The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the integration of new technology into healthcare. In many instances, what might have taken years to assess, instruct, and deploy has been condensed into mere weeks or even days.
While this influx of technology has undoubtedly affected the way dental healthcare practitioners do their jobs, it has also provided dentists with better tools to care for patients. It has often made their work more efficient, impactful, and safe.
Although there are challenges to keeping up with various new technologies in the dental field, reminding ourselves of how they benefit both the dentist and patients is critical to continued progress. If you’ve recently completed your dental hygienist training or are already practicing, brace yourself! The future of dentistry is brighter and smarter than ever. Here are some fascinating advancements you should look out for:
Teledentistry Within Dental Hygienist Training and Consulting
While teledentistry might not be entirely novel, its growth and acceptance in the healthcare landscape have been undeniably swift. Teledentistry harnesses the power of modern telecommunication technology to deliver dental care, share informed advice, or conduct treatments even from a distance. Its significance becomes even more pronounced in remote or underserved regions where traditional dental facilities might be scarce or nonexistent.
For dental hygienists, this evolution suggests a paradigm shift in your future dental hygienist career. The likelihood that you will be consulting patients, offering essential oral care advice, or making preliminary diagnoses through video conferencing or digital platforms is steadily increasing. Embracing this change will position you at the forefront of modern dental care.
Artificial Intelligence in Diagnosis and Treatment
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is carving out a significant niche within the dental sector. Its advancements, particularly in predictive analytics, are pivotal in evaluating potential risks that patients might face. In addition, sophisticated machine learning algorithms within AI frameworks can discern intricate patterns and deviations in dental X-rays — nuances that could elude a human’s meticulous gaze.
These technological marvels aren’t just theoretical; they manifest as practical tools tailored for the dental industry. Specifically, AI-powered instruments are empowering dental hygienists, enabling them to provide care that is not only more accurate but also efficiently aligned with the evolving needs of patients.
Prolonged wait times previously associated with acquiring dental prosthetics or braces will soon be a thing of the past. Enter the age of 3D printing: a revolutionary technological marvel. Now, patients can obtain tailor-made dental implants, crowns, bridges, dentures, and a range of orthodontic devices at unprecedented speed. In certain scenarios, the entire process—from design to creation—can be accomplished in just one appointment.
Beyond sheer convenience, this innovation carries with it the promise of impeccable accuracy. 3D printing mitigates potential discomfort and negates the need for frequent adjustments or return visits by ensuring a precise fit tailored to individual specifications. The result is a smoother, more efficient dental experience for patients.
The traditional, often cumbersome method of creating dental moulds is becoming a thing of the past. Thanks to the advent of digital impression technologies, particularly tools like intraoral scanners, the dental landscape, including dental hygienist training models, is transforming. These advanced technologies can generate immediate and incredibly accurate digital representations of a patient’s oral cavity. For patients, this means a markedly more comfortable experience without the mess. Simultaneously, dental professionals, especially hygienists, benefit from having an impeccable digital model as a reference, streamlining their procedures and ensuring precision in treatments.
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