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Published On: Mon, Jul 2nd, 2018

The Evolution of the Tooth Doctors

Dentistry is an ever evolving beast.  Even in the last 10 years you may well have noticed a change in the equipment that is being used for some of the procedures.  A great example was when I last went to have a filling. When I was younger it was a case of the dentist swivelling on his chair, rummaging around in a cupboard and turning back around brandishing the largest needle the world has ever seen.  

photo/ JOSEPH SHOHMELIAN

However, recently what was expected to be the exact same situation was drastically different. I wouldn’t exactly describe it as a pleasurable experience, nor would I recommend it to a friend, but at the same time it was heaven compared to the procedures of old.  The needle was almost non-existent and the dentist made sure he inserted it gradually, numbing as he went. Subsequently I barely felt it and it relaxed me for the subsequent mini operation that ensued. As such, what should have been the most traumatic dentists appointment of my tooth career was in fact one of the most relaxed.

This evolution of techniques has also progressed in the parallel space to dentistry that is orthodontics.  Head braces are now unheard of – although to be fair they were never really worn in public anyway!  The more commonplace train tracks of the 90’s and early 2000’s that marred the teeth of many a teenager now appear to be fizzling out in popularity and implementation.  Teenagers and adults alike were (and are) for obvious reasons not favoured due to their frankly horrible aesthetic appearance! However, in the past few years companies like Invisalign have driven the progression of more hidden orthodontic treatments, these can come in the form of clear thin gum shields that can be worn without impairing speech or indeed appearance and also the equivalent of train tracks that are situated behind the teeth and therefore out of view from the public.

Image conscious teenagers with crooked teeth must have been celebrating all over the world when these types of products came out.  No more metal filled smiles or horrible speech impairments due to the not insignificant amounts of surgical grade metal unceremoniously strapped to their teeth!

Finally, this evolution in orthodontics has also progressed to the point where there are more and more ‘one stop shop’ style practices.  Remember that this does not necessarily mean that one dentist is also an orthodontist and as such might not have the true expertise. Often there are separate general dentists and orthodontists in a practice; as such you do not lose any expertise.  You just gain practicality. For example, Family Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry of Brooklyn offers general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry using modern treatment methods for both.  Therefore you would not have to travel to one and not the other!

It is easy to imagine that sectors such as medicine and dentistry have reached a peak, what with the progression from crude methods at the beginning of the 1900’s to complex sounding drugs, and microscopic tools.  However, they are just like any other sector or industry, ever evolving and improving. So next time you visit your dentist try to spot what new methods they are using….it might just be an online booking system!

Author: Nataliya Stefanus

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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