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While some of us are busy discussing the pitfalls of dentistry or questioning its scope, our field is taking baby steps into giant leaps of advancement every day. Whether it is functional prosthetic rehabilitation of eyes using teeth or automation to the point of robots placing implants, procedures we categorized into ‘future scope’ are presently occurring now.

The future we thought of is already here!

3 ways in which the present has already taken up the shape of the future

  • Visually impaired patients, non – amenable to corneal transplants, now have a ray of hope. It is an act of brilliance to use a tooth as an eye implant to restore vision. A canine or premolar tooth along with bone & PDL is modified to be placed in a sophisticated acrylic cylinder which is then implanted in the eye. After a few months,  the blind individual can actually see through the optical cylinder with good vision. DentalReach got on board, practicing ophthalmologists to opine on the prognosis of this composite prosthesis.
  • In China, a robotic dentist has carried out the first successful autonomous dental implant surgical procedure where two new teeth were added to a woman’s oral cavity. This is where automation and artificial intelligence (AI) has reached in dentistry today! From simple smart brushes who point out inadequacies in tooth brushing to 3D smart glasses getting real-time imaging of the bone construction in extraction cases –  AI devices are already in use and finding a place in markets of developing countries as well.
  • Head and neck cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed malignancies worldwide. A better understanding of molecular basis of tumorigenesis is required to develop new anti-cancer drugs. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of RNA molecules that modulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. Current findings show their potential role as a target for next anti-cancer drug therapy.

Is there any negative to this?

In today’s era of modern dentistry and educated & aware patients, dental practitioners need to be more careful about proper documentation of cases and execution of treatment plans. Medico-legal cases are on a rise and patients suing doctors is not uncommon now. Gone are the days where doctors were placed on a higher pedestal. If you are practicing high end dentistry and have a class practice, strict dental ethics becomes not only the wise choice but a mandatory requirement to prevent the smallest dental negligence and loss of licensing.

The future of any working professional ultimately, is retirement. With stressful practices and cut throat competition, we all face one question at some point in our lives – should we quit or continue? The secret is that there is no need to wait for that golden period of retirement in order to do non dental activities of your interest or plan vacations. Do mini getaways now! Bring the future relaxation strategies into the present in small amounts!

            What lies around us now is what was lying ahead of us at some point. It’s time we recognize it and channelize it into our day to day practice!

Dr Nupur Shrirao
Dr Nupur Shrirao is a consultant prosthodontist and a grammar Nazi! Besides dentistry, she enjoys giving stage performances and radio jockeying with All India Radio.

    How to be a Good Dentist You’ll Smile About!

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