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    8 emerging technologies that will change the dental laboratory

    These innovations are already in other industries—and they’re coming to dentistry soon, bringing changes that will have huge implications.


    artificial intelligence

    AI and Machine Learning

    Of all the technologies on this list, this is likely the tech that is already here—and that is invisible to most users. For a while now, dental technicians and dentists have had access to tremendous hardware that has made remarkable solutions a daily reality. And yet, sometimes that hardware was limited by what the software could do—limitations due to processing power, or in the ways the software was programmed.

    Related: 6 tips for switching to digital dentistry

    All of that is quickly changing. Digital dental software is better and faster than ever, and will eventually help multiple—even complicated—restorative cases become so predictable that a computer can quickly and accurately design, virtually “place” and mill a perfect solution. As improvements to hardware and milling materials are also released, the software to take advantage of those improvements is rapidly progressing.

    Additionally, as more and more data is being collected in each case, it provides a way for artificial intelligence to offer immediate solutions and better treatment plans, based on all the data provided on a particular patient. If a computer notices that a patient’s bite has shifted over the course of a few appointments, that shift could be taken into account when the digital data is entered into the CAD process—suddenly, every crown, bridge or other restoration is even more unique than has ever been possible, because the machines are “learning” how to address problems before they start.

    Improvements in machine intelligence are going to impact every part of life in the next decades, and dentistry is no exception.

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    Ryan Hamm
    Ryan Hamm is the Editorial Director for Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics.


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