What’s New in the World of Dental Patient Technology?
It’s easy to get behind on dental check-ups, especially when you have a fear of the dentist, or you don’t have dental insurance. Well, there’s getting a little behind — and then there’s the kind of pure avoidance that can go on for years or even decades.
If it’s been a long time since your last trip to the dentist, you may be surprised by just how far the world of dental care has come. A modern dentist’s office has a lot of new technologies that help maintain patient comfort while undergoing routine dental maintenance.
Learn more about what’s new in the world of dental patient technology.
Patient Comfort Technology
For some people, the feeling of a dentist’s tools on the chewing surfaces of the teeth can be very uncomfortable. Even with recent x-rays to help serve as a guide, it’s hard for a dentist to see what’s going on in the tiny crevices of the molars without probing.
An intraoral camera or caries detection pen helps dentists check for suspected areas of decay, well before it would be visible to the naked eye.
The small, hand-held caries detection equipment can help your dentist keep an eye on the health of your teeth, without the (sometimes) uncomfortable physical exam. It can also eliminate the expense of additional sets of x-rays over and above what’s covered by your health and dental insurance.
Though not strictly related to dental care, modern dental offices have made great strides in patient comfort with in-chair entertainment systems. You might not think watching your favourite show during dental appointments helps reduce anxiety, but it does!
Advances in Dental Record Keeping
The size of your old-school dental chart should give you some idea of the kind of overhead that goes into storing patient files. But not in the modern dental office!
Hand-held devices have revolutionized the way patient records are kept in dental offices. The storage issue might not matter much to you, but the increased privacy of this new way of storing files should pique your interest.
You no longer have to worry about your entire dental history, and more importantly your billing information, being on display on a big computer monitor in front of other patients in the dental office.
Better still, an office that employs this kind of modern approach to electronic records may also have the facilities to bill your insurance company directly for treatment covered under your health and dental benefits plan. No more paying up-front and waiting to get reimbursed for your dental procedures.
Enhancements in Dental Procedures
Right now you might be thinking it’s all well and good that dentists have adopted iPads and entertainment systems, but maybe you wonder what this all means to you as a patient.
That’s a very valid point.
If it’s been a long time since your last dental procedure, you may be surprised how far things have come. For example, filling a typical cavity used to take a long time, and you were left speaking in a mumble for the rest of the day. Though we can’t guarantee that a dental procedure in a more modern setting will be completely painless, we can tell you that new equipment can get the job done faster and less obtrusively than ever before.
And if you need to replace a missing or damaged tooth but have been putting it off because of the time required or the expense, there is great news for you! Technological advances in the world of dentistry allow more and more processes to happen right in the dentist’s office.
In days gone by, if you needed dentures or a crown, first you got a pre-approval from your health and dental insurance provider.
Then, you went to the dentist to have a mould taken of your teeth, and that pattern was sent off to a lab to create the dental appliance. Then, you went back to the dentist’s office to have it placed, and if the fit wasn’t quite right, it went back to the lab and the process started all over again.
That’s a lot of time to spend going and to and from the dentist!
You still need the pre-approval for coverage under your dental insurance, but the process is faster now that the submission is handled electronically. And in some offices, there’s a dramatic change in what happens next. Thanks to computer-aided design and manufacturing equipment, crowns and even dentures can be made in the office while you wait.
That’s right! After 20 minutes in the waiting room, you can be on your way.
There have been a lot of improvements in the world of dentistry. If a lack of health and dental insurance has been holding you back from putting your best smile forward, it’s time for you to give us a call to do something about that!