The Changing Trends of Dental Health

The dental industry is changing as quickly as every other business sector. Modern trends and the improvements of technology have transformed the dental surgery into a high-tech lab filled with the latest gadgets and products. These are able to make significant improvements to your oral condition and alleviate many of the traditional mouth problems that people have. If it’s been a while since you last visited the dentist, you might be surprised how fast those changes have happened, and they aren’t slowing down. New technologies are being adopted by dental professionals, and they are changing the way that people tackle their existing oral problems. If you walk into a dentist expecting the worst, then these new trends might be the source of some surprise.

Pain-Free Procedures

One of the reasons why most people are afraid of the dentist is because of the pain. Being injected directly into the gums, having a tooth removed, or that horrible drilling sensation, are all reasons why visiting the dentist is not a very popular activity. That’s why modern dentistry has a firm focus on not just speed, but making the experience as pain-free as possible. This is achievable through the rising use of two specific changes to treatments:

  • CEREC Crowns - Most people that have had crowns attached will tell you that it is a slow process that not only leaves a bad taste in your mouth but is also very uncomfortable to go through. That’s changing, and CEREC crowns are the reason why. Using digital technology, dentists are able to create the perfect crown that needs a much shorter time to put in place. What’s more, there’s none of the after-care needed either, and those who have this form of crown are able to start eating and drinking as soon as they leave the dental practice.
  • Invisible Braces - Having your teeth realigned can be a long, slow process, and it’s not helped by the unsightly braces that the patient has to deal with. That’s a major reason why most adults won’t even consider braces. New braces make use of both clear wires and tooth coloured brackets, so even having your front teeth straightened doesn’t mean dealing with silver lines across your teeth. This goes some way to explaining why more adults are opting for teeth straightening procedures than ever before.
  • Sedation - One of the biggest reasons why people skip their dentist appointments is anxiety. Fear of dentists is a very real thing, and professional dentists have always tried to find ways to tackle that. Sedation dentistry is not new, but it is becoming a more regular occurrence. Partly this is due to more awareness of the different options that are available. These include:
  • Inhalation - Using a combination of gas and air (similar to what women use during childbirth), this method can help relax you during any procedure, even a simple check-up.
  • Pills - Some dentists will provide you with medication in the form of a pill that will take around thirty minutes to start having an effect.
  • Injection - While this won’t knock you out completely, it will relax you and keep you calm. You will still be able to communicate easily, although you may experience some small memory loss during the procedure itself. This option is usually reserved for those with extreme anxiety or phobias.

The changing trends of cosmetic treatments

The aesthetics of a smile are important for most people. Having a smile that you’re ashamed or embarrassed about can have a very negative effect on your love life, your career, and your confidence. That’s why many practices can now offer such a wide range of cosmetics options to look at. It is also why dental suppliers such as Kent Dental Supplies are continuing to offer the latest in dental essentials, so you can source the best products for your practice and your patients, as well as find cosmetic solutions. What’s more, their dedicated customer service team have years of experience in the industry, with the company serving customers since 1982. This wealth of experience means you can rest assured you can find the best products easily, with their own brand products coming with a 120 day no quibble guarantee. These options have evolved steadily, and in recent years there are more people than ever before choosing to make a long-lasting difference to their smile. The most common cosmetic procedures are now:

  • Teeth Whitening - This is not really a surprise. Having your teeth whitened has always been popular, but the advances in effectiveness have sped the process up significantly. Where this used to be expensive, laborious, and time-consuming, it can now be tackled very quickly indeed. Some options for teeth whitening can even improve the whiteness of your teeth by 4 to 6 shades in less than an hour.
  • Lumineers - These are porcelain veneers that can reduce the appearance of those things about your teeth that bother you the most. If you have a cracked or broken tooth, any frustrating gaps, or even some misaligned teeth, the traditional way of fixing these could take months. Porcelain veneers are not only a lot faster (usually just two trips a week apart), they also avoid the use of anaesthetic. Gum injections are one of the things people fear most from a visit to the dentist, but lumineers eradicate that need entirely.
  • Gum reshaping - Known as gum contouring, this is a way of making your teeth have a stronger and more shapely appearance. More people than ever are feeling that they are a little ‘gummy’ and this contouring option is becoming very popular. Not only is it a growing cosmetic option, it also has the added benefit of making your mouth healthier as well.

Changing Consumer Demands

It’s not just technology and procedures that are changing the dentistry landscape. Consumers too are changing the ways that dentists are working. As dental surgeries continue to embrace change in the technologies that they use, so too are they looking at what their patients need. This has led to a distinct rise in:

  • The youth market - Some of the dental procedures that are normally viewed as being solely for older generations are being embraced by the younger market. Nowhere is this more obvious than when it comes to dental implants. As a much better alternative to traditional bridges, modern dental implants have a natural look, and they can even last as long as your real teeth.
  • Better payment options - If you’re already concerned about visiting the dentist, then knowing that you have to pay for the experience can be the final push a customer needs to cancel their appointment until next year. Dentists have tackled this by offering a much wider range of payment options. Whether it’s through the NHS in the UK or a private practice, it’s never been easier to manage finances in order to pay for those cosmetic oral procedures that can have long-term effects on your happiness and confidence.

The changing dental practice

If you think that dentists don’t know how stressful and frightening a trip to their surgery is, you’re wrong. That’s why the onus has always been on making the process as easy as possible. That looks set to be the main driver for change in the coming years. More dental practices than ever before are transforming their surgeries to not just create a more relaxed and lucid space, but actually going all-out and creating offices that are more like a visit to a spa. In those places that have embraced this trend, patients can now get robes, slippers, eye masks, and headphones for the surgery itself. This trend has been growing exponentially and looks set to change the way that dentists manage their surgeries.

Negative Trends

No matter how far dental technologies and trends change, there are some people who will always look for an alternative option. Whether it’s due to financial constraints, apathy about the necessity of regular check-ups, or a general fear of the dentist, more people are looking for DIY dental treatments than ever. This isn’t just bad news for dentists; it’s bad news for the oral health of the world. There are millions of videos on YouTube alone that aim to show viewers how to do every variety of dental surgery. From extractions to fillings, this is a horrifying trend. The results can be catastrophic for your mouth, and will usually result in much more extensive treatment with a professional when you want to fix the damage that has been caused. Self-treatment is never wise for any medical procedure.

How technology trends are driving dentistry

There’s no disputing the fact that technology is changing every area of our lives. From work to play, technology is with us everywhere we go. The speed at which technology changes and improves has seen some amazing advances in medical treatments, and dentistry is no exception. There are some key technologies that are specifically affecting the dental sector. Here are the most prevalent:

  • Digitalisation - If you think that your dentist doesn’t use a computer, you’re very wrong. As well as basic improvements to a dental office that you’d expect from modern tech (such as faster access to patient records and data analysis) the right computer system can and does do a lot more. From computer-aided design programmes that can help speed up crown and implants procedures, to finding the exact teeth shade for your veneers, digital technology has granted faster results, greater precision, and a more efficient process for both dentists and their patients.
  • Self-diagnosis - While it’s true that you should never resort to self-treatment of your dental issues, you can use modern technology to work out exactly what your problems are. There are roughly 320,000 apps available that are aimed at health and wellness. Many of those are focused specifically on oral hygiene. While some of these apps are more useful than others, they can be used to help identify ongoing issues. You can check your symptoms and even connect directly to your toothbrush! Connected toothbrushes can track your movements and give you advice on what you're doing wrong, and even show you what parts of your mouth you have missed when brushing.
  • 3D Printing - If there’s one exciting tech development to get excited about in dentistry it’s the potential growth of 3D printing. This rapidly growing worldwide phenomenon has many applications, but for your dental practice is can be a real game-changer. From replacing missing teeth to building crowns and veneers to a precise measurement, 3D printing is the inevitable big trend in worldwide dentistry. There are even hopes that the ‘recipes’ used in the building of these teeth can be mixed with specific tooth decay-fighting chemicals. That will mean that your own teeth will be able to help in the fight against tooth damage. For dentists, 3D printing can be a more effective and low-cost way of treating patients.

Trends of the Future

It’s hard to know just where dentistry is going to head in terms of the future. Technology will no doubt continue to have a big impact on what dentists can offer and how effective they can be. There are some technologies being developed that may provide some clues as to what to expect from the future of dentistry. While they may seem like science fiction, they are getting closer every day. With today’s top scientists working on them, you shouldn’t be surprised to see these technologies slowly become part of the dental surgery setup:

  • Detection by Toothbrush - Toothbrush technology has come a long way, and now that you can connect your toothbrush to your phone, is there really any need for more tech in the humble toothbrush? Well, with scientists working on a range of sensors that can help identify and alert the user to the existence of oral diseases, the changes are going to keep coming. By testing your mouth tissues and your saliva, your toothbrush could soon let you know exactly when you need to book your next dentist appointment (and will probably even do it for you as well).
  • Artificial Intelligence - There’s little doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) is set to be a medical game-changer. AI is already being used for diagnosis, and medical professionals the world over are closely watching the many ways that AI is being developed and used in the healthcare sector. AI has many potential applications, and there are even hopes that dental surgery itself will one day be done by a machine that is incapable of making even the slightest error.

Dentistry is a fast-moving sector that is renowned for embracing evolving trends and focusing on the needs of the patient. As technology continues to improve, and consumers strive to make their dental experiences as easy and pain-free as possible, expect to see a focus on those elements. Dentistry has come a long way from chewing on sticks or gulping down a bottle of brandy, and that journey to a better dental experience is only just beginning.


Pete White Pete White

Love Shrewsbury editor and chief developer at The Web Orchard, find out more on

Read More from Pete White