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Is Dentistry Really Stuck In the Stone Age?

Cropped SingleCare logo By | September 30, 2015

Make sure every aspect of your healthcare stays up to date in the modern era.

For many of us, the mere mention of the dentist drums up feelings of dread. We all understand why seeing the dentist is a necessity for our oral health, but some feel that it isn’t exactly the most up-to-date field in medicine. With its old, familiar tools and constant poking and prodding, the dentist’s office can feel seriously uninviting, even if our teeth demand a visit.

Many of dentistry’s common practices, from basic oral care to full-blown orthodontia, are tried-and-true methods that have been in place for decades. And compared to cutting-edge medical fields that involve lasers and CT scans, dentistry can feel like it hails from a different age entirely. Let’s dive into why this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Healthy Teeth, Healthy You

A few years ago, Harvard University scholars published a study in which the use of a low-power laser on a handful of rats restored portions of their teeth, documented here by Laser Med Center. The study received its fair share of publicity; people were reacting to there finally being cutting edge advancements in dentistry.

David Mooney, a bioengineer involved in the study, notes that he still fields daily inquiries about it to this day. “The options in general that are available today for restorative dentistry are probably the same options that have been available for quite a few year,” he adds. “People are very excited for a different approach.”

Another expert in the field, Jonathan Garlick, a professor of oral pathology at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, blames the public impression of dentistry as invasive on a general desire for change. “You really have to wonder why the patients don’t have a greater sense of progress,” he said. “I think it’s still [defined by] invasive procedures.”

And yet, if you look closely, innovation in dentistry is alive and well. Aside from recent efforts for progress like the one at Harvard, advancements like adding fluoride to drinking water and creating new materials to fill cavities have made huge differences for each and every patient, as The Guardian reported.

Advancements in orthodontics have introduced products like Invsialign(R), marketed as braces for adults, because they are clear and less embarrassing to wear than the traditional giant metal cubes. Perhaps the largest development in recent years has been that of dental implants, which have dramatically changed the lives of people whose teeth have been damaged or lost. And in the future, dentists may be 3D printing their patients’ missing teeth, according to Quartz.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy You

Whether you think dentistry is antiquated or not, it’s always a good idea to take care of your oral health. Good oral health can prevent cavities and gingivitis, as well as reduce halitosis. Outside of the obvious benefits, visiting the dentist every six months or year (at an absolute minimum) reduces our risk of contracting much more serious diseases (detailed here by babble).

Most importantly, you’ll want a dental plan that feels at home in the modern age. Even if you don’t have insurance, SingleCare can help keep your mouth clean and healthy, and at prices you can afford. Unlike traditional insurance plans that come with costly co-pays and unseen charges, SingleCare allows patients to pick the best price from a network of healthcare providers and specialists — and you only pay for the care that you receive.

SingleCare makes it easy to connect with first-rate doctors, physicians, and dentists on an as-need basis. Find a dentist today and book an appointment. By keeping you and your mouth squeaky clean, you can be sure your health keeps up with the changing times.

(Main image credit: Wikimedia)