Your dentist in Ponte Vedra Beach is always looking for the latest ways to enhance the patient experience. Oftentimes, those enhancements come in the form of technology. However, they may also be related to workflow in the dental office or other aspects of your treatment. Dentistry is always moving forward! What can you expect during the next decade or so of dentistry? Let’s talk about five emerging dental trends that bode well for your smile.
AI technologies are becoming smarter every day, which means they have great potential to aid dentists in diagnosing oral health problems. For example, AI may one day be able to examine your X-rays and alert your dentist to cavities, as well as help them design treatment plans with the greatest efficiency possible. It is hoped that such tools will streamline appointments and allow patients to spend as little time in the dental office as possible.
The U.S. has a complex network of insurance plans and dental providers. Understandably, it can be challenging for patients to figure out how to use their benefits to the full. In the next decade, it is possible that dentists and benefits providers will change the way they together to provide a more consistent care experience.
Greater Responsibility for Hygienists
Even right now, hygienists are responsible for a large portion of the patient experience. They clean teeth, coach patients on oral hygiene, and so much more. In the future, they may take on even greater responsibility. For example, they might provide minor restorative care, such as fillings. This will allow dentists to spend more time focusing on complex treatments, like crowns and dental implants. Of course, what hygienists are lawfully able to do varies by state, and that is unlikely to change throughout the 2020s.
Different Payment Methods
Recent years have seen the advent of advanced ways to pay merchants and service providers. Digital wallets and tap-to-pay cards are becoming more and more commonplace. These trends could very well make their way into dental offices in the coming years. You may also find that more and more online portals are available to help patients manage the financial aspect of their oral healthcare.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the use of teledentistry has skyrocketed in recent months. That trend is likely to continue long after the pandemic dies down. Most patients live very active, busy lifestyles and are eager to make in-person office visits as rarely as possible.
The next decade of dentistry is sure to see some exciting changes. However, one thing will remain the same: Your dentist will continue to go above and beyond to help you enjoy all the benefits of a healthy smile.
About the Author
Dr. Kristopher R. Harth is a Florida native who earned his dental degree from the University of Florida. Since graduation, he has completed thousands of hours of continuing education. He is a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry and strives to ensure that patients experience top-tier care at every single appointment. He works hard to keep up with the latest innovations in dentistry. To learn more about Dr. Harth and our practice, contact us at 904-285-7711.