How Technology Is Rescuing Patients From The Clutches Of Dental Fear

Do you fear dental consultations? Whether it is the strange instruments, noise or pain, people have different reasons for not making it to their dental consultations. Luckily, technological advancements are helping to combat this unhealthy fear. Here are some of the recent inventions that help with dental fear:

Air Abrasion

The dental drill is one of the most feared dental instruments. The drill, which comprises a rotating head, is useful in removing unwanted parts of a tooth, such as decayed enamel. It can also be used to shape tooth during cosmetic dentistry.

However, the relatively new technology of air abrasion may soon change this and make dental drilling less fearsome. In this case, the dentist uses compressed air to spray tiny particles of silica or aluminum oxide onto the affected tooth. Air abrasion is gentler and quieter than conventional drills.

Digital Impression

Getting an impression of your teeth, for example when preparing for a dental bridge or crown, isn't painless, but it is uncomfortable and disconcerting. The conventional method involves having a tray of putty over your teeth for a while. You have to sit there for minutes without swallowing, and the inevitable gag reflex is something to worry about too.

Luckily, technology has come to the rescue with the creation of digital impressions. With it, the dentist just takes a digital scan of your teeth using a tiny camera. The images are then loaded onto the computer for creating an impression of your teeth.

Laser Cavity Detection

The traditional method of detecting dental cavities involves probing the teeth using a fine pick. If you don't have cavities, then your teeth will be firm to the probing pick, but the picks sink into teeth with fine cavities.

Unfortunately, many people do not like the idea of having the dentist picking and probing at their teeth with sharp instruments. The technology of laser cavity detection is a good substitute for the picks. It involves shining laser light onto your tooth. Since healthy teeth structures reflect light differently than it does decayed structures, the laser helps the dentist to detect decayed parts of the teeth.

Signaling Button

One of the most terrifying things about lying in the dental chair is the helplessness it brings. Even if you haven't experienced it, imagine having to recline on the dentist's chair, surrounded by dental instruments and having light continuously shining on your eyes. In most cases, your mouth will also be held open by a dental gag, limiting your ability to speak, for example, to inform the dentist of your discomfort or pain.

There is a new button technology that you can use to signal and get the dentist's attention. Even if you don't use the button, its mere presence is enough to reduce your anxiety. It's reassuring to know that you aren't completely helpless, and you can warn the dentist if you need a break from the treatment.

Note that treatment techniques vary by patient, so what may work for your friend may not work for you. For example, air abrasion is more suitable for removing deep cavities than large cavities. Talk to a dentist, such as Tony Parsley, DMD, to help you overcome your fear of dental treatment using these and other techniques.