HOW DENTISTRY HAS EVOLVED THROUGHOUT HISTORY?
Although dentists use modern technology and tools to treat patients, dentistry is not a new profession. Even 130,000 years ago, Neanderthals knew how to treat their dental problems and get rid of toothache.
Researchers at the Kansas University have reached this conclusion by analysing teeth fossils discovered in Croatia between 1899 and 1905. Research suggests that Neanderthals cared about their oral hygiene and were aware about how to treat infection and pain in teeth or gums.
HOW NEANDERTHALS TREATED DENTAL PROBLEMS
The fossils discovered in Croatia helped researchers understand the lifestyle of Neanderthals. By carefully examining the fossils, they found out that the teeth contained several toothpick grooves. The scratches on the premolars and enamel fractures depict that prehistoric dentists might have tried to remove the teeth in an attempt to cure pain and prevent infection from spreading to other healthy teeth.
Dental health issues can lead to severe pain. Therefore, the Neanderthals might have tried to treat toothache with the help of different tools.
Moreover, the scientists have also found traces of poplar in the teeth. Poplar is a hardwood tree that has high energy content. It’s suggested that Neanderthals used to chew on its twigs to relieve pain. It contains the same active ingredient as aspirin, which can help get rid of plaque and harmful bacteria too.
During the research study, scientists also observed that the teeth contain some sort of antibacterial mould, which is made up of penicillium. It is the same ingredient that is used in penicillin. The scientists reached the conclusion that this anti-bacterial mould must have been used to reduce pain.
Penicillin is basically an antibiotic that can eliminate many infections. Similarly, this antibacterial mould may have helped the Neanderthals keep their teeth healthy and to kill off harmful bacteria that may lead to infections.
HOW DIET AFFECTED THE TEETH OF NEANDERTHALS
Another similar research study was carried out by the researchers at the University of Liverpool and Adelaide University. They examined three different sets of jawbones that are more than 50,000 years old. Accumulated plaque gave an insight into the diet and dental practices of Neanderthals.
Although most Neanderthals consumed a meat-heavy diet, they easily adapted to their surroundings. The diet was dependent on where they were living. Aside from meat of deer, sheep, horses, and mammoth, Belgian Neanderthals also ate mushrooms and other wild plants. Teeth fossils discovered in Spain had no traces of meat. Their diet included mosses, pine nuts, mushrooms, and tree barks. This suggests that Neanderthals used to gather their food from wild plants in forests.
These fossils also carried some scratches. Since Neanderthals used a variety of tools to make their lives easier, it is possible they used certain tools for dental treatment. These tools may have helped them deal with discomfort and remove the affected teeth.
DENTISTRY IN THE DIGITAL AGE
Dentistry has changed considerably since the time of the Neanderthals. The digital revolution has influenced every profession and the field of dentistry has also experienced digital advancements over the years. These modern technologies assist dentists in providing top quality dental service to their patients and carry out a variety of dental treatments accurately.
Let’s take a look at the modern-day technology commonly used by the dentists for treatment:
Back in the day, it wasn’t easy for a dentist to thoroughly check the dental health of a patient. With the help of an intraoral camera, they can now get clear images of the patient’s mouth. It helps them assess the general as well as specialised oral care needs of their patients and suggest the suitable treatment.
Today, dentists can use advanced designing software to improve their dental service. They can design dentures with the help of these tools as per the patient’s needs. This way, there’s a lesser risk of making any costly mistakes. Furthermore, it’s a cost-effective way of designing dentures.
CAD/CAM tools also make it easier for dentists to carry out different dental treatment procedures, including crowns, bridges, and dental implants. They can carry out the procedure with more precision and accuracy. From moulding the structure of a crown to fitting it, the entire process can be completed within a brief time period.
CAD/CAM tools are gradually gaining popularity among the dentists. It is because these digital tools enable them to satisfy the dental care needs of their patients with more precision and less efforts.
However, many dental clinic still hesitate when it comes to investing in the technology. These tools are expensive, and many Dental Clinic St Albans fear they cannot afford to buy and maintain the modern-day dentistry tools, which is why they have not yet become common. Furthermore, it needs proper training to use this equipment. However, this investment can benefit them in the long run.
DENTAL INSTITUTIONS HAVE INVESTED IN DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
Many dental training institutes such as King’s College London Dental Institute have invested in the technology. They are training future dentists to get a grasp of these tools. Not only does it future-proof their careers, the patients will also be able to get treatment from expert dentists with the help of the modern tools they have.
Many institutes are carrying out research on how to facilitate the patients as well as dentists with the help of digital technology. This digitisation can aid the dentists in providing top quality dental service to their patients. This will promote trust among patients. Moreover, as the awareness about the technology spreads among the patients, they are likely to demand for the digitisation of dentistry clinics. This situation will benefit the dental facilities that have opted for CAD/CAM tools and other digital techniques.
5 TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES IN DENTISTRY
Technological advances have evolved how dentists used to treat their patients. The modern machines and techniques have made it feasible for dentists to diagnose and treat a variety of dental problems more conveniently. Moreover, patients can also get rid of their dental problems quickly via these techniques.
Due to the use of modern technology, dentists can now provide high-quality dental care to their patients. It reduces the time required to perform different procedures with precision. This is the reason why many dental care facilities are opting for modern cosmetic dentistry equipment.
Many dental technologies have emerged over the last few years. Let’s take a look at some of these technologies that are commonly used by dentists:
Back in the day, dentists recommended getting metal-block braces for teeth straightening. It’s a painful procedure that takes a year, sometimes up to three years, to restore teeth to the desired position.
Invisalign clear aligner or orthodontic retainer is a modern technique for effective teeth straightening. It is almost invisible and is more comfortable as compared to the traditional treatment. You can easily remove them while having your meals or brushing teeth.
2. DENTAL IMPLANTS
Dental implants have replaced the traditional bridge dental treatment. In dental bridge treatment, pontics replace the empty space, whereas crowns are applied over the adjacent teeth to provide support to the false teeth.
In dental implants, there’s no need to prepare your healthy tooth. Instead, they fuse to your jawbone and efficiently provide support to your false teeth. However, to receive this treatment, you should have adequate bones and healthy gums.
3. LASER DENTISTRYd
Laser technology is used across various fields, including cosmetic dentistry. It involves a fine beam of light that assists in dental surgeries. It makes dental treatments more accurate and less painful.
Today, patients are more aware about the advances in technology, which is why they prefer laser technology over the traditional forms of dental treatment. It saves them from discomfort, swelling, and pain while providing the desired results.
4. DIGITAL RADIOGRAPHY
Before the use of radiography in cosmetic dentistry, it was quite difficult for dentists to thoroughly check the dental health of patients and identify the root cause of problems. With digital dental X-rays, they find it easier to provide top-notch treatment to patients.
Since these rays are of low intensity, they don’t affect the overall health of the patients. Furthermore, dentists also consider essential precautions to protect patients from exposure to harmful radiation.
If dental health issues are diagnosed at early stages, dentists can effectively treat them. VELscope makes it possible for dentists to diagnose various diseases, including cancer, before they get out of hand.
It’s a modern technology that enables dentists to analyse any abnormalities in the mouth. It’s a pain-free method that makes the dental examination procedure quicker and more efficient.