Developments in Dentistry

Whilst preparing for my interviews I have put time into preparing an answer for my knowledge of recent developments in the field of dentistry. I have currently been offered an interview at Plymouth University which I am really excited about and am awaiting news of the remaining three of my universities.

A recent evolution in dentistry that captured my interest is the VELscope. This is a technology that has changed the way that mucosal examinations are performed. This is a device that emits a harmless blue light which is used to inspect the inner of the mouth. This device can be used to detect abnormalities within the mouth such as dysplasia or oral cancer. The device does this because it is sensitive to abnormal tissue changes as the absorption of the blue light spectrum causes the soft tissue to naturally fluoresce. They form distinct patterns and where disruptions occur it shows a sign of the abnormalities. This is crucial because early discovery shows that the survival rate of oral cancer patients is 83% whereas if failed to discover early the survival rate unfortunately drops to 50%. This particular development is interesting to me as a previous family member had been diagnosed with such a disease before the invention of the device. I wonder if had this device existed at the time, she would have had early diagnosis.

During my work experience I was impressed by the use of Digital X ray machines. This led me to conduct further research into these. I noticed the speed at which the X ray can be taken and then almost instantly displayed on the screen. This was useful as it allowed the dentist to visually aid the explanation of an issue to each patient. Through observation of ‘grey’ areas it is also extremely simple to identify areas of infection/decay. An example of where this was useful in work experience was when explaining an issue to a foreign patient who lacked fluency in English therefore it was beneficial to use the images.¬† Digital X-rays are also less harmful for patients as they contain up to 90% less¬†radiation compared to traditional X-rays.

These two developments really interested me as perhaps they are less obvious than implants and the use of new filling material as I mentioned in my personal statement.

Thank you for reading.




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