Digital Dentistry

Dr. Ross Kee

Dentistry is a very complex and fascinating field in healthcare. The field of dentistry is much like the artists’ canvas changing daily with each brush stroke of scientific and technological advances. Together we have travelled through history looking at evidence of the earliest examples of dentistry. Today, I would like to share some of my excitement for where dentistry will be headed in our not so distant future.

Digital x-ray capability has revolutionized dentistry. Digital x-rays can be manipulated with magnification, sharpness enhancement, and contrast tools for better diagnosis of dental conditions and pathology. Digital 3D scans and advanced software guide the dentists’ precise placement of implants both digitally and clinically to maximize long-term success. Cedar Lodge currently utilizes digital imagery to scan teeth for crowns and other dental appliances. This is oftentimes more manageable for the patient than having an impression tray full of goop in their mouth for what seems like eternity while it hardens. The digital image can then be sent to the lab instantly, thereby, reducing the time spent in a temporary crown. This technology can also be paired with in-office milling units, making same day crowns a possibility.

Another form of cutting-edge technology is on the cusp of implementation. Three dimensional printers are relatively new to dentistry. However, their potential and clinical application is very exciting! The 3D printer will utilize digital imagery and software along with clinical data collection to enhance your digital experience and give you options never thought possible. This technology will give you the ability to say, “I want this person’s teeth.” It will give us the ability to treatment plan complex cases digitally and achieve precise results that look great, feel great, and last a long time. You will see this technology unfold and become available to you in the coming decade. I will continue my research and hope to update you with more exciting news in the future.

Perhaps one day dentistry will transition from replacing teeth with artificial means to restoring the patient with their own stem cells. Surprisingly enough, it is already proven possible to grow teeth in the laboratory setting. Scientists are using special 3D printers to construct a scaffold of growth factors and stem cells to grow fully functional teeth. As great as this sounds, the results are quite limited. Currently, they are unable to control the size of the tooth or direct its growth into any specific tooth. Three dimensional cellular scaffolds are also being used for soft tissue regeneration. This is rather exciting for both dentistry and medicine. Its applications in dentistry alone will revolutionize treatment of several conditions. However, consider its impact in medicine with its application in treatment of trauma and burn victims.

The future of dentistry is exciting to me because it will give me the opportunity to enhance patients experience, exceed their expectations, and provide the best care possible.

Cedar Lodge Dental

An Appointment Today!

Whether you need a Hays dentist to provide your children with routine dental exams and professional cleanings or are interested in implant dentistry to fill the gaps in your own smile, you can rest assured that we have the dental services you need to achieve and maintain your best possible smile! To schedule an appointment with us, please give our office a call at (785) 625-7369 or complete the Appointment Request form. We look forward to meeting you soon and welcoming you to our practice where we give our patients plenty of reasons to smile!