The Future of Dentistry: Will You Still Need to Go to the Dentist?

Future Dentistry

You know you need to go the dentist, you just have to get around to making — and keeping — an appointment.

You may be interested to learn that researchers from the University of Pennsylvania are working on an inventive new type of mouthwash that, if developed and used correctly, could cut down on your stress about the cleanliness of your mouth.

What are they coming up with?

Nanotechnology May Result in Extra-Strong Mouthwash

Plaque is a bacteria-laden film that forms on the surface of your teeth. If you don’t remove it right away while it’s still soft and sticky, it hardens into tartar, which is much more difficult — close to impossible, really — to remove on your own.

Plaque is the bane of clean teeth, but researchers are hoping it can be defeated soon using nanoparticles. When nanoparticles interact with hydrogen peroxide (a common ingredient in mouthwash) a chemical reaction occurs and creates free radicals. Free radical molecules are able to infiltrate plaque and kill bacteria.

Nanotechnology had success eliminating plaque grown in a petri dish, and also plaque on the teeth of lab rats. But there are many hurdles to clear before it can be utilized by the public.

For one, it’s risky for humans to accidentally swallow free radicals, since we don’t know how they could affect other bodily tissues.

Will nanotechnology someday be used in dentistry? Maybe, but the jury is still out.

Dental Visits Are about More than Plaque

So does this mean someday you won’t have to go to the dentist? If you can remove all the plaque on your teeth at home, you won’t develop tartar and then you can scratch dental appointments off your list of things to do, right?

Not so fast. Dental visits aren’t just about cleanings, although that’s an important part of preventive dental care. Dental visits include a full evaluation of your oral health — like whether your bite is aligned. If it’s not, you may feel pain when you chew, and you could end up with frequent headaches.

Dentists also check for inflammation and redness in your oral tissues. Many times, dentists are the first to notice the early signs of oral cancer.

When Was Your Last Appointment?

Nanotechnology is still a work in progress. You still need to go to the dentist … and you most likely always will.

When was the last time you had a checkup? If you’ve waited longer than six months, it’s time to call the office and book your appointment.

Trust Oak Hills Dentistry for gentle, compassionate dental care. We make it easy for you to go to the dentist without any concerns.