We recently published a piece on the top three dental advancements but felt like we were leaving some very significant innovations out. Also, as a dental site, we do want to make sure you take care of your teeth because dental health is far more relevant to your overall health than you realize. That said, here are 4 more dental advancements you need to hear about!
Better Tooth Preservation Thanks to Thinner Veneers
Previously, veneers required some rather extensive preparation. Dentist had to shape and scrape your actual teeth in order to prepare them for the protective coating known as a veneer. Given the thickness the shaping and scraping had to accommodate, some damage could be done to your actual teeth.
Now, new materials are allowing veneers to be significantly thinner thereby reducing the amount of preparation on your natural teeth. When more of your natural tooth is left intact the tooth retains its intrinsic strength. This is a positive for sure. Amazingly, the thinner veneers have not lost any strength, as one might suspect. So, it’s a win-win. You get the strength and attractiveness of the veneer while doing less damage to your natural teeth!
New Bonding Materials and Techniques
No more worrying about matching porcelain colors as if you were decorating your bathroom. No, dentists have recently switched to resin as a filler of choice. There are more color choices available in the resin material they are using to bond and repair teeth.
Resin, which is essentially plastic, can be layered to strengthen damaged teeth. In addition, it’s shinier and stronger than the previously utilized materials. So there are a number of benefits to using resin instead of porcelain or other color-based amalgams.
Improved Dental Implants
You see advertisements for dental implants pretty regularly. There are places that profess to be able to complete your whole mouth, a full set of implants, in one day. So what’s the deal? Well, implants are essentially titanium screws set into your jaw bone that stick out of your gums. Then a crown is placed on top and voila they look like real teeth!
In previous times, implants were not very successful. However, today’s research says that 95% of those preformed now, are! Unfortunately, the advertising may be a bit misleading because implant surgery isn’t an end all be all to your dental problems. In fact, implants are only supposed to last 15 years; don’t think you’re out of the woods once you get them done unless you’re 90!
Better Gum Disease Treatments
This section is probably the most amazing. Here’s the thing about gum disease, basically your gums start receding because there’s not enough tissue to support your teeth (there are a number of causes therein but we’ll have to leave that for another piece). Anyway, this pulling away causes pockets to develop and that’s where the nastiness begins.
Bacteria, plaque, food fragments, whatever, gets hung up in the pockets and starts to erode your teeth. The decay can get really bad if you don’t have it rectified. Previously, dentists would clean the roots, remove the plaque and tartar and if they really had to, perform gum surgery. However, today’s innovations allow for additional choices that include the use of proteins, membranes and bone grafts to stimulate tissue growth. Translated: they’re getting your gums to become regenerative! We told you this one was super cool!
Go to the Dentist
There really is no reason to avoid the dentist at this point. Unless of course your real issue is money and lack of dental insurance. We’d love to offer you some support there but we’ve all mostly got the same problem. However, if you’ve got decent credit there is a program called Care Credit that’s designed to assist with medical bills or, if you’ve got enough money to put down, some dentists offer their own payment plans.
You’ll just have to do your research, but saying you’re afraid of the pain, or the amount of time necessary, just won’t cut it anymore. Truly, there are far too many advancements for that to be an accurate statement! As always, you’re welcome to share your experience or advice in our comments section!