Like any health care field, dentistry is constantly evolving as new technology, research and events become available.

Staying on top of the latest news and trends is a must for any dental professional committed to career success, practice efficiency and patient satisfaction. Read on to see what the dental community has been buzzing about in August!

dental trends and news august 2018

Dental events

The month started off with positive feedback from Dentsply Sirona's first annual EPIC Women’s Dental Meeting, which was held July 27 and 28 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The intent behind the meeting was “to not only bring together female practitioners from all over the country for two days of education and networking, but to help foster a community that will develop into a national and global phenomenon,” according to Linda Gehringer, the company’s vice president of sales for CAD/CAM and imaging.

Industry entrepreneurship

Start-ups like Floss Bar are making dental care easier and more accessible for people who experience fear and anxiety about visiting the dentist, and others who struggle to make time for appointments.

Floss Bar brings high-quality dental care to patients’ office buildings. According to an article, the company currently operates in New York City, Boston and Connecticut, and has plans to expand to California and Texas next year. Though not the first of its kind (Virtudent was established in 2013 and has raised $8 million from investors), founder Sadej stands firm in her mission to provide “access for everyone. If you want to provide access, you have to respect people’s schedules. You have to move efficiently.”

Some dental innovations, however, could be risky when it comes to treating patients. A recent surge in the “DIY braces” trend on YouTube has led dentists to issue an official warning about risks and potential long-term complications. In the United Kingdom, dental professionals have warned that homemade braces could cause children’s teeth to fall out and other “irreversible damage,” according to a recent report in the Telegraph.  

Dental technology

Dental professionals around the world are well aware of the prevalence of patients who experience anxiety about appointments. Relieving anxiety is a high priority in the industry, and new methods and insights for doing so are being regularly developed and shared.

According to Popular Mechanics, dentists at Columbia University’s Center for Precision Dental Medicine are testing new technology that will track patient's stress levels by using RFID technology to monitor pulse and oxygenation levels and immediately alert dentists to changes. The team hopes this will not only ensure better treatment and patient-dentist relationships but will also give doctors insight into a patient's overall health.

Patient anxiety is often caused by the fear of pain, an issue that researchers are also working to address with new technology.

A TV station in Connecticut recently reported that a local dentist was one of the first to test Solea, a new type of dental laser that eliminates the need for drills and anesthesia needles while minimizing pain and virtually eliminating bleeding. While the technology is still relatively new, the hope is the laser will be able to soothe patients’ fears and provide a more affordable treatment option.

New research

The impact of oral health on an individual's overall well-being (and vice versa) has been studied for decades. Researchers have discovered that pre-operative oral care can significantly reduce post-operative complications in cancer patients.

Moreover, studies have shown that poor dental hygiene can have adverse impacts on a patient's lungs. Citing new research, a ScienceDaily article reported that “elderly individuals with fewer teeth, poor dental hygiene, and more cavities constantly ingest more dysbiotic microbiota, which could be harmful to their respiratory health.” The study stated that the development of pneumonia is a primary risk factor in ingesting microbiota.

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