From the silicon in your phones to the InP wafers powering lasers, wafer technology has touched every industry. The evolution from supercomputers the size of rooms to even more powerful computers that fit in your pocket has been astonishing.
It probably comes as no surprise then that ever-evolving computation has also changed dentistry. Today, we’re going to discuss digital dentistry: what it is and how it’s improving patient outcomes.
Traditional dentistry uses mechanical or electronic tools to diagnose and treat patients. These tools encompass things like dental drills and x-rays.
Digital dentistry represents a step forward, improving patient outcomes using the latest advances in technology. These advances incorporate things like lasers and digital x-rays.
Traditionally, dentists have relied on mirrors to view the inside of your mouth. While this gets the job done, intraoral cameras offer several advantages.
First, they allow dentists to enlarge images, which makes it even easier to spot problems and understand exactly what’s going on if a patient has issues.
Additionally, the fact that cameras take images means that dentists can share findings with patients. This is beneficial for patient education, which in turn has been shown to make patients more likely to follow recommended home care practices.
Impressions are an essential part of dentistry since they provide the information necessary to manufacture restorations and aligners. That said, the actual act of taking an impression can be messy.
In the past, patients have had to bite into a mouthguard filled with a gooey substance that would form an impression. This impression could then be used to create the restoration.
Today, CAD and CAM technology allows dentists to get impressions much more quickly. It also doesn’t require any mess on the part of patients. Instead, computer-aided design and manufacturing allow for faster information-gathering.
It also significantly reduces the amount of time it takes for restorations to be created. This means patients today can enjoy things like same-day crowns.
Semiconductor technology has also significantly improved x-rays. Digital radiography emits significantly less radiation -- 80% less than the amount that you would expect from traditional x-rays.
It’s also faster than traditional x-rays, which makes things significantly easier for the patient.
Finally, the fact that these images are stored in the cloud makes it easier than ever before for dentists to share findings with other healthcare professionals.
Whether a dentist is providing info to a specialist or a patient moving out of town, the ease of intra-practice communication improves patient outcomes.
Of course, along with the technology that takes patient care to the next level, computerization has also revolutionized the nature of office work.
Whereas before, offices would need to keep massive file cabinets full of patient information, now they can quickly pull up any information they need regarding patients’ medical records and previous visits.
It’s easier than ever to keep track of when patients are supposed to come into the office, as well as making rescheduling easy. This is essential for patients with dental anxiety, who otherwise might fall through the cracks.
Given the various ways digitization has impacted digital dentistry, it likely comes as no surprise that there are several different semiconductors that have powered these innovations.
Gallium arsenide technology, for instance, is used for dental lasers, while CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) technology is essential for digital dental x-rays.
In fact, while NASA initially developed CMOS for use in space, semiconductor designers quickly realized that it could also be useful for digital imaging. They worked with NASA to perfect CMOS for digital imaging technology in dentistry.
Of course, there’s also the omnipresent silicon semiconductor, which is used in many computers because it’s familiar and cost-effective.
Digital dentistry offers several advantages that patients love:
The future of dentistry looks very healthy. In the short-term, there’ve been some promising developments in dental AI. For instance, VideaHealth is working on algorithms that can detect 43% more cavities than human dentists.
In the long term, the number of dental visits per year is expected to grow to 319 million in 2040, up from 294 million. The percentage of people visiting the dentist will also increase, from 44.2% up from 41.9%.
There will likely always be a demand for dental care as long as people have teeth. (Here’s hoping, a future of people without teeth would be weird!)
You’ve come to the right place. At Wafer World, we’re proud to offer the highest-quality wafers available on the market today. We’ve been in this industry for decades, and we’re constantly making sure our facility stays on the cutting edge so you can get what you need.
Have any questions about what we can do for you? Looking to speak with a wafer expert? Please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’re always happy to empower business owners!