Scared of the dentist? These technological advances mean you don’t have to be afraid anymore

Dentistry has come along way since you were a child. Do you remember the funny smells and the white walls, the uncomfortable chairs and scary tools? Many dental clinics look like spas now with colourful features, smelling candles and plush furniture. Some have play areas for kids with free WiFi and a relaxing water feature or fish tank. Maybe it’s been too long since you’ve been back to see a dentist but things have changed.



Modern dentists don’t even use the drill to prepare teeth anymore. Using lasers they are able to remove decay and shape teeth for a filling. This means less anaesthetic (sometimes none), no whine of the drill and no grinding down of the teeth. That’s great for needle-phobics, kids and sufferers of tinnitus or those that can’t tolerate high pitched sounds.

Lasers can also be used to speed up healing of cold sores, mouth ulcers, swellings, blisters and cuts. They can fast-track the movement and reduce the discomfort of braces. Jaw joint pain can be reduced and even head and neck aches.

In the past teeth had to be shaved down to do a smile makeover but nowadays there are some very minimally invasive techniques for creating a beautiful smile. Prepless veneers such as Lumineers allows thin white porcelain to be placed over untouched enamel so that the strong teeth become even stronger. The shape, size and colour of the teeth can be improved using a product like this.

They even have removable veneers like the Snap-On Smile. These click on straight over the teeth to provide a complete set of teeth. Worn, chipped, cracked or missing teeth can be covered instantly. You can wear them every day and eat and drink as normal or just put them on for that big event. Great way to get an instant confidence boost!

Your dentist may even be able to treat your partner’s snoring. They are able to make splints that open the airway to allow easier breathing. Additionally, they have non-invasive, non-surgical lasers that can rejuvenate the back of the throat to tighten the structures and reduce the snoring.

If you’re a gagger and hate the sloppy material dentists use to take a mould of your teeth then look for one with a digital scanner. This is like a little video camera that moves over the teeth and creates a digital model of the teeth with photorealistic detail. The smallest details can be picked which and they are used for all dental work from dentures to crowns, veneers to mouthguards. Anything that previously needed a model of the teeth can now be done digitally which for us means the work is stronger, better quality, fits better and can often be made more quickly since the work is transmitted electronically straight to the lab.

Wondered why there aren’t as many kids wearing braces nowadays? Well maybe they are, you just don’t see them. Instead of the metal train-tracks, teenagers are able to wear clear, almost invisible trays. These trays move the teeth a little bit at a time and are changed fortnightly. They take them out to eat or even for parties. These are great to correct adult teeth that are crowded or even that one snaggle tooth.

Did you know that your dentist can do anti-wrinkle injections? While there are many dental reasons to use these muscle relaxants like a gummy smile, a square jaw or teeth grinding, many patients come in for a regular top-up of their injectables at the dentist. No one is going to ask why you’ve gone to the dentist so don’t ask don’t tell =)

So if you need some work done or it’s time for a refresh then see what modern dentistry has to offer. It’s probably not as scary as you think.


Dr. Jason Pang TBS Hub

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