Tech in Dentistry

A few days ago, I was chatting with my friends at our local club. The discussion turned to invasion of tech in our lives and one of them turned to me and asked, “Has dentistry turned hi-tech or is it still the old drill and fill saga? “. I gave it a good thought and realised how technology has infiltrated every aspect of dentistry. I have tried to incorporate as much as I could in this short list.

Tooth Filling
The term tooth filling, which involved drilling a hole in a patient’s tooth followed by a packing of a silver mercury mix is now taken over by procedures like pneumatic drills, laser cutting, micro abrasion, magnification, acid etching, bonding and light cured (light sensitive) composites. More recently micro dentistry and minimal invasive dentistry have taken centerstage. What these terms stand for is minimal cutting to preserve sound tooth structure followed by accurate restoration; liquid or flowable fillings which turn rock hard within seconds; pink fillings which turn white on hardening….. and the list goes on.

Lasers have replaced scalpels and blades. A clean bloodless surgery is every dental surgeon’s dream come true, add to that perfect and fast healing with no post-operative pain and it’s a win-win situation. Bleeding from a surgical site would set alarm bells ringing, but today it can be easily controlled in seconds with a dental laser shot.

A needle which does not hurt was on every patient wish list. It has finally come true. We now have digital tech controlled superfine needles which can inject the anaesthetic solution at a controlled rate to make the whole experience virtually pain free.

Digital radiographs have reduced X-ray radiation by almost 70% as compared to conventional films. The images are digitally stored and can be easily viewed on large screens making it extremely easy for the clinician to work with. Newer techniques such as Cone beam CT have made a huge difference to radiography, there is no guesswork involved these days as every tiny bit of information is served on an easy to view platform.

Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy was a procedure dreaded by patients and dentists in the past, as the dentist could never be sure if the whole root was cleaned. This was because the dentist could not see where the root ends. The invention of a gadget called the apex locator has changed all that and we can now predict the exact location of the root tip without the use of radiation. This latest device can not only predict the root length but also prevent the dentist from over instrumentation (excessive cleaning).

Crowns or Caps
Crowns or caps are now cut by robotic machines in a matter of minutes. Our dentists use scanners to scan a patient’s mouth in the place of sticky slimy moulds which were previously used.

New research and technology mean that modern dentistry sees more and more gadgets regularly added to the list that improve the way we are able to deliver our service to our patients including contact sensor lights, ultrasonic and piezotronic cleaning units, intraoral cameras, dental microscopes, and so on.

The only fear is that tech might replace the dentist one day!

By Dr Kedar Kulkarni (KK)

Superstitions and teeth – Myth busters!

Straight, shiny & white, healthy teeth are counted as a hallmark of beauty, and there are also many myths and superstitions attached to not so perfect teeth. These are not just old held beliefs but still in today’s world, many people believe they hold a meaning. Here are a few…

Myth 1:

It is unlucky to count your teeth. A pulled wisdom tooth is a lucky charm.

Don’t know about the counting of teeth theory but isn’t it easy to bring a lucky charm your way – just pull out your wisdom tooth!

Another myth associated with wisdom teeth apparently indicates long life, if your wisdom teeth come in late, you will enjoy a long life!

Wisdom teeth can be troublesome and painful. Although not so easy to do yourself, the removal of wisdom teeth is quite easy and painless at Expert Dental Care under the hands of our qualified and experienced dental team, with many painless anaesthetic options available at our surgery. Although, we don’t believe it will bring luck your way, we can guarantee it will be a non-traumatic, painless experience.

Myth 2:

If a tooth is pulled out during the waning moon, it is less painful with a good and fast recovery. So, it’s up to you if you feel you need to check the calendar before fixing your appointment and are happy to live with any pain or trauma until then.

Myth 3:

There are many superstitions about the space between your front teeth. Here are just a few.

  • Spacing between front teeth signifies long life.
  • The spacing indicates you may spend that life far from your childhood home.
  • You will accumulate a lot of wealth.
  • Broad front teeth mean lots of travelling.

The other side of this superstition says if the teeth are set together or overlapping, you will spend your life close to your mother or birthplace.

Gaps and overlapping teeth can be problematic for oral hygiene as well as not aesthetically pleasing. Our Expert Dental Care dentists can discuss a tailor-made solution to make you smile.

Myth 4:

Picking your teeth with a pin brings bad luck.

We are not sure whether this is so, but we are sure that it is not good for your gums as it damages the health and long-term prognosis for healthy gums which means healthy teeth.

Stick with the myth on this one and avoid this activity.

Myth 5:

Dreaming of loose teeth or teeth falling out. This one is so common…many amongst us have had this dream at least once, and many of us multiple times.  There are many myths based around these dreams including:

  • You are going to experience a big change in your life.
  • You are low on confidence in life – or at this stage of your life.
  • To see falling out teeth in your dream suggests you will soon regret something you said, or you will say/gossip about something that you shouldn’t have said.

At Expert Dental Care we don’t know about the myths or the meanings of dreams, but we do know that preventative care through regular check-ups and good oral hygiene are key to maintaining healthy teeth and stop teeth from becoming loose or falling out.

Myth 6:

Babies born with teeth. There are few around this one.

According to ancient Romans, babies born with teeth were considered lucky and would grow old to become a leader or a fighter.

Some other cultures believe that babies born with teeth bring bad luck – some even expect these kids to become vampires!

When we take away the craziness of this myth, it really can be a problem when a baby is born with tooth/teeth as it may pose a problem to breast feeding. Our dentists are experts in paediatric dentistry and will be able to help with any issues your child is experiencing.

Here’s to good oral health

There are far more superstitions attached to teeth that can be found in literature and on-line, and it’s each individual person’s preference which one to believe and which one to laugh at, but there is one thing you can be sure of  – Expert Dental Care’s team is here to help with any of your dental needs.

By Dr Devahuti Kulkarni