The most important task of the dentist at the consultation is to convey information to the patient in an accessible way, 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 him with an individual treatment plan, no more than 15 minutes should pass. Therefore, gadgets come to the rescue – a laptop or tablet with a touchscreen function, so that while explaining the details of future procedures to the patient, make visual sketches on the pictures.
Now, most dental clinics conduct diagnostics based on computed tomography or CT scans for short, 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 tomography allows you to clearly demonstrate the patient’s problems and explain in detail the steps for further treatment.
Anesthesia without injection
Computerized anesthesia has become a lifesaver for patients who are in awe at the sight of a syringe. The invention is a small device resembling a fountain pen. At the end is a microneedle. Since the anesthetic supply begins even before the puncture, the patient does not experience any pain at all. By the way, the device calculates the strength and speed of the anesthetic supply based on their individual characteristics of a particular person.
Another undoubted plus is that only the zone with which manipulations will be directly carried out is subjected to anesthesia. That is, the patient does not experience discomfort due to the numb half of the face.
Of course, the use of computerized anesthesia sets the right tone for the entire subsequent operation: the patient feels comfortable and relaxed. However, such devices currently have a limited number of clinics. The fact is that from an economic point of view, their maintenance is unprofitable: such anesthesia requires 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 a rule of good form 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, a doctor can easily create a surgical template (special pads) for future dental implantation based on the structural features of the jaw and bone tissue of each individual patient. This solution helps to predict and install implants as accurately as possible in advance, reducing the risk of complications and speeding up the operation. Templates are created right in the dentist’s office: the patient’s tomogram is downloaded to a computer, an individual design is modeled using specialized software, which is then printed on a 3D printer.
In addition, thanks to the development of IT in plastic, craniofacial and neurosurgery, today it is possible to install individual implants to restore facial symmetry 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 covered. This trend has not bypassed medicine either. For example, I have been operating with AR glasses for several years. A special microscope is placed over the area to be operated on (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 benefits are clear. Firstly, this is an increase in the operated area by 16 times, which allows you to work more accurately and faster. Secondly, there is no constant re-accommodation of the eyes (change of vision distance), which means they get less tired. And finally, you can take the most comfortable position and relieve the load from the cervical and vertebral sections. The last plus, however, is also relevant for the patient: usually he also has to adapt to a convenient angle for the dentist, and this is not always convenient, especially if the operation lasts an hour or more.
Video and audio
New applications are also found for technologies that have long been familiar to us. For example, not so long ago, a Russian project appeared that offers a non-drug sedative – headphones with relaxing audio tracks. They help to relieve the patient’s stress before or during dental surgery. The recording includes the sounds of nature, a soothing voice with the right phrases and musical accompaniment, that is, everything that can relax a person. There is also an American analogue, it is really good, but less suitable for our patient, and it’s not so much the language as the mentality.
Also, an important role in dentistry, and indeed in surgery, is beginning to play video recording on specialized (dental) cameras. It seems to me that this is necessary. Personally, I have been maintaining a video database of all operations for more than four years. First, you always have a detailed treatment history of each patient at your fingertips, which is impossible with a conventional medical record. Secondly, it makes the relationship between the doctor and the patient mutually honest, and in case of disputable situations, one can always confirm or refute the competence of the specialist’s actions.
In conclusion, I note that when choosing a clinic, you should first of all focus on the experience, professionalism and human attitude of the dentist, and only then on the availability of the latest developments in his arsenal. Indeed, in inept hands, even the most advanced technology will not bring good.
Photo: Vostock Photo
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