World of dentistry has high-tech, comfort gadgets

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ABC7 News takes a look at some of the latest high-tech devices in dentistry that are designed to make patients more comfortable.

Now to a story that's all smiles... the California Dental Association is holding its conference in San Francisco this weekend. Now, typically, ABC7 News sends their tech reporter to conventions about technology, but it turns out, that's exactly what this is.

In a convention hall that's usually filled with programmers and engineers, you'll find the biggest Sonicare toothbrush you've ever seen. Giant banners for Colgate and Crest. You don't have to drill down far to realize you're at a dental conference. But one that's awfully high tech.

A digital impressioning device is a high-tech wand that could spell the end of biting down on a mouthful of goop. Those behind the technology know with the traditional ways of making a mold of someone's mouth can cause patients to gag, it's difficult to breath, and they have to sit still for three minutes.

That's not the case anymore. Now your dentist can take a 3D picture inside your mouth and print out copies of your teeth. Soon, coming back weeks later to get a crown will be ancient history.

"It would be like leaving the doctor with an open wound. When you have a tooth prepped, you're leaving there, they're putting on a temporary like a Band-Aid," Brandon Darcangelo, the U.S. sales director of Carestream Dental, said.

Instead, a desktop milling machine makes a porcelain crown that's fit for a king while you wait. Leaving the dentist with your teeth actually fixed, now that's something to smile about.

Of course, part of taking the pain out of going to the dentist's office is taking the pain out of going to the dentist's office.

The name says it all... The Dentalvibe vibrates to play a trick on your brain. Your dentist can use it so you don't feel the needle going in.

"It actually closes what's called the pain gate. It actually prevents the brain from sensing the pain," Bobby Glennon, the V.P. of DentalVibe group sales, said.

Made in America, they sell the DentalVibe almost at cost, but make their money off the disposable rubber tips, $1.38 each.

Teeth whitening is bigger than ever, but it too has a history of being painful.

"It's not just bleaching, it is actually pulling the stains out of the teeth. Obviously bleach is not good for human tissue or any sort of organic tissue, so that causes pain and sensitivity with the nerves," Ben Borhani, the Start Pure V.P. of sales, said.

Start Pure uses a detergent, that's also an anesthetic, so you feel almost nothing while you're watching the clock tick down.

However, you might feel this... there's a new top-of-the-line dentist's chair with a hidden switch for massage.

Related Topics:
technologydentistmoscone centerSan Francisco
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