How Technology Is Transforming General Dental Care

December 1, 2023

Thanks to significant technological improvements, general dentistry has made great strides in recent years. From diagnostic equipment to treatment approaches, technology has greatly revolutionized the way dentists near you give care and how patients enjoy dental treatments. In this piece, we’ll look at how digital innovations in dentistry are changing the face of family dentistry in Durham.

Digital Radiography

One of the most significant technological advancements in general dentistry in Durham is the shift from traditional film-based X-rays to digital radiography. Digital X-rays offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Reduced Radiation Exposure:Digital X-rays are safer for patients since they expose them to far less radiation than film X-rays do.
  • Immediate Results:Digital X-rays produce images that can be viewed instantly on a computer screen, eliminating the need for film development.
  • Enhanced Diagnostics:Dentists in Durham can zoom in, adjust contrast, and use color coding to better analyze digital X-ray images, leading to more accurate diagnoses.
  • Convenient Storage:Electronic archiving of digital X-rays eliminates the requirement for dedicated physical storage areas and streamlines the process of retrieving patient information.

Intraoral Cameras

Intraoral cameras are little, portable gadgets that can take clear pictures of the mouth’s inside. In general dentistry, these pictures provide a number of benefits:

  • Improved Patient Understanding:By using real-time imaging technology, dentists can better explain their patients’ oral health diagnoses and treatment choices.
  • Early Detection:Intraoral cameras help dentists detect problems at an early stage, allowing for more conservative and less invasive treatments.
  • Documentation:These images serve as valuable documentation for patients’ records, enabling dentists to track changes in oral health over time.

3D Imaging

Three-dimensional imaging technology has revolutionized diagnostic and treatment planning in general dentistry. Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is an example of 3D imaging used in dentistry. Its benefits include:

  • Precise Imaging:CBCT provides highly detailed, three-dimensional images of a patient’s oral structures, facilitating accurate treatment planning.
  • Implant Placement:Dentists use CBCT to plan dental implant placement with precision, reducing the risk of complications.
  • Orthodontics:3D imaging aids in orthodontic treatment planning, enabling better outcomes and reducing treatment time.

Laser Dentistry

Laser technology is becoming increasingly common in general dentistry. Dental lasers offer several advantages:

  • Minimally Invasive:Lasers can perform many procedures with minimal or no damage to surrounding tissues, leading to faster healing and reduced discomfort.
  • Pain Reduction:Laser procedures are often less painful than traditional treatments, reducing the need for anesthesia.
  • Sterilization:As a bonus, lasers may sterilize the treatment region, making it less likely that an infection would develop.
  • Soft and Hard Tissue Applications:Laser technology is used for both soft tissue procedures, such as gum recontouring, and hard tissue procedures, like cavity preparation.

CAD/CAM Technology

The field of restorative dentistry has been completely transformed by computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM) technology.

Dentists use CAD/CAM systems to create crowns, veneers, inlays, onlays, and even dentures with remarkable precision. The advantages of CAD/CAM technology include:

  • Same-Day Restorations:Patients can receive customized dental restorations in a single appointment, eliminating the need for temporary prosthetics.
  • Accurate Fit:CAD/CAM systems ensure restorations fit precisely, reducing the risk of complications and the need for adjustments.
  • Digital Impressions:Patients no longer need to endure uncomfortable traditional impressions, as CAD/CAM technology uses digital impressions for a more comfortable experience.
  • Materials Variety:CAD/CAM technology can be used with various materials, including ceramics, zirconia, and composite resins.


In recent years, teledentistry has gained popularity, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Teledentistry allows patients to consult with their dentists remotely, offering several advantages:

  • Convenience:Patients can receive advice and consultations from the comfort of their homes, reducing the need for in-person visits for minor concerns.
  • Access to Specialists:Teledentistry can connect patients with dental specialists, even if they are not physically located nearby.
  • Emergency Consultations:Teledentistry can be particularly helpful for dental emergencies, providing immediate guidance.

Intraoral Scanners

Intraoral scanners have replaced traditional impressions for many dental procedures. These handheld devices capture digital impressions of a patient’s teeth and oral structures. The benefits of intraoral scanners include:

  • Comfort:Patients no longer need to tolerate the discomfort of traditional impression materials.
  • Increased Accuracy:Intraoral scanners produce highly accurate digital impressions, reducing the risk of errors.
  • Efficiency:Digital impressions can be sent directly to a dental laboratory for the fabrication of restorations, speeding up the treatment process.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is being integrated into general dentistry in various ways:

  • Diagnosis Assistance:AI algorithms can help dentists analyze X-rays and intraoral images, aiding in the detection of dental conditions.
  • Treatment Planning:AI can assist in treatment planning by providing data-driven recommendations based on a patient’s oral health history.
  • Patient Management:AI systems can help manage patient records and appointment scheduling, enhancing practice efficiency.


Teleorthodontics is a subset of teledentistry that focuses on orthodontic care. Patients can consult with orthodontists remotely, making it more convenient and accessible for orthodontic evaluations, treatment planning, and follow-up appointments.

The Future of General Dentistry

The integration of technology into general dentistry is ongoing and holds the promise of further improvements in patient care and outcomes. From AI-powered diagnostics to the continued development of teledentistry, general dentistry is evolving to become more patient-centric, efficient, and effective.

In conclusion, technology is rapidly transforming the landscape of general dentistry. Digital radiography, intraoral cameras, 3D imaging, laser dentistry, CAD/CAM technology, and AI are enhancing diagnostics and treatment planning, making procedures more precise and comfortable, and improving patient experiences. As technology continues to advance, the future of general dentistry holds even greater promise for both patients and dental practitioners in Durham and beyond.