 21st century because they understand that technology can be their greatest ally for quelling patient fears, for performing flawless procedures, and for providing a better patient experience.