Science Fiction meets the Dentist’s chair from Amery House

Mar 12, 2014

Every New Year I like to take the opportunity to look back on the year past and forward to the year ahead.

The past year certainly was a busy one as I travelled the length and breadth of the UK as well as abroad in my role as a postgraduate trainer. 2014 marks my 30th year in practice and I am due to have a reunion with my graduation year. No doubt as a group we will all be amused to see if we can recognise each other and hopefully not too surprised by the inevitable changes wrought by 30 years of clinical dentistry.

As a profession, dentistry has changed a lot since my early days as a fresh faced graduate. The technology available now would have seemed then like science fiction: instant digital radiography (x-rays); CAD-CAM same day ceramic crowns with digital imaging (no sticky impressions); lasers to promote healing as well as perform surgery (very Star Trek); implants to restore lost teeth (a twinkle in Dr Branemark’s eye in 1984!). The list goes on. I am left wondering where technology will go next and here I can easily see 3-D printers becoming commonplace (same day dentures?). Also I think it likely that Google Glass headsets (a wearable computer that looks like a pair of glasses) will be all the rage and no doubt we will all be bumping into each other as we focus on the tiny virtual screen in front of us rather than the real world. This type of instant video imaging should be a real boon for teaching complex procedures and I am hoping to be involved in trying out this new technology with my postgraduate laser dental students. Over the past year I have also been studying at the University of Genoa and I am actively involved in applying the very latest laser assisted techniques to promote new bone formation.

People are generally living a lot longer and I have several patients who are centenarians and looking good on it to boot. With an ageing population I foresee that the demand for more complex reconstructive and regenerative dentistry will continue to grow. In mature years, the ability to eat a fine meal is one of the cardinal pleasures in life, adding a real quality to older years. I have patients in their 70’s and 80’s having implants to replace missing teeth so that they can carry on enjoying a good meal rather than suffering the indignity of impossibly loose dentures. Complex and sophisticated dentistry is available to anyone at any age and here at Amery House we are able to offer a full range of services on site with our highly experienced team.

Of course, given proper, regular maintenance, it is possible to keep ones natural teeth for life. Maintenance treatment needs vary between individuals and at Amery House we conduct an individual risk assessment so we can identify not only current problems but also try and anticipate future issues. This type of proactive preventive care permits me to draw up a future management programme which is appropriate for the individual patient so that we can do our very best to try and reduce the need for any costly or invasive treatment. To encourage our patients to enter into a regular, healthy programme of preventive care we offer an inexpensive monthly subscription plan costing £20 per month, which covers the costs of routine check-ups, x-rays and regular maintenance hygiene visits. Plus we give members a healthy 10% discount against treatment costs and a free tooth whitening treatment for new members.

More information can be found on the practice website or by contacting reception.