Dental technology has evolved rapidly over the past half century, and it has absolutely exploded in the past decade. Today’s dentistry is virtually pain free, high-quality porcelain dental crowns can be made while you wait thanks to CEREC, and dental implants have become the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. Yet today’s breakthroughs are just the beginning. Here are 3 exciting dental innovations to watch out for in the future.

Japanese woman with long brown hair brushing teeth in mirror wearing a blue and white stripped shirt.

Stem Cell Regeneration

Regenerative medicine is the wave of the future, and stem cells are playing a huge roll in it. In dentistry, this means that we are at the cusp of being able to regrow teeth! In 2016, scientists from Harvard and the University of Nottingham developed a new type of dental filling that stimulates stem cells to grow dentin—the material that makes up most of the tooth. As soon as scientists find a reliable source of stem cells that can maintain the ability to grow into teeth, we will be able to eliminate root canals and even dentures and dental implants!

Smart Toothbrushes

Smart homes packed with connected smart devices are becoming more and more common. But who would have thought that toothbrushes would join the wave? Yet a couple of manufacturers are already developing smart toothbrushes complete with app games to encourage excellent oral hygiene. You can see a 3-D map of your mouth to determine if you are brushing too much or too little, and even whether you are using too much pressure. Smart toothbrushes haven’t quite captured the public eye yet, but they are well on their way.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

Augmented reality adds digital elements to the real world, often by viewing the environment through a smart phone. Virtual reality uses goggles or a full headset to create a completely immersive digital world.

Both augmented reality and virtual reality have taken the world by storm, producing such monster hits as Pokémon Go. But they are also making a huge difference in health care, including dentistry. Training dentists is easier than ever before, as these technologies allow dental students to learn in a hands-on way that simply was not possible before.

Beyond the obvious benefits of having new dentists with even more hands-on training, augmented reality and virtual reality also open up entirely new possibilities for the patient experience. How much fear and trepidation could be removed from the experience of sitting in a dental chair if you could simply sit back, put on some goggles, and play a virtual reality game while we work on your teeth?

Dental technology is evolving at lightning speed, yet we are only on the cusp of what is possible. Over the next decade, expect dentistry as we know it today to become quaint and even antiquated as we forge ahead with exciting and revolutionary new technologies.

At Family Dental Care of Bellevue, we are committed to providing quality dental care to our patients and their families. We are proud to have been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. If you are ready to take the first steps toward improving your dental health, we invite you to call 425-643-5778 today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.

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