Advances in technology are profoundly shaping the world of healthcare, including dentistry. Let’s look at some new technology that has recently affected dentistry and is likely to impact the future of dentistry technology.

Computer-Assisted Design and Manufacturing

Computer-assisted design (CAD) and computer-assisted manufacturing (CAM) are not exactly emerging technologies, but they are newcomers to the field of dentistry. CAD and CAM are useful technologies for producing customized products like aligners, veneers or crowns in a way that is faster and more advanced than traditional methods. Rather than making a mold to create a crown, for instance, a dentist can use this technology to take a picture and allow the computer to design and 3D print the crown.

The pros of CAD and CAM in dentistry include:


  • Speed: If a dentist has the scanner and mill they need on-site, they could create the product a patient needs immediately without having to schedule a second visit to fit the new product.
  • Comfort: Patients who find traditional impressions uncomfortable may welcome the alternative of a simple scan without the need for trays full of messy plaster material. However, patients may still experience discomfort with the physical manipulation involved to take a clear picture.
  • Quality: CAD and CAM are known for offering precise, high-quality results. Dentists and orthodontists can likely achieve high-quality results with any method they are used to using, but CAD and CAM can make it easier to achieve those results.

As with any dental technology, CAD and CAM are not without potential disadvantages. These disadvantages do not apply to patients, but to dentists considering incorporating CAD and CAM into their practices. The upfront investment for the equipment and software is costly, which keeps some dental practices from embracing this technology. Additionally, whenever a dental practice takes on a new technology, they need to take time to learn how the new equipment and software works.

Intraoral Scanner

Intraoral scanners are the modern answer to capturing images inside a patient’s mouth. Some of our Dental Choice practices are now equipped with iTero intraoral scanners. The iTero scanner is essentially a camera-equipped wand a dentist inserts into a patient’s mouth. The wand takes 3D images that the dentist can view in real time on their computer screen. This technology can help dentists address issues like cavities, crowding, uneven bite, chips and plaque formation. It can also assist in clear alignment therapy and cosmetic dentistry.

Some of the main advantages of intraoral scanners include:


  • Comfort: With an intraoral scanner, a patient may not need to hold their mouth open in a manner that’s uncomfortable so a dentist can see the situation clearly. Devices used to stretch back lips or hold the jaw open are typically unnecessary with an intraoral scanner. There is also no need for traditional impressions.
  • Efficiency: These instruments are also efficient since they provide images in real time, allowing dentists to ascertain the situation and develop a solution quickly.
  • Clarity: Another advantage of intraoral scanner images is that they can help a dentist show a patient what’s going on in their mouth so they fully understand the situation. This level of transparency can also help dentists educate their patients on dental issues, which is an important objective of quality dental care.


As with other technological advances in dentistry, intraoral scanners are a bit costly for dental practices, but their advantages make this cost a worthwhile investment. For patients, depending on the particular scanner used and the area being scanned, it could feel somewhat uncomfortable or intrusive. However, they are still likely to be more comfortable than alternative methods of imaging or taking impressions.

Slow-Release Anesthesia System

Another important piece of dental technology is the slow-release anesthesia system, known as The Wand. Administering local anesthesia is an important part of many dental procedures as it prevents patients from feeling pain in an area where a dentist or oral surgeon is operating. However, the injection of numbing agents can itself cause patients temporary pain, which is partly caused by injections that enter the gums too fast. Using patented technology, The Wand can regulate the flow of the injection, and it can pinpoint the best injection site for single tooth anesthesia.

Some advantages of this system are that it offers:


  • Comfort: A primary objective of this system is to make anesthesia a more pain-free process. Patients shouldn’t feel the same stinging feeling they would with a traditional injection. This technology also offers assurance that the site will remain numb during the procedure.
  • Less anxiety: For patients who experience anxiety related to dental procedures or needles, knowing their injection will be less invasive and more comfortable can lower their levels of anxiety.
  • Precision: This technology can help dentists deliver local anesthesia in a more precise way so they do not numb more area than is necessary, which can also speed up post-operative recovery.

Like other types of dental technology, cost may be a barrier to using slow-release anesthesia systems for some practices. These systems also tend to take up space around the patient chair, which can make smaller rooms feel crowded. Additionally, some dentists feel they can deliver the same subtle introduction of anesthetic with a regular self-aspirating syringe.


Laser Technology

Lasers are likely to take on a more prominent role in the future of dentistry. Lasers first started being used in dentistry in 1994 and have been rising in popularity more recently. Lasers have proven to have a wide range of applications in dentistry, including whitening teeth, removing lesions, addressing tooth decay, reshaping gums, removing bacteria and more. One of the more recent uses of lasers in dentist offices is the diode laser for detecting cavities. This device is an alternative to the traditional method of using an explorer tool to detect decay in teeth.

Some advantages of lasers in dentistry is that they can offer:


  • Minimal blood loss: Using lasers to cut a patient’s gum or other soft tissue should result in less blood loss and lower levels of swelling compared to traditional cutting methods. This increases comfort for the patient and can speed up their recovery time.
  • Less pain: Lasers also tend to be less painful for patients than alternative forms of cutting, reducing the need for anesthesia or, in some instances, eliminating it entirely.
  • Accuracy: Lasers also offer a high level of accuracy in a variety of procedures. Using a diode laser in cavity detection, for example, can help dentists catch cavities in their earlier stages with greater accuracy compared to traditional methods.


Though lasers offer some important benefits, they are not without their limitations. Some procedures work with lasers, but they can’t replace standard instruments in many instances.

Trusted Dental Care From Dental Choice

At Dental Choice, you can find cutting-edge dental technology in our offices alongside trusted dentistry tools. Our dental professionals strive to offer patients a high-quality dental care experience in our centers across Alberta. We also place a high priority on offering affordable dental care, including affordable cosmetic dentistry. Contact us or request an appointment online today.

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