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Digital Dentistry Explained: Definition, Benefits & Process 

04 August 2023

At Dee Dental Paisley, we are thrilled to be at the forefront of cutting-edge Digital Dentistry.

As a practice that has been providing exceptional dental care to patients in Paisley for over 65 years, we are committed to utilising the latest innovations in technology to further enhance the quality of service we provide.

We are proud to be among the few dental practices in Scotland to incorporate the revolutionary iTero Element 5D scanner into our surgery.

This state-of-the-art scanner, winner of the MedTech Breakthrough Award for ‘Best New Technology Solution for Dentistry, allows us to provide our patients with the most advanced and effective dental treatments available today.

By integrating this innovative technology into our practice, we can offer an unparalleled patient experience that combines our years of dental expertise with the precision and efficiency of digital dentistry.

In this blog, we will look closer at Digital Dentistry and explain exactly what is meant by this term. We’ll also outline some of the main advantages of digital dentistry and expand further on how our team has successfully integrated leading dental technologies to enhance the overall patient experience at Dee Dental Paisley.

digital dentistry at Dee Dental Paisley

What is digital dentistry?   

Digital dentistry refers to the use of computer-based technology or devices to examine, diagnose, and treat the health of your mouth, rather than using mechanical or electrical tools.

Digital dentistry aims to increase the efficiency and accuracy of dental treatments while ensuring predictable results, in a quicker timeframe. 

An example of a digital method we use in our forward-thinking dental practice is digital scanning. Digital scanning creates a 3D image of your teeth and smile within minutes and allows our professional dentists to create a treatment plan in just one appointment.

At Dee Dental Paisley we have the latest iTero 5D scanner with NIRI technology that can detect early decay and signs of gum disease.

What are the advantages of digital dentistry, and why is it used?

At Dee Dental Paisley, our top priority is providing our patients with the highest quality dental care. And by using the latest advancements in dental technology, we can do just that. 

The integration of advanced digital technology into our dental practice provides many benefits for both our team and our patients. These include: 

  • Increased accuracy
  • Faster treatment times 
  • More precise diagnoses and treatment planning. 
  • A more comfortable patient-centered approach. (traditional impressions can be uncomfortable). 
  • Less exposure to radiation with digital radiology than with the use of X-ray film.
  • Improved diagnostic capabilities: Within minutes we can detect any problems that may need urgent attention. 

Overall, digital dentistry enhances accuracy and efficiency while also improving the overall patient experience.

Digital dentistry

Why dentists use this technology in their dental practice

Digital dentistry has rapidly emerged as a cornerstone of modern dental practice, offering advantages to both dental professionals and their patients. One of the primary reasons dentists embrace digital technologies is the unparalleled accuracy and precision they provide throughout various aspects of dental care.

Enhanced dental diagnostics

Digital dentistry enhances diagnostic capabilities by leveraging advanced imaging technologies such as cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) and intraoral scanners. These tools enable dentists to capture detailed 3D images of the oral cavity, allowing for comprehensive assessments of dental anatomy, pathology, and treatment planning.

By visualising the patient's oral structures in high resolution, dentists can identify issues early, accurately diagnose conditions, and develop tailored treatment plans.

Streamlined workflows

Digital dentistry streamlines treatment workflows, optimising efficiency and productivity in the dental practice. Digital impressions, for example, eliminate the need for traditional impression materials and trays, reducing patient discomfort and chairside time.

Furthermore, CAD/CAM technology enables the precise design and fabrication of dental restorations, such as crowns, bridges, and veneers, in a fraction of the time compared to conventional methods. This not only enhances the patient experience but also allows for faster turnaround times and more predictable treatment outcomes.

Improved collaboration

Digital dentistry fosters collaboration and communication among dental team members and interdisciplinary specialists. Digital records and images can be easily shared and accessed across different platforms, facilitating seamless coordination of care and enhancing interdisciplinary treatment planning.

Here at Dee Dental Paisley, we offer same-day emergency appointments to new patients if they are experiencing pain, discomfort or swelling. Using the technology here at the practice we can diagnose and more often than not treat at one appointment, meaning we can alleviate pain and solve the problem on your first visit!

Digital imaging in dentistry 

dental technology

Digital dental imaging captures X-rays on wired or wireless sensors rather than film. These receptors convert the X-rays into digital pixels arranged in rows and columns to create instant, high-quality images, allowing you to see and understand your smile fully. 

Digital imaging technology improves efficiency and accuracy by eliminating film processing needs. It also contributes to a better patient experience, helping you to truly understand the current position of your teeth and identify the areas that need work.

As mentioned above, new technology in dentistry, such as digital imaging and digital scanning, are invaluable in planning your new dream smile. Both you and your dentist can work together to create the perfect image of your smile and then put a plan in place that will help you achieve those goals.

A popular service here at Dee Dental that incorporates advanced 3D dentistry and digital imaging is our Smile Makeover Packages. Smile Makeovers utilise multiple treatments to get your smile to where you want it to be, and through the use of digital scanning, we will show you exactly what your smile will look like before any work begins. 

Smile makeovers are a fantastic choice for patients who want to correct multiple issues in a short space of time.

What is digital dentistry used for? 

digital scanning

Digital dentistry can be used for a wide array of treatments, including; General checkups, smile consultations, dental implants, teeth whitening, dental crowns and gum disease treatment.

Some of the most common reasons for using different types of digital dentistry include: 

  • Accurate diagnosis of certain conditions 
  • Patient education and comfort
  • Cosmetic surgery preparation
  • Treatment planning 
  • Record storage 

Additionally, digital scanning can be used instead of traditional impressions, which provides greater accuracy and comfort for our patients.

Advanced dental technology at Dee Dental 

Advanced digital dentistry

We use digital scanning for a few key treatments at our modern practice in Paisley. One of the most significant uses is utilising digital scanning to make Invisalign® aligners.

The digital scan is safe and highly accurate. Once taken it is sent to the dental lab within minutes. This allows the lad to start creating the aligners you need for your Invisalign® journey straight away, instead of waiting to receive the physical moulds, which would take significantly longer. 

Scans can also be sent to make digital components such as dental crowns , bridges and implants, meaning you can complete your treatment in fewer appointments and in a quicker timeframe.

A final example of how we utilise digital scanning is for replacement teeth. Traditionally, a plaster mould of the tooth is made and sent to a laboratory to make a permanent one.

By using the latest dental technology, however, we can take a scan, make a digital impression and send the impression to the lab instantly. This dramatically cuts back the amount of wait time and the number of appointments it takes to complete the treatment.

Digital dentistry FAQs

Is digital dentistry the future?

Absolutely! Digital dental solutions represent the future of dental care.

Digital dentistry streamlines the restorative process, reducing chairside time and enhancing the quality of care provided to patients. By combining advanced imaging, design, and manufacturing technologies, digital dentistry sets a new standard for accuracy and excellence in restorative dentistry. 

How is digital dentistry different from traditional?

Digital dentistry revolutionises the way dentists approach restorative dentistry by leveraging advanced technologies to create highly accurate impressions and treatment outcomes.

Unlike traditional methods that rely on messy impression materials and manual techniques, digital dentistry utilises state-of-the-art intraoral scanners to capture detailed 3D images of the patient's teeth and surrounding structures.

Are digital dental impressions safe?

Yes! Digital dental impressions are safe and highly accurate. They eliminate the need for uncomfortable traditional impression materials, providing a more comfortable experience for patients.

Digital workflows enable dental professionals to design and customise restorations digitally, using computer-aided design (CAD) software. This allows for precise adjustments to the restoration's shape, size, and color, ensuring a perfect fit and aesthetic result.

Once the digital design is finalised, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) technology can be used to fabricate the restoration with unparalleled accuracy and efficiency.

What are the latest advancements in digital dentistry?

The field of digital dentistry is continually evolving, with new advancements enhancing various aspects of dental care.

Some of the latest digital dental equipment include:

  • intraoral scanners with improved scanning speed and accuracy
  • dental 3D printing technology for fabricating dental restorations onsite
  • AI-driven software for treatment planning and diagnostics. 

Expert dental care with digital dentistry at Dee Dental Paisley   

Digital Dentistry at Dee Dental

At Dee Dental Paisley, we are constantly striving to improve our working practices to ensure safe and accurate results for our patients to provide the highest quality of individualised oral healthcare.

Our investments in new dental technologies, such as the iTero Element 5D scanner, are helping us achieve better results, reduce patient wait times and enhance the overall patient experience. 

As a practice that is committed to building strong relationships and putting our patients first, digital dentistry is a key step as we continue to serve our community with cutting-edge dental care. 

Experience the advantages of digital dentistry by reaching out to our welcoming team today. We cannot wait to help you create the smile you’ve always dreamed of.