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The Next Generation of Perfect Teeth

Global Cosmetic Dentistry Market is expected to rise at an estimated value of $33.41 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 6.8% in the forecast period of 2019-2026 with the annual sales of $19.74 billion in the year of 2018. This rise in market value can be attributed to the increasing awareness and concerns regarding the health of patients.

Cosmetic Dentistry is a combination of multiple simple procedures performed by a dentist to boost a patient’s confidence, self esteem and psychological well being.

This segment of dentistry has gone through various changes over the last few years and has transformed from being a lengthy invasive surgical procedure, to a very simple treatment, that can be done in several conservative methods within a few minutes or hours.

Global Cosmetic Dentistry Market is expected to rise gradually to an estimated value of $33.41 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 6.8% in the forecast period of 2019-2026 with the annual sales of $19.74 billion in the year of 2018. This rise in market value can be attributed to the increasing awareness and concerns regarding the health of patients.

According to an expert, tooth loss is comparable to post traumatic experiences that can affect mood, confidence, career and relationships. Therefore, there is an opportunity for dentists to make a lasting change in the lives of their patients through innovative new cosmetic dentistry methods.

Ayesha Rashid from Mediworldme talks with Dr. Mohammed Naji, a Dubai based certified cosmetic dental surgeon and executive director of Liberty Medical Group about the latest innovations in cosmetic dentistry.

Innovation throughout the history

Truth be told, cosmetic dentistry has been around for millennia. In fact, historians believe the first pair of dentures were made in 700 B.C., fashioned out of animal teeth by the ancient Etru scans. Over the years, people used other objects as stand-ins for teeth, such as animal bones and even seashells. By the time the Roman Empire rose to power, people were scrubbing their teeth with toothpaste containing abrasive substances, such as ammonia, in an attempt to wipe away stains.

Fast forward, That brings us to today. There have never been more options for enhancing your smile than we have right now. Whether you need a tooth replaced, whitened, or moved, your dentist can draw on an array of tools to help you out. While the methodology has changed, the aim of cosmetic dentistry has remained the same: to create more appealing smiles. These days, patients prefer minimally invasive procedures that will cause them the least amount of discomfort. Many of the advances made in cosmetic dentistry are aimed at achieving this end.

The goal is to make the cosmetic dentistry experience as painless and as fast as possible. We know our patients often have busy schedules. They may be interested in improving their smiles, but they don’t have hours to spend sitting in our dental chair waiting for their teeth to be whitened or straightened. A great deal of current dental technology has focused on speeding up these processes to save patients from having to make return visits to our office, as well.

Dr. Naji said, “Maintaining a clean and healthy smile will always be a patient’s responsibility it is up to them to brush their teeth, make regular dentists’ appointments and maintain an overall oral health possible. However, most patients that walk in with bad oral health as soon as they get a cosmetic dental treatment and they get a beautiful smile – they immediately get very motivated to start taking care of their teeth, brushing them well and maintain a very good oral hygiene”.

Technological innovations

Digital mapping of the gums and interior oral surfaces has already demonstrated potential in cosmetic dentistry, using CAD/CAM systems. Digital intraoral scanning creates an exact three- dimensional scan that allows dentists to order precise orthodontics and prosthetics for dental reconstructive appliances. From a digital scan, a 3D printer can be used to produce a bridge, a single cap/crown or a full denture, and progressive practices are even encouraging patients to have a full digital scan before they lose teeth, in order to have a database ready for tooth replacement.

By having an accurate full oral digital scan on file, any tooth or collection of teeth can be 3D printed and replaced as a dental implant. This will eliminate many of the problems with fit and discomfort, misaligned bite patterns and more. The result isn’t an artificial tooth that is “close” in structure to your original tooth; it is an exact replica, which offers a better long term prognosis and utility for the patient.

While three dimensional printers have been available for years, the biggest obstacle to applying the technology in dentistry was the invention of a bio-compatible  resin  that  would  work  within  a 3D printer.

The first bio compatible resin was designed by Form labs, called the Dental SG Resin, which is a Class 1 material and surgical grade.

Technicians can maneuver within a digital image map, and customize the fit before printing, and production of dentures or orthodontics using this method is fast, and affordable, allowing dentists to provide quality solutions at a fraction of the cost, to benefit patients and provide comprehensive care.

According to Dr. Naji, other new innovations in the dentistry world are:

  • TheNNN Veneers technology
  • QuickSleeper
  • iTero Element 5D scanner ŸWaterlase Dental Laser Ÿ Shape Trios Scanner

Any dentist that can combine these technologies mentioned above will be able to give his patient the ideal treatment without any pain or discomfort and in a few short visits rather than the multiple lengthy treatment sessions.

Demand for aesthetic treatments

Innovations in technology also lead to faster treatment and alternative materials to successfully address oral disease and dental problems. Imagine getting checked in instantly and getting a painless root canal on the same day the technology is on the way.

“The demand for aesthetic treatments or cosmetic dental treatments will never stop growing and will only keep increasing because day-by-day getting aesthetics mile i s becoming easier and more accessible to public. Before it was more of an obstacle to go for multiple dental visits and long treatment times however now it has become a very short and simple procedure.

“ More over, getting an aesthetic treatment doesn’t always mean you h ave to get veneer s or crowns placed on your teeth it can be a very simple procedure or an orthodontic treatment which enables dentists to align your natural teeth with the help of braces. This is an aesthetic treatment as well I personally believe that almost 89% of the civilized population will approach an orthodontist to get braces fixed. Especially in the younger ages and adolescence”.

Currently, many dentists use soft tissue lasers for inpatient gum surgeries, but soon, these procedures can be done more quickly and accurately with a computer. The dental drills could get replaced with lasers that can penetrate hard tissue with precision and high speed, using mirrors controlled digitally to extract tooth decay.

Biomaterials are now lab-grown to easily fill cavities or even let cavities heal themselves, preventing the need for an expensive root canal. New diagnostic technology can detect oral cancer in its early stages with specialized lights that analyze tissue changes that the dentist can’t observe with the eye alone.

“Cosmetic industry has been shifting towards the natural appearance and conservative treatments. People are more aware now that they can achieve the results that they want by maintaining their natural teeth. The cosmetic treatment that is in high demand now a days ‘NNN Veneers’ which can give the patient the color and shape of the teeth they always wanted without drilling their natural teeth at all, without pain and injections. This treatment will always give the patient a way to go back to their natural teeth in case they are not happy with the result”.

Popular innovative trends

Dr Naji notes that the most popular treatment done by patients is Veneer.

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), a veneer is a “thin piece of porcelain used to re-create the natural look of teeth, while also providing strength and resilience comparable to natural tooth enamel.” They are custom made to the contour of your teeth and are bonded to the tooth’s original enamel during a series of in-office procedures.

Veneers are a less intrusive option than crowns or braces. According to the British Dental Health Foundation, veneers can be used to close gaps or correct small misalignments. Patients also choose veneers as a cosmetic solution to enhance the brightness of their teeth and to straighten their smile, correcting issues liked iscoloration , fractures, or chips.

“Usually the most expensive treatment is getting crowns as it requires a lot of work from the doctor’s end – with multiple visits being set up and drilling of the teeth. However, in my clinic, I make sure that the veneers and crowns both cost the same so that the treatment can be chosen for the patient on their medical need and based on what’s best for his oral condition – because generally people go for the cheaper option so we make sure that both cost the same so the patient can choose comfortably.

“Whitening is the cheapest procedure because it takes 30 minutes to give the patient a brighter smile. However, this does not last long and personally I don’t consider it a cosmetic procedure”.

What role does technology play in dentistry?

Technology plays a huge role all around the world not just the UAE. The technology has not only been introduced to clinics but also to the homes of people. All these advanced gadgets – whether it’s the electric toothbrush, whitening kits used at home or water flossers, they all contribute to increasing the awareness and bringing ease into oral healthcare.

“When it comes to dental clinics, we depend a lot on technology. Back in the days it was all about the dentist’s skill, however, nowadays, we also depend a lot on the latest material and devices we use throughout the treatment. It is not just about the quality anymore; it is quality plus the duration of the treatment or the speed of the treatment.

“In a city like Dubai where we depend a lot on medical tourism and we have a lot of people coming from out of town, they expect to get their treatment in a matter of few days. We now have the latest technology in our clinics, which we can use to give them that treatment, which usually would take 5 visits over a month, in just 2-3 hours in a single visit,” Dr. Naji concludes our interview.