Role of Technology and Dental Informatics in Future of Dentistry

Categories: MedicineTechnology

The dentistry profession has a long history. Researchers have followed dentistry back to the ancient Egypt back at 7500 B.C. The ancient Egyptians were the earliest to have replaced the teeth, which are the heralds of present day dentures and crowns.

Through the span of time, dentistry and dental care has advanced from a crude type of prescription to cutting edge utilization of protection dental consideration, best in class diagnostics and present day treatments. Amid the previous a few centuries, dentistry has seen numerous upgrades and changes.

We can proudly say that dentistry have come a long way when we remember the old western movies showing the actor took a long swill of whiskey and then bit down hard on a bullet to have a tooth extracted, or the practice where you had to tie a string from your tooth to the doorknob and then slam the door shut to extract the tooth.

Treatment in those days contained only of extracting diseased teeth.

Preventive dentistry was a concept known to no one. In fact, when George Washington became the first President of the United States in 1789, he had only one natural tooth left in his mouth. Also, the first dental anesthetics were opium, nitrous oxide, ether, and cocaine which were applied to “numb the pain” during extractions in the 1800s. Synthetic cocaine, called Novocain “new cocaine”, was first introduced in the early 1900s. After that, some of the more humane dentistry procedures and techniques came onto the scene. Reclining dental chairs, high-speed drills, better sterilization procedures, and improved dental materials were products of the 20th century dental evolution.

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The digital revolution that is changing each part of our reality is likewise affecting dentistry and solution in a large number of courses, from electronic record-keeping and information data analysis to new diagnostic tools and instruments, novel preventive actions and techniques, and innovative revolutionary treatment alternatives.

Professional experts say that introduction of mechanical advancement and technological revolution will eventually enhance and expand access to dental care, taking into account same-day care that means less office visits; making a healthy smile more reasonably priced and within your means.

As more high caliber advanced data ends up accessible to analysts, the potential for more exact determination and treatment just keeps on developing. Information data including your age, medical and dental history, and additionally your genome, will, for instance, enable dental experts to pinpoint your predisposition to different sorts of oral diseases. Sooner rather than later, specialists and dental specialists will progressively tailor treatment to your own personal hereditary genetics, settling on decisions reflecting what has demonstrated best for your genome and your specific physiology. Or then again they may even choose how to best treat you dependent on the particular microbes/viruses that is being the cause of your problem.

A substantial and noteworthy part of this upheaval is the continuous advancement of diagnostic tools that can examine and evaluate our physical condition with ever-more prominent exactness. That incorporates progressed computerized imaging, similar to a right now available framework called the Canary. Amid a three-second scan, a rotating electric tooth brush gadget produces red laser light; which might distinguish breaks and caries that are too little to appear on an x-beam. Another gadget, the ‘S-Ray,’ ultrasonically maps the two teeth and gums in 3-D to discover dental decay and infections. Upon endorsement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, specialists think s-beams might be less expensive than x-beams. In addition, neither one nor the other systems expose patients to damaging radiation.

Another achievement of technology is the introduction of smart toothbrushes which has helped in reducing plaque and improving periodontal health. Also, the introduction of laser therapy has helped both clinicians and patients in achieving better and healthy gums and treating periodontal diseases with less surgical approach. A majority of studies support both the advancements in the course of these branches. Heanue, et al., 2014 states that powered toothbrushes reduce plaque and gingivitis more than manual tooth brushing in the short and long term. The clinical importance of these findings remains unclear. Observation of methodological guidelines and greater standardization of design would benefit both future trials and meta-analyses. Cost, reliability and side effects were inconsistently reported. Any reported side effects were localized and only temporary. When compared with other similar studies, common results were seen such as,

  • In general there was no evidence of a statistically significant difference between powered and manual brushes. However, rotation oscillation powered brushes significantly reduce plaque and gingivitis in both the short and long-term. The clinical significance of this reduction is not known. Observation of methodological guidelines and greater standardization of design would benefit both future trials and meta-analyses
  • Powered toothbrushes reduce plaque and gingivitis more than manual tooth brushing in the short and long term. The clinical importance of these findings remains unclear. Observation of methodological guidelines and greater standardization of design would benefit both future trials and meta-analyses. Cost, reliability and side effects were inconsistently reported. Any reported side effects were localized and only temporary.

Every day, oral healthcare providers must incorporate patient information data, for example, intra – and extra oral exams, radiographs, clinical pictures and dental histories to advance to treatment options. From that point, a shared decision-making process between health-care provider and patient serves to characterize the treatment plan, however the nature and quality of the data, our capacity to impart, ability to communicate and educate; helps to inform patients’ decisions and shape the treatment path. In regular dental practice, the process of collecting patient information data, documenting and reporting the clinical situation and planning treatment has been affected by several key technologies.

Like any dental specialist who has chosen to eliminate traditional paper charts and adopt electronic records, it is an open secret that this procedure is troublesome and tedious. The advantages, be that as it may, are justified regardless of the developing torments. Using electronic patient notes and charting, pictures, radiographs, billings, claims, and so forth creates efficiencies and better work processes for the entire team in a workplace. Dental associates no longer have to scramble over to find patient records when some patient walks in an emergency. And also dental administrator now can more effortlessly gather data for referrals and protection claims. However this is all made possible due to the introduction of a new field within dentistry called Dental Informatics.

Dental informatics is the application of computer and information science to improve dental practice, research, education, and management. A relatively new field, dental informatics can offer significant support to clinical care. Dental informatics is more than just the application of computing to dentistry. The earliest dental informatics pioneers described their approach as the application of information science to solving medical problems. With the overwhelming rapid development of computer and Information Technology (IT) in the past decade, modern dental research was becoming more dependent on informatics. However, it is important to distinguish informatics from IT. Informatics focuses on research and evaluation of computing applications, information models, and occasionally looks into how to set up, organize, and process digitization based on existed hardware and software. By contrast, IT primarily focuses on the development and implementation of computer technology and telecommunication (Saini, 2016).

Dental informatics joins dentistry and a few other disciplines, for example, computer technology and telecommunications. Narrow areas of overlap exist between information technology and dental informatics. The fundamental objective of dental informatics is to enhance patient outcomes. An auxiliary objective is to make the delivery of dental care more productive, for instance, by keeping up or improving cost-benefit proportions. Application of this field aids dentistry evolution in following components:

Educating both Dentists/Patients

  • Computed assisted learning tools
  • Simulation Clinics
  • Seminars and Presentation
  • Broadcasting teaching and Webinars

Electronic Records

  • Electronic Insurance Claim
  • E-prescription
  • Patient Clinical and Compliance Records
  • Patient Care database
  • Central Diagnostic Unit
  • Medical Alerts, Expert opinion
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Design and Production

  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
  • Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)
  • Dental materials, impression techniques and pre-fabricated appliances
  • Implant System
  • 3D Models


  • E-Record for universal access
  • Standardization of Data Analysis
  • Data Monitoring and Management
  • Rapid processing time
  • Data Collection specially in epidemiological & genetic studies

Tele dentistry and Patient Education

  • Extension of education beyond geographical reach
  • Global information exchange
  • Cost-effective
  • Public awareness campaign
  • • Diagnostic Education
  • Virtual Treatment Display
  • Compliance and Follow Up track
  • Emergency Alerts
  • Patient Motivation and Consent
  • Chair-side Computing and Analysis

Despite the value of such a field, many dental practices are yet not ready to get full use of its services. Computer technology has reshaped human life already but the question is how it will it reshape dentistry if we are not ready to adopt it. Dentistry is not an isolated entity of healthcare anymore. It is indeed more than ever, connected to larger system of stakeholders, regulations, expectations, accountability and risks. The road to clinical practice fully supported seamlessly by informatics is laborious and difficult. In order to implement theories and concepts of informatics into practice, significant effort and investment is required. Many projects incorporating the concept will likely fail but dentistry can learn from the failures as it learns from the successes. Only then one would be able to realize the promise of informatics.

Imagine one day you get awake in the middle of the night; that tooth that has been somewhat little sensitive recently is throbbing. By morning, you realize and recognize that you have a genuine issue. So you head into the washroom, pick up your smart toothbrush that is already synchronized with your smartphone, and when you put the brush in your mouth, it scans your teeth. The pictures consequently gets transferred to the Cloud. They are examined and evaluated by the help of artificial intelligence; which finds a hole in your hurting tooth and a hairline split/crack in another molar. The scans and fundamental preliminary examination are transmitted to your dental specialist, who then messages you to schedule an appointment.

Soon thereafter, in the dentist workplace , the dental practitioner evacuates the rot that scratched a depression into your tooth — and etch the area with a laser. It makes all the procedure painless: there is no requirement for Novocain. Since most of the tooth structure is gone by now which then requires a crown to cover the remaining tooth. At that point , an office technologist completes a 3-D ultrasound of the two problematic teeth —x-ray beams, similar to dental drills, have turned into a relic of days gone by, and transmits the scans to two separate devices.

One instantly mixes a biologically active restoration to fill the cavity, yet it’s not the old fashioned silver mercury or white acrylic. It utilizes stem cells to reconstruct the tooth’s dentin, the bony tissue that lies beneath the white enamel. A second machine, a 3-D printer , fabricates a cap for the other tooth while you are waiting, which your dental specialist pops right in without the requirement for adjustments since the final production has turned out to be so exact and precise. These usual procedures that once required multiple visits are completed in a single visit even just over an hour.

It may sound like a scene out of Star Trek but It is actually a look and glimpse into the fate of dentistry. A dental specialist and dental innovation master along with the help of dental informatics and advancement of technology will be able to make it happen.

In a nutshell, if in fact you were reluctant in coming in to see a dental practitioner in light of an awful past experience you had, dread of agony, or anything like that, you should know, circumstances are bit different in these times. Dental practitioners can discover more about your mouth and teeth now, than at any other time, generally without you feeling a thing. It’s just not like the horror stories and accounts of the past. Along these lines, if fear is a factor that pushes you so firmly away, it would be worth if you attempt and reevaluate and give it a try. We are in the Golden Age with regards to dental innovation and even medicine in general. So, go to a modern, high tech dentist and find out for yourself what it’s like going to innovative dental specialist.

On the dentist part, regardless of whether you’re not using rock and stone apparatuses and working out of a cave, your practice might need an upgrade. Information is the cornerstone to dependable clinical decision-making. The faster information can be accessed, analyzed and exchanged, the more quickly and accurately we can provide answers to our patients. This guarantees that the care we provide is educated and as exact as could be expected under the circumstances. Recent decades have seen dramatic, wonderful improvements in the way we assess, educate and treat patients and manage dental practices today. In the event that you recognize that you could maybe utilize a refresh or two in your office, you ought to completely begin with streamlining your product. There is maybe no less demanding approach to rapidly and effortlessly upgrading your practice profitability than by refreshing your dental programming to a cloud-based framework that is made conceivable with all the exploration done by the field of informatics.

Thus, by the amalgamation of both technology and informatics we can achieve a modern dentistry that would help both patient and dentist in achieving heights and take dentistry to new levels.

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Role of Technology and Dental Informatics in Future of Dentistry. (2021, Apr 24). Retrieved from

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