Anesthesia without injection, “printing” of crowns on a 3D printer, and other new digital dentistry
Most people associate a dental office with a chair and a creepy drill. And although it is impossible to do without these attributes, in terms of technical equipment, modern dentistry has made a confident step forward: anesthesia without a syringe, templates for implantation on a 3D printer, AR, and much more. How IT-technologies help in the treatment of teeth to doctors and patients, especially tells the surgeon-implantologist Anton Gerasimov.Modern consultation
The main task of the dentist at the consultation is to bring information to the patient, and in a fairly short time. So, from the moment when the patient opens the doors of the clinic, until the moment when you present an individual treatment plan to him, no more than 15 minutes should pass. Therefore, gadgets – a laptop or a tablet with a touchscreen function – help in order to make visual sketches in the pictures directly while explaining the details of future procedures to the patient.
Now the majority of dental clinics conducts diagnostics based on computerized tomograms or abbreviated CT, which are 3D images of the patient’s jaw and bone tissue. Unlike old X-rays, here the doctor sees the full picture and can fix pathological changes or inflammatory processes at earlier stages. In addition, computed tomograms allow you to visually demonstrate to the patient the problems he has and to explain in detail the steps for further treatment.
Anesthesia without injection
Computerized anesthesia has become a real salvation for patients who are in awe of a syringe. The invention is a small device resembling a pen. At the end is a microneedle. Since the anesthetic feed begins even before the puncture, the patient does not feel any pain at all. By the way, the strength and speed of the anesthetic device is calculated based on the individual characteristics of a particular person.
Another undoubted advantage is that only the zone with which the manipulations will be performed will be subjected to anesthesia. That is, the patient does not feel discomfort because of the numbed half of the face.
Of course, the use of computerized anesthesia sets the correct tone for the whole subsequent operation: the patient feels comfortable and relaxes. However, such devices today have a limited number of clinics. The fact is that from an economic point of view, their maintenance is unprofitable: such anesthesia takes more time, as well as additional maintenance costs. But I would like to hope that in the next few years the practice of using computerized anesthesia will become the rule of good taste among dental clinics.
The advent of computed tomography and 3D modeling has played a huge role in the development of modern implantology. Thus, with the help of these technologies, the doctor can easily create a surgical template (special linings) for future implantation of teeth based on the characteristics of the jaw and bone tissue of each individual patient. This solution helps to predict and install implants as accurately as possible, reducing the risk of complications and speeding up the operation. Templates are created right in the dentist’s office: the patient’s tomogram is loaded onto a computer, an individual design is modeled with the help of specialized software, which is then printed on a 3D printer.
In addition, thanks to the development of IT in plastic, craniofacial and neurosurgery, it is now possible to install individual implants to restore the symmetry of a person lost as a result of injuries and diseases.
Operations in AR
Today, examples of the use of augmented reality (AR) in various fields of activity are actively highlighted. Medicine, this trend is also not spared. For example, I have been operating in AR-glasses for several years. A special microscope is placed above the operated area (that is, the patient’s mouth). The 3D image in high quality and without time delay is transmitted to the glasses monitor.
The patient may not feel much of a difference, but for me the advantages are obvious. Firstly, this increase in the operated area is 16 times, which allows you to work more accurately and faster. Secondly, there is no constant re-accommodation of the eyes (changing the distance of vision), which means that they are less tired. And finally, you can take the most comfortable position and remove the load from the cervical and vertebral departments. The last plus, however, is also relevant for the patient: he usually also has to adapt to a convenient perspective for the dentist, and this is not always convenient, especially if the operation lasts an hour or more.
Video and audio
New applications are found and have long been familiar to us technology. For example, a Russian project appeared not so long ago, offering a non-drug sedative – headphones with relaxing audio tracks.