Ever wonder what it would have been like to get a cavity treated in the Middle Ages? Not pretty, that’s for sure. Just think about it: hundreds of years ago, if a tooth was painful or infected, a patient had little choice but to let a local craftsman pull it out.
Even though dentistry has existed in some form for thousands of years — first practiced by the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks — modern dentistry as we know it has only been around since the mid-1800s. And like any field, dental technology has made leaps and bound in the past few decades. Here are four important new improvements you might encounter at your dentist’s office today, which your ancestors wouldn’t know the first thing about!
1. Digital X-Rays
Digital X-rays use far less radiation than traditional X-rays. This cuts down on risks associated with radiation. Seconds after a digital X-ray is taken, it appears on a screen in the dentist’s office, allowing for faster service and greater transparency. Unlike traditional X-rays, you don’t need to wait for the images to be processed.
2. Six Month Smiles®
Just a few decades ago, people who wanted to straighten their teeth needed to use painful and ungainly braces, often with headgear. The butt of many a pop culture joke, headgear has gone the way of the dodo. One of the newer braces technologies is Six Month Smiles, which is a less noticeable option and can produce dramatic results in a shorter period of time.
3. Dental Implants
Back in the day, treatments for missing or damaged teeth were rudimentary, and limited to a bridge, crown, or similar procedure. Now we have another option, a natural-looking and permanent dental implant. During an implant procedure, a metal titanium root takes the place of the natural root and is covered with a natural-looking crown. The average lifespan of an implant is 15 years or more, far longer than the alternatives.
4. Nitrous Oxide & Sedation
Advances in methods of sedation have made it safer and easier to go under for particular procedures. A patient can be awake but relaxed with nitrous oxide, or can elect to go completely under for something like wisdom teeth extraction. This saves many patients stress and anxiety.
Let’s all take a moment to appreciate the wonders of modern dentistry.
If reading about current dental technology convinces you it’s time to see your dentist and start taking advantage of what’s out there, give our office a call at (919) 825-3131 to speak to our friendly team.Contact our office