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2023’s Emerging Dentistry Trends

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2023’s Emerging Dentistry Trends

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  3. 2023’s Emerging Dentistry Trends
2023’s Emerging Dentistry Trends Brisbane, Wavell Heights, Clayfield - Sure Dental

The best thing about dentistry trends is that they happen. In 2023 dentistry trends are inevitable.

Otherwise for the past thirteen thousand years, our fillings would be bitumen. Certainly, they’d have straw and hair in them; emerging in 2023 as two things you don’t want in your teeth; and one thing you don’t want on your head.

On the timeline of prehistory, bitumen was the emerging dentistry trend for the Holocene period as a progression from the Upper Palaeolithic.

Two filled upper incisors were found in the mountains of Tuscany two decades ago, from a period prior to agriculture. University of Wollongong archaeologist Claudio Tuniz, says the teeth show that humans developed therapeutic dentistry thousands of years before the systematic production of cereal and honey; considered by academics as responsible for an increase in cavities.

Thousands of years later, it’s now presented in a box on the breakfast table because somehow, that’s progress.

Researchers of this 2017 archaeological discovery decided it likely a tiny, sharp stone created the deep holes right into the pulp chambers, in order to clear the decay, then clean and fill it.

Imagining the excruciating pain of that primitive procedure silences all other thoughts. Edvard Munch might as well have shown up with Japan wax and casein pastels, to texture the inside of my skull.

If there is a dental joke there somewhere, it’d be that he also brought gum-bound paint. (Boom! Tish!)

The research team acknowledges that two-teeth-one-person is a small sample; oddly overlooking the miniscule chance of there being very many to find. Still, these small items evidence big advances in dental observations and the skill to solve them, with the accepted theory that drilling and filling was practised quite generally.

That the tiny, horizontal marks in the holes’ interiors were similar to those found in teeth from another excavation site in Italy, dated to 1,000 years previously, is probably a clue.

As far as the conceiving the pain of that procedure, it’s impossible to look at with 2022 vision. We are generations of pain-numbing seekers who drive to the chemist, annoyed that none are drive-thru. We stand on the same earth but another planet with more than 16,000,000 Ibuprofen prescriptions written in just one country in just one day. To avoid pain we’ll smoke green or brown, drink from a bottle or a carton and not have to tend a field for any of them. We’ll shoot up poppies and snort the leaves of Columbian coca without picking anything.

And that’s just a micro-mini-shot of how aloft we hold the expectation and right of pain-free painlessness.

Imagining that ancestor’s pain from an agony-plus perspective of bare feet on gravel, is to Munch over that scream because the dropping of the pain threshold through the ages is completely unimaginable. With documentary evidence from 932AD of a Black Knight having both arms cut off, kicking around and declaring it a flesh wound, one can only surmise that tooth surgery for a 10,000BC human was barely a glitch in their wild greens and game gathering day.

They had two of them, after all.  

It’s a reasonable assumption for Ice Age Homo sapiens to found pain a different sensation to deal with; if on no other basis that it must have been a familiar experience most of the time, just to survive. And that’s not counting the possible regularity of hot-footing it from Baru darrowi or Megalania or any other megafauna that might just have a cartoon heart-attack and fall on you.

Another emerging and merging innovation of dentistry and science, continuing through 2023 is regenerative treatment: the molecular biology of restoring, repairing, rejuvenating, and regenerating dental tissue.

Not too different to having successfully cloned the first endangered US species from an animal that died more than 30 years before. That genetic material produced a black-footed ferret, named Elizabeth Ann, that can only come from love or revenge.

It’s this kind of intensive, multidisciplinary research over decades that has the basic cell processes that control tooth development very well understood. Such explication draws a map to the holy grail: adult tissue regeneration of a complete and biological replacement tooth.

Therapy that can indeed help the Black Knight, since he wants to bite King Arthur’s legs off.

Remarkably since 2004, teeth have been able to be produced by transplanting artificially constructed embryonic tooth primordia into the adult oral cavity. What still remains to achieve, are ‘bioteeth’ generated entirely from adult cells; something not yet possible.

We said the same thing about landing on the moon.

Smarter smart toothbrushes, beyond just sexy electric with a timer, will send more information to your phone about all the dental hygiene habits it monitors for you. This is a trend that emerged from your mum standing behind you in the mirror.

Who knows whether NASA has some dental surprises up its spandex and Kevlar sleeve. It’s already given us laser therapy, and invisible aligner technology, and it doesn’t appear that anybody sleeps at all in there.

Augmented Reality (AR) is another reality in 2023, which means that on a single screen, dentists and specialists can see patient dental history, accurate hard and soft tissue in clinical depictions and real time imagery.

Ice Man didn’t even have a torch.

Dentistry Trends in 2023 & Beyond: Will Artificial Intelligence Meet Our Expectations?

2023’s Emerging Dentistry Trends Brisbane, Wavell Heights, Clayfield Sure Dental

AI is also currently demonstrating incredible potential in dental diagnostic support. It’s weird that it’s a (hu)man-made intelligence that gets smarter and smarter, so our biological brain can rewire for short, sharp shiny things. Exponential progress in Machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) probably means they’ll have their own behavioural therapist programs to deal with a lack of self worth from testing failures soon.

For dentists, images of patient’s teeth and gums through an AI program of millions of data points will give near-certainty, predictive diagnoses of accuracy within a fraction of a percentile.

Artificial Intelligence dentistry would know, for example, that in precisely six months, the present tooth decay will become untreatable and require a crown.

Excellent and terrible, at exactly the same time. There’s a lot of trust required in that.

Like the first person to have straw and bitumen packed into their stone-scooped tooth.

AI is already entering the workflow arena of dental practices. Clinical intelligence laid over business intelligence, gives a clear and actionable plan, charts and process for operating timelines and automated administration.

Right around the corner for 2023’s Emerging Dentistry Trends are algorithms for liability-free diagnostics as part of futuristic, hyper-intelligent oral health treatment plans.

The Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences at King’s College, London, has its Innovative and Sustainable Dentistry Society. Formed in 2021, the Society aims to create a student community of complete immersion into the evolution of dentistry and its sustainable future.  

Whatever may evolve in dentistry in 2023, the ongoing trends throughout will be the global optimisation of oral health and healthcare.

Essential to it, is the active engagement of the behavioural and social sciences. The human sciences are uniquely positioned to integrate their research and findings into the education, training, and mentoring of all clinicians to counteract the racial, cultural and financial inequity preventing good oral health worldwide.

Let’s hope it doesn’t take 13,000 years to get there.

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