People are often told to ‘love themselves just the way they are’, yet as noted in a study published recently in the British Dental Journal, there is an inexorable link between facial aesthetics and quality of life. In particular, people can feel very self conscious, particularly when they hit adolescence and find that their social interactions may be affected. The good news is that a variety of new techniques – including digital smile design and 3D printed crowns, are making it easier and quicker to make a big change to your smile. These are just a handful of the hottest trends in the industry.
A Designer Smile
The Digital Smile Design system uses various scans to give patients an exact picture of what their veneers, implants, or new crowns will look like, viewed from every possible angle. Thus, patients will be able to know exactly what their smile will look like, discussing possible changes with their dentist before the work is done if needs be. This system is made possible by combining various tests, including a CBCT scan (to see the position of teeth and bone), dental scans, and facial scans – the latter being a groundbreaking technology. When designing a smile, the key is not only to look at the teeth or mouth, if not the proportions of the face, the patient’s personality etc., so as to design the most harmonious smile possible.
Better Bite Analysis for Tooth Implants
Thanks to the T-scan system, dentists can obtain very precise information about the positioning of a patient’s tooth. The system essentially records pressure conditions. The sensor is placed between the upper and lower teeth and patients are told to bite down. The information obtained is so detailed that dentists can then create implants that not only look good, but are also functional. This information can also be used by orthodontists to improve sleep and stop bruxism – also known as night time teeth grinding. This often occurs when the bite is off, with serious consequences for sleep quality. Teeth grinding (which can also occur when patients are awake) can cause pain and discomfort in the teeth and jaw.
A Crown Fit for a King or Queen
Also new is CEREC technology, sometimes referred to as ‘single visit dentistry’. This system allows dentists to create a complete crown in just one visit. Unlike the case in the past, patients do not have to have a mold taken of their teeth. Rather, digital mapping is used to take very detailed images the dentist can then use to create the crown. The new tooth is milled in two hours, meaning the patient can have it fitted soon after.
Thanks to the new scans mentioned above (such as those used in the Digital Smile Design System), dentists can actually recreate an entire smile. Imagine that you are a twin and you wish to have the same smile as your sibling. This can actually be done, thanks to the complexity and precision of the information obtained. Today, patients at cutting edge clinics can select the precise length, hue, shape, etc. of their teeth.
Information is power, and nowhere is this more evident that in aesthetic dentistry. Thanks to facial scans and precise CT scan technology, patients can feel more in control than ever of the final look of their smile. They can also ensure that functionality doesn’t fall by the wayside, thanks to sensors that are able to record bite pressure in great detail.