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Gadgets in Dentistry- Vanity or Necessity?

Gadgets in Dentistry- Vanity or Necessity?

Many of us like a new gadget or two, but are our lives really better with them? Perhaps the job can be done just as well the old fashioned way?


This may be true in some instances but we’ve found over the years that in Dentistry some gadgets can really enhance patient care and treatment outcomes. Of course, there are always some that probably weren’t worth bothering with but thankfully most dentists have a strong network of colleagues willing to share ideas and outcomes.

Many of these “gadgets” represent a considerable investment so their usefulness has to be considered and they have to prove their worth and value.

One of the items that we have been working with for some time now is a Microscope.

Yes we know the type you may be thinking about that a pathologist would look at a slide of microbes for instance, but this is slightly different.

Many dentists work with some form of magnification to see more detail and this isn’t just for the older dentists, it is becoming mainstream to expect your dentist to wear magnification loupes. The microscope just goes a step further, more intense magnification.


So where would we use the microscope?

The microscope is now routinely used for root canal treatment or endodontics. This treatment has always had limited visibility and a lot is done on feel, when you file a canal you can feel where you are. Most of the time with experienced dentists this is enough but using the microscope now eliminates that uncertainty as we can actually see down the tiny root canals. 

This gives us much more certainty on the prognosis of the treatment, how it is going to work out and we can see problems as we encounter them. It can be quite common to have calcific stone sin canals or small kinks that are difficult to navigate or perhaps even a hairline fracture in the root that isn’t evident on an x-ray. By using the microscope routinely we can improve the outcome of these treatments and know which ones are not suitable for root canal too.

All this is great news for our patients because it means a much more successful treatment for you and if it is a treatment that would have had a poor prognosis we can inform you sooner rather than having several appointments to no avail.


Anywhere else?

Yes. There are lots of instances where we can inspect a tooth under the microscope when we would like more magnification than just loupes. This is really helpful to inspect for hairline cracks which would otherwise be difficult to spot.

Technology comes with a price so we don’t embark on expenditure like a microscope lightly. We look at current practice, the evidence base and peer review before such a purchase and we have not been disappointed. The improved patient outcomes have proved its worth.


The future?

As you can see there is so much more to dentistry than meets the eye and we continue to keep ahead to bring our patients the very best of care, outcomes and treatment.


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