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  • Writer's pictureMark Roberts

2024 - A Year for New Smiles

As this year unfolds, people are always concerned about new trends. They want to know the latest fashions, the newest cars, the trendy new restaurants, and so much more. After all, it's chic to be in the know. However, when it comes to dental care, most individuals don't have a clue as to what the dental industry has produced in the way of new and exciting developments to help your oral health improve.

Replacement of missing teeth can be accomplished by using dental implants. Although not a new treatment, dentists have seen great strides in new implant options. Advancements continue to progress, offering enhanced outcomes as dental procedures evolve. The year 2024 is going to witness further exciting developments in this field. 

Notable improvements in dental implants encompass computer guided placement and milling techniques as well as the introduction of Zygomatic and pterygoid implants. Furthermore, surface technologies have undergone refinement which have contributed to increased patient comfort, reduced treatment timelines, and improved predictability of treatment results.

There are many individuals for a variety of reasons who have dentures instead of their natural teeth. Now in 2024, in contrast to traditional dentures, which involve manual steps such as physical impressions and mould creation, digital dentures streamline the process using digital tools such as intraoral scanners, computer-aided design (CAD), and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) technologies.

Beyond their improvements in precision and accuracy, digital dentures offer numerous advantages over traditional methods. They can reduce the number of required appointments, leading to better-fitting and more comfortable dentures, and facilitate easier reproduction or modification of dentures in the future.

Applicable in situations where traditional dentures are indicated, digital dentures find common use in fabricating complete dentures and removable partial dentures. Moreover, they seamlessly integrate with dental implants, enhancing stability and support by connecting to implants anchored in the jawbone. This proves especially beneficial in unique or complex oral conditions where the ability to digitally design and customise dentures is pivotal to meeting specific patient needs.

Also, along with the advanced capabilities to create dentures, the demand for advanced antimicrobial materials looks set to soar in 2024. These materials are going to play a crucial role in various dental applications due to their potential to inhibit the growth of bacteria and reduce the risk of infections. Antimicrobial material exhibits reduced biofilm adhesion to sustainably inhibit the communication of bacteria. The material also has a body temperature-induced thermo effect that ensures maximum wearing comfort in the mouth.

In addition, bioactive dental materials, including bioactive glass and certain resin composites, are being developed to stimulate the remineralisation of tooth structure. These materials have the potential to enhance the interaction between dental restorations and natural tooth tissue.

Silver nanoparticles have also been widely studied and incorporated into dental materials due to their well-known antimicrobial properties. These nanoparticles can be added to composites, cements, and other materials used in restorative procedures to impart antimicrobial characteristics. Graphene and graphene oxide have also shown promise for their antimicrobial properties. Researchers are also exploring their incorporation into dental materials for applications such as preventing biofilm formation on surfaces. Talk about trendy! Who wouldn't want to have less bacterial infection?

If you wish to make your smile prettier, consider cosmetic dentistry. Did you know cosmetic dentistry in 2024 shows that it will account for almost a third of the trends in dental work this year? That is significant. Part of the reason for this is that the technology and software involved in cosmetic dentistry have innovated quite a bit in recent years.

An example of this is a predictive model known as digital smile design that enables dentists to create the optimal smile for their patients. Artificial intelligence is gaining ground form more used in cosmetic dental work because of its ability to accurately predict outcomes for different treatments.

Speaking of AI, this technology is increasingly being used in diagnostics, which then is in theory leading to more accurate diagnoses and better treatment outcomes. However, the benefits of AI extend beyond diagnostics. Many dental practices and dental software companies already integrate AI chatbots to enhance the patient experience. For example, AI is being increasingly utilised for analysing dental images, such as X-rays and CBCT scans. AI algorithms are assisting in the early detection of cavities, periodontal diseases, and abnormalities in the oral cavity. 

Additionally, by identifying patterns in patient records and behaviors, AI can help predict the likelihood of certain oral health issues and trigger proactive intervention. Likewise, AI tools are also being developed to aid dentists in treatment planning. These systems can analyze patient data, suggest treatment options, and help to create personalised treatment plans based on the patient’s specific oral health condition. As AI grows in popularity and utilization, dental options are improving along with it.

There are some exciting significant improvements in dental care happening. What are key takeaways?

  1. Personalized Patient Engagement: In 2024, personalized communication is improving for dental practices to enhance patient satisfaction, treatment adherence, and relationships.

  2. Integrate Physical and Virtual Care: With an increasing emphasis on digital experiences, dental practices are integrating online appointment scheduling and communication tools.

  3. Use Predictive Analytics: Data-driven insights are effectively enhancing the understanding of new technology and meeting patients' needs.

  4. Unify Patient Communication Channels: Streamlining communication channels such as email, text, and online portals is aiding to ensure consistent messaging, reducing errors, and enhancing patient satisfaction.

  5. AI-Powered Patient Engagement: Automation, particularly AI-powered patient engagement, is transforming dental practice operations in 2024, and as a result improving treatment options for patients.

If you are one of the 74 million Americans who don't have a dental plan in place, contact me to find out what program works best for you. Many options are available on this website: Let's talk soon. You know you want to be a trend-setter with your dental health.

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