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The Future

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Cranjis McBasketball

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Jump ahead 10, 20, 30 years. What do you guys think dentistry will look like as a career?
 

ncide

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We will have more tech toys to play with, new procedures.

I think more predictable osteogenesis with laser therapy for periodontal disease, peri-implantitis and bone loss will be something we will see more of. A 2012 article I read said that current LANAP/LAPIP therapy has something like a 60% success rate. It's been around for decades, but improvement in the protocol may be something that we may see in the coming years.

Another interesting procedure that should see more adoption is the use of silver diamine fluoride. University of Washington is the only university that I know incorporating its use in its curriculum according to some doctors I have heard discuss it, and this year will be the first year the ADA will incorporate it into procedural codes. It arrests dentin carious lesions without necessitating surgery. It could prove useful in offering temporary treatment to low-income populations to control rampant caries or be particularly useful in treating deciduous teeth of children, sparing them trauma from surgical procedures.

As a career, we will most likely see the rise of group practices. Frankly, it makes more financial sense to pool resources together for an office space, invest in technology that is used by everyone, and have ample cross-trained staff on hand for times when extra help is needed. The stresses of rising debt will likely push more to this model. I work in a multi-specialty office and it works out extremely well. A patient can see a prosthodontist, periodontist, and orthodontist in the same visit for an implant and that level of care is unmatched in independent offices. Need a TAD placed for ortho? Let's just move you to the next room over for its placement. Expose and bond? Oral surgery is down the hall, we'll take you there and bring you back to tie your braces back in.

Certain technologies are making generalists refer out a little less. Specialists will need to be accustomed to traveling out to other offices.
 
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