Tag: dental tech

Artificial Intelligence and Dentistry

Dental health has always been an important aspect of your overall well-being. While most people may perceive dentistry as a means to improve one’s aesthetic, this is but an extra perk of visiting your dentist regularly. There are a wide variety of diseases and they all function the same way —through infection.

When a pathogen is able to gain ingress into your body that is called an infection. And one of the means of ingress are the teeth. A tooth cavity or an abscess are both dangerous in the sense that they are infections waiting to happen.

In the digital age, daily life is enhanced by the technology that we have. For one instance, traditional X-ray images had to be printed on a metal sheet and processed the way you would a camera film. Today, thanks to digital photography, the image is instantly projected onto monitors and saved to a database. There’s no longer the waiting phase. It goes straight to the diagnosis phase.

In previous iterations of the technology, the way that orthodontic diagnostics were performed was that dentists had to make a temporary mold of the patient’s crown (to be replaced) while the permanent mold of the crown would be made back at the lab.

Because of digital photography and 3D printing, dentists simply have to scan the crown that they intend to replace and add it to the database. The computer then simply prints out the replacement crown on the spot.

And while this technology seems impressive, there has been one piece of tech that has been on everyone’s lips for the past few months — artificial intelligence.

It first became publicly known when Google introduced it with its new line of Pixel phones. The artificial intelligence found in these phones was able to significantly improve the photo quality taken by the phone camera. A plethora of phone manufacturers, such as Asus, Huawei, and Oppo, followed suit thereafter.

What most people don’t know is that in the medical field, AI is currently being used to make the process of diagnosis more efficient and more accurate. IBM brought its Watson platform into the picture and it is currently used to help doctors make the best diagnosis and recommend treatment based on the patient’s medical history.

The software is even being further developed for it to be able to schedule medical procedures based on its estimated procedure durations. What this does is that it helps improve the efficiency at which hospitals operate by ensuring that time is used in the best way possible. So, this translates to an overall higher number of patients treated.

The same application can be brought into dentistry. A program known as VisualDX allows dentists and doctors alike to input images onto a computer. The computer is then able to produce a full list of all possible diagnoses.

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How “Smart Teeth” Could Change Dental Care Forever

A dentist holding a fake set of teeth in her hands showing how implants work

Everywhere you look, smart technology is making exciting leaps in healthcare, changing how people are cared for and their health issues treated. When it comes to teeth, we tend to take them for granted. We might only think about them when we’re in pain with a tooth cavity and need a dentist urgently. And yet, our teeth give us insight into our overall health: what we’re eating, if we’re healthy, and if we’re at risk of disease. Teeth could even reveal bullying, with research published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation showing that teens who are the victims of bullying tend to grind their teeth. Smart technology for teeth could help us to better understand the link between our teeth and overall health, completely changing dental care and encouraging healthier lifestyles. Here’s a study worth looking into about smart technology and teeth.  

Artificial Smart Teeth Could Improve Oral Health  

A recent study by Taiwanese researchers that was presented at the International Symposium on Wearable Computers in Switzerland found that by adding technology to teeth, dentists can gain a wealth of information from their patients.

In the study, scientists glued sensors onto eight volunteers’ teeth. The sensors were devices known as accelerometers that can recognize movement in the mouth. They were connected to wires to collect data from the participants’ teeth. The participants of the study were told to drink a bottle of water, cough, read a section of an article, and chew gum. They had to spend less than a minute on each of these tasks, and their actions were recorded.

These activities were important to study because they make the teeth move in different ways, and can therefore shed light on someone’s health, for instance why they’re coughing so much or if they’re chewing their food enough. Coughing could signal a health condition in the body, while not chewing food enough can cause plaque buildup that leads to cavities because not enough saliva is produced in the mouth to eliminate bacteria. Another oral health issue that such smart technology could help to spot is if the teeth aren’t positioned well. This puts a patient at greater risk of experiencing chips and wear and tear, as explained by Vibrant Dentistry. Advancements in smart dental technology could pinpoint issues such as the above, making dental care much easier.

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