November 22, 2021

Digital Dentistry: The Technology That Revolutionises Your Dental Treatments

Modern dental clinics use various digital technologies with curious names such as intraoral cameras, cone-beam CT and dental lasers. While these may sound intimidating, they are anything but. 

The dental technologies we draw on at Next Smile™ are designed to make your treatment as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Thanks to the wonders of digital dentistry, we can deliver treatments with more predictable outcomes.

But what is digital dentistry, and which technologies may be used during your treatment journey? And how do you benefit from the digital dentistry technologies applied at Next Smile™ Wollongong? Continue reading to learn more! 

What is Digital Dentistry?

Digital dentistry is a term used to describe dental procedures carried out with the support of digital, computer-based tools and technologies. These may be used for treatment planning as well as for diagnostic and restorative purposes. 

The introduction of computer-aided dental procedures has made dental treatments more efficient than manual, mechanical or electrical tools alone ever could have. 

Facilitating dental treatments and opening up new treatment paths, these technologies have truly revolutionised how we approach dental surgeries, including All-on-4® with Dental Implants

Digital radiography

The Top Five Digital Dentistry Technologies Applied Today

1. Digital radiography

During most dental exams and in preparation for your All-on-4® with Dental Implants surgery, your dental surgeon will closely inspect your teeth and gums. However, a visual inspection alone is often not enough to diagnose what's happening under the surface of your teeth. 

This is where x-rays come in handy and allow your dentist to uncover whether teeth are compromised from inside or there’s decay underneath old fillings. Consequently, x-rays have become an essential tool in modern dentistry. 

Whilst traditional x-rays are considered safe, many patients have voiced concerns about the effects of radiation exposure. However, since digital radiography produces 80 per cent less radiation, it has quickly become standard in modern dental clinics.  

2. Cone-beam computed tomography imaging (CBCT)

Cone-beam computed tomography imaging (CBCT) is a special technique used when dental or facial x-rays are insufficient. 

With access to CBCT technology, your dental surgeon can recreate an exact 3D image of your teeth, gums, bones and nerves to prepare for your surgery and accurately place dental implants - even in cases of significant bone loss. 

Since the radiation exposure from CBCT is higher than regular digital x-rays, it is only used for effective medical procedures, such as All-on-4® with Dental Implants

Next Smile™ sends all CBCTs to MFI, as they generate a high level of interpretation of images and produce a comprehensive dento-maxillofacial report, an integral part of our gold standard patient care.

3. Intra-oral cameras (IOCs)

X-rays have long been essential in diagnosis and treatment, but intraoral cameras (IOCs) fill a gap left by limited 2D x-ray images. Thanks to IOCs, your dentist can get a clear 360-degree, 3D image of cracked and broken teeth, cavities, erosion and abrasion.

IOCs have even begun to replace conventional dental impressions. If you’ve ever had braces or a denture fit, you’ll remember the strange sensation of a gooey impression material pressed over your dental arches. 

With IOCs, that’s a thing of the past. Instead, tiny high-tech cameras can take imprints of the tissues in your mouth, including your gums and teeth. Within seconds, these imprints are then converted into a digital model of your mouth. 

Computer-aided design

4. Computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) 

Technological progress doesn’t stop there. With computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) available, the digital impressions of your mouth can be turned into all-ceramic or zirconia crowns. 

Independent studies that evaluated the efficiency of fully ceramic restorations fabricated using CAD/CAM technology have shown that digital impressions are not only clinically acceptable but result in a more accurate fit

5. Virtual and augmented reality

Suppose you associate virtual reality (VR) with video games and sci-fi movies. In that case, you might be surprised to hear that the technology is also finding application in the clinical training of dentists and dental surgeons.

Simulations produced in VR help undergraduate students practice real-life situations they will encounter in their professional lives. Further down the line, simulations are now also applied in specialised dental education and for ongoing training.

Not only can VR help students become better dentists, but it may also remove some of the fear and anxiety during your next dental visit. Selected dental clinics are introducing VR to take you out of the dental chair and into an altogether different and much more relaxing environment. 

Benefits of Digital Dentistry Technology

The Benefits of Digital Dentistry Technology

New and emerging dental technologies and techniques offer a vast range of benefits to dental professionals and you as their patient, including:

  • More accurate and efficient diagnosis and treatment

Your dental surgeon can draw on a range of digital dentistry technologies to deliver precise and predictable results. From diagnosis to treatment planning, dental surgery and aftercare, dental technologies are designed to improve the quality of your treatment from start to finish. And they have never been more accurate or efficient than they are today.  

  • Reduced time to new teeth for All-on-4® with Dental Implants

At Next Smile™, we take great pride in the outcomes we achieve for our patients. Thanks to our unique, clinically-proven treatment protocol and the application of the latest digital dentistry technology, we can fit an arch of new teeth within 24 hours of surgery. For you, it means fewer appointments, saving you both time and money. 

  • Improved communication between dentist and dental lab

Thanks to modern digital imaging technology, the communication between your dentist and their team, including specialists and dental laboratories, are drastically improved. Eliminating paper trails, communication happens in real-time and is mainly automated. 

  • A more comfortable and relaxed experience for you 

Without the need for traditional impressions and x-rays, your treatment quickly becomes a much more relaxed experience. On top of that, you can rest easy knowing that you are receiving the very best care using the latest technology available on the Australian market. 

The Path Forward

As the field of restorative dentistry continues to adopt digital technologies, you can expect to see digital x-rays, intra-oral cameras, CAD/CAM and the application of virtual reality set a new standard for dentists and dental surgeons across Australia. 

If you want to experience modern dental technologies applied in practice, seek out your nearest Next Smile™ All-on-4® Centre. Incorporating the latest technological advances in your treatment, we aim to make your journey to beautiful new teeth as exceptional as can be. 

Do you have questions about All-on-4® with Dental Implants and the technologies we use to make your treatments as comfortable and efficient as possible? Contact the friendly team at Next Smile™ to discuss your options