Precision dentistry and medicine aim to address a patient’s specific needs. Precision medicine entails treating each patient as unique based on a biomarker, genetic, epigenetic, psychosocial, and social-economic determinants. These factors distinguish a patient from other patients with similar clinical presentations. Precision dentistry helps to minimize errors in diagnosis, prevents negative side-effects, and improves dental treatment outcomes. Precision dentistry profoundly transforms the way dentists approach dental care. The right dental diagnosis leads to highly personalized treatment, and dentists can achieve a predictable outcome. Technological advancement in dentistry has played a significant role in enhancing precision dentistry. For the best precision dental services, you can count on Northridge Dentist.

Understanding Precision Dentistry

Precision Dentistry is an emerging approach for dental treatment and prevention. This approach takes into consideration individual variability in environment, genes, and lifestyle. This treatment method allows medical experts to predict more accurately which prevention and treatment strategies work best in certain people. Precision dentistry contrasts with the one-size-fits-all treatment approach. It's different from the traditional treatment methods that involve developing treatment strategies for the average person without considering the differences between people.

The term precision dentistry is relatively new. However, the concept of precision medicine has been part of healthcare strategies for many years. For instance, if a person requires a blood transfusion, they can't receive blood from any available blood donor. Instead, medics have to carry out all the necessary tests to ensure that a patient only receives blood from the rightful donor. Precision dentistry helps to reduce the risks of complications and side effects.

Precision Dentistry is a contemporary, data-driven, and multifaceted approach to oral health care. This approach considers patients' characteristics to group similar patients’ into phenotypic groups. This grouping allows medical experts to acquire information to improve treatment planning and enhance patients' response to treatment.

Dentists who practice precision dentistry move towards more specific treatments for their patients instead of applying average treatment to all patients. Precision dentistry places every patient in a subgroup. In every subgroup, every individual is the same as the other subgroup members in relation to the dental condition of interest. Precision dentistry is a paradigm shift that calls for a new way of thinking concerning dental diagnosis.

When most people hear of precision medicine, dentistry is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, precision dentistry is vital because dentistry is personal in its nature of delivering treatment. Precision dentistry aims at identifying the different levels of risk factors for developing certain dental problems.

Precision dentistry plays a major role in pediatric oral health. Early childhood caries (ECC) is a persistent dental issue in young children. Dental caries persist as a chronic childhood disease. The disease mainly affects socioeconomically disadvantaged families and minorities. Dental caries persist despite the decrease in disease prevalence among other age groups. Precision dentistry paves a path for the elimination of pediatric dental issues. Precision dentistry combines intense research and advanced technology in dealing with dental conditions.

Leading Benefits of Precision Dentistry

Precision dentistry impacts the way dentists treat patients and how health facilities channel their resources to benefit patients.  This effective treatment approach enables dentists to select a treatment protocol or approach based on a patient’s molecular profiles. Some of the leading benefits of precision dentistry are:

Emphasis is on Prevention, Not Reaction

In precision medicine, experts can use molecular markers that reveal disease risk or its presence before the appearance of clinical symptoms and signs. Therefore, dentists can focus on prevention or early intervention rather than addressing dental conditions at their advanced stages. Patients with specific genetic compositions have a higher likelihood of developing certain dental conditions. Genetic tests can guide dentists to adopt specific preventive measures to prevent certain dental conditions from occurring.

Currently, there are numerous tests for a wide range of genes. These genetic tests enable dentists and other medical practitioners to identify a patient’s susceptibility to certain medical conditions. Genetic tests have a predictive capability meaning that dentists can spot certain dental conditions before symptoms even appear.

A genetic diagnosis is advantageous because it eliminates the need for further invasive and costly diagnostic testing. If a patient learns that he or she is susceptible to certain conditions, they can take the necessary caution.

Reduction of Trial and Error Prescriptions

The majority of patients often do not benefit from the first time prescriptions they receive. This is because of the differences in genes in different patients, impacting drug-metabolizing enzymes, drug targets, and drug transporters. The use of molecular screening and gene testing in dentistry enable dentists to select the right treatment approach. Precision dentistry allows dentists to get it right the first time and helps prevent costly and frustrating trial-and-error prescriptions.

Molecular diagnostic tests will help to reveal patients that are likely to benefit from receiving specific prescriptions. Dentists can chart the best course of treatment for their patients. Making the right drug prescriptions helps reduce the adverse effects of drugs on patients, including allergic reactions and adverse side effects.

Improved Safety and Efficacy

The adoption of precision medicine in dentistry helps reduce adverse drug reactions. Dentists can identify which products work best for their patients. Every year, the Federal Drug Association records a large number of adverse drug effects. A significant percentage of hospital admissions result from adverse drug reactions. 

The FDA made a recent recommendation of the genotyping of patients before prescription of certain medications. Genotyping allows for more precise and specific dosing.  Even if precision dentistry is still evolving, it has helped many patients avoid severe and possibly fatal adverse drug reactions.

Precision dentistry enables dentists to replace conventional drug dosage methods based on the weight and the age to a dosage. The medical practitioners determine the metabolism and efficacy of the drug in the body before making a recommendation.

Improved Adherence to Treatment

Precision dentistry enhances patients' compliance with treatment, and this helps to minimize overall health care costs and reduces adverse health effects. Patients are more likely to adhere or comply with their dental treatment if personalized therapies present fewer side effects and prove to be more effective. 

Understanding the genetic predisposition for certain dental conditions gives patients a powerful incentive to manage the condition and make the necessary adjustments. After a genetic diagnosis, patients show more adherence to treatment than patients who have not undergone genetic testing. 

Precision dentistry helps to provide knowledge and insight on every patient’s genetic information. This allows individuals to make the right adjustments at an early age to prevent the disease's development. If medical practitioners understand a patient's susceptibility to a certain disease, they will be careful in rendering treatments and monitoring their progress. This strategy enables medics to capitalize on therapeutic benefits.

The Application of Precision Medicine in Dentistry

Dentistry is a diverse field that could greatly benefit from precision medicine. Some of the ways of applying for precision medicine in dentistry are:

Periodontal Care and Treatment

Certain patients are more susceptible to periodontal disease than others. Integrated precision medicine into preventive care for periodontitis enables dentists to efficiently allocate both resources and time to the patients with a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. There is a proven association or relationship between systematic and oral disease, commonly known as period-systematic linkage. Dentists have shifted the focus on periodontal disease's etiology to host–bacterial interactions rather than bacterial plaque. More emphasis is on examining the impact of inflammation on host tissues.

In the past, dentists considered a patient’s history and conventional clinical assessments while diagnosing periodontal disease. After establishing that individual patients were at risk of periodontal disease, dentists provided a similar interceptive and preventive care form. This approach led to inadequate treatment for patients with a greater risk of developing periodontal disease and led to undertreatment of patients with a lower risk of developing the disease.

Generalizing the treatment for periodontitis resulted in unjustifiable costs of treatment, a challenge experienced in different parts of the world. As scientists continue researching periodontitis and their risk factors, dentists will customize the treatment provided to patients with periodontitis or patients with a high risk of periodontitis. The adoption of precision medicine in dentistry and specifically in periodontology has developed beyond theory. Currently, precision dentistry is the new way for dentists to provide oral care in their day-to-day dental practices.

Periodontitis is a form of polymicrobial infection. The clinical variability or differences in periodontitis is due to variation in genetic factors. Genes have an impact on host-bacterial interactions within the periodontal tissues. Therefore, genetic differences play a significant role in the pathogenesis of periodontitis.

Dental Caries

Dental caries is one of the most prevalent public health issues across the world and it affects a significant percentage of adults and school-going children in the United States. Dental caries is the leading cause of tooth loss in the world. Persistent dental caries and periodontitis eventually result in tooth loss. Tooth loss could affect your quality of life in many ways. The presence of bacteria in biofilms is the leading cause of dental caries. These bacteria convert sugars into acids, leading to the dentin (tooth enamel).

Both host and environmental factors can influence dental caries. Environmental factors that could increase the risk of dental caries include the usage of fluoride and dietary habits. Host factors that could contribute to dental caries include enamel structure, salivary composition, immune responses, and taste preferences. Immune responses are genetically determined and often vary among people.

In some instances, the susceptibility to dental caries is genetically determined. Numerous loci and genomic factors could influence the formation of dental caries. These factors include mutations and gene defects. Early detection of specific genes is not just beneficial to the patient but also to the dentist. By understanding the genetic composition of their patients, dentists can provide better treatment.  Precision dentistry results in better diagnosis and prognosis of dental caries.

Treatment and Management of Oral Cancer

One of the typical malignant lesions of the head or neck is oral cancer. Several molecular inequities are responsible for the development of oral cancer. Medical experts still require to undertake intense research to understand the mechanisms involved in oral cancer development. Early detection of oral cancer enhances the survival rate of patients. Dentists can only detect oral cancer at an early stage through persistent and vigorous screening techniques. Biomarker-based methods make it easy to detect oral cancer early and prevent further progression. With precision dentistry, there is a notable improvement in treatment methods and an enhanced survival rate. 

Omic tools development is paving a way to novel paths in biomarker detections. The tools are epigenomics, genomics, proteomics, lipidomics, and metabolomics. Biomarker detection makes it easy to detect cancer of the mouth before it progresses. Medical experts are able to identify and study the behavior of oral cancer in selected patients making it easy to provide customised treatments and therapies to the patients. The presence of cancer-specific antigens prompts the body to produce specific antibodies. When doctors identify the presence of these antibodies, When medics identify the presence of these antibodies, they can easily arrest oral cancer at its early stages. 

After detection and establishment of oral cancer’s nature at an early stage, dentists can plan the right treatment technique to manage the illness. Dentists come up with different treatment methods to suit the unique needs of the patient. A treatment method that may suit one patient may not suit another because every patient has unique genes and unique response to treatment. Precision medicine discourages reliance on one treatment method for all patients. Instad, dentists determine the sensitivity of cancer cells in a patient’s body and design the right treatment technique. 

Incorporation of Precision Dentistry in Orthodontic Treatments

In the field of orthodontics, the prominence of genetics is evident. When dentists understand the genetics in orthodontics, they gain a better understanding of normal variations among individuals and this helps prevent malocclusion. The etiology of malocclusion is highly dependent on genetics and environmental factors.

Dentists have developed innovative and creative orthodontics mode by conducting research on genomics. Reliance on genomic evidence and personalized or customized orthodontics allow dentists to determine the likelihood of development of malocclusion in a person. Proactivity in dentists makes it easy to implement advanced treatment plans in a precise way.

Technological Advancement and Precision Dentistry

Advancement of technology in dentistry has increased treatment possibilities in dental health. Dentists easily focus on prevention and not just the repair or dental issues in a timely manner. The leading technology utilized in precision dentistry include:

Modern and Advanced Dental Chairs

Conventional dental chairs mainly depend on hydraulics. This is not the case with dental chairs used in precision dentistry. Smart dental chairs mainly rely on digital technology and generate an extensive range of dependable data. By using these chairs, a dentist is able to monitor the operation of the machines and equipment used.  These chairs allow dentists to monitor information such as the patient’s heart rate and the level of oxygen in the blood. 

Radio Frequency Identification

Medical settings like dentistry recently adopted radio frequency identification (RFID). Initially, the RFID technology was used to track items in retail shops. Attaching tags to dental instruments makes it possible to capture all the details in a dental clinic without interrupting dentists and patients’ interactions. With time, it will be possible to attach tags on wearable IDs.

Instant data collection technology makes it easy to monitor all dental clinic activities to improve the services provided to patients. Data collection tags can monitor how long patients take in the waiting room and the frequency of equipment sterilization. The objective of collecting information is to provide better services for patients. By collecting data, researchers can enhance improved health outcomes and bring innovations in the dental field.

Digital Dentistry Especially in Making Dental Restorations

Advancement of technology in dentistry has made it possible to have computer-aided design and manufacturing of dental restorations. This technology applies to the design and manufacturing of dental technology like bridges, crowns, and dentures. New technology has replaced the conventional methods of making dental impressions. Experts are no longer relying on casts and impressions that could be uncomfortable for patients. Advanced technology in making dental restorations include digital scanning of the mouth.

Use of Intelligent Machines

The use of intelligent machines in precision dentistry is enhancing data-driven dental care. Dentists consider numerous parameters when planning treatment for their patients. Research and pooling of information from patients greatly enhance precision medicine in dentistry. Technology and collection of data have great potential for improving dental care.

3D Dental Scanners

Advanced 3D scanners provide the best alternative to conventional dental impressions. Dentists can use a hand-held wand that allows them to scan the specific interest and generate a 3D model. Patients do not have to endure the unpleasant taste of the impression material. Patients do not have to bear with the excess salivation while the expression is taken.

3D scanning also helps reduce the anxiety that comes with gagging. Scans come in handy in many dentistry areas, including the fabrication of dental crowns, veneers, night guards, and other crucial dental appliances. The scanner goes to the extent of measuring the shade of a patient’s teeth to determine the perfect dental restoration.

When dentists create a digital impression, they transmit the impression to remote dental laboratories securely and electronically. With the electronic impressions, the dental laboratories come up with dental restorations with the right specifications. With enhanced accuracy and precision, patients spend less time in a dental clinic and enjoy a great dental app fit.

High-end Microscopes

Dentists enhance the precision of dental care by using high-end microscopes. Dentistry is a form of micro-surgery. Therefore, dental procedures’ success depends on how well a dentist can see the smallest details that are not easy to see without advanced equipment. By using a high power microscope, dentists can effectively perform root canal therapy and carry our tissue grafts. It’s hard for dentists to achieve a high level of dental care with the naked eye. A microscope helps direct a beam of light to an exact place and minimize the patient's glare.

The Future of Precision Dentistry

Excellent or enhanced dental care has two main components. These components are the dentist’s expertise and advanced technology. In the past decade, significant advancements have resulted from the advancement of dental technology. However, despite the development of precision dentistry, not all dental offices are equipped with the necessary dental equipment. Therefore, whenever you choose a dental clinic, you should ensure that you go for a clinic with the required technology to make an accurate diagnosis and offer precise treatments.

Precision dentistry involves using advanced technology like intraoral cameras, electric handpieces, high-powered microscopes, and other advanced dental technology. The use of advanced technology in dentistry has resulted in:

  • Preventive care
  • Greater precision
  • Gentler, comprehensive, and complete dental care

The more details a dentist has regarding a patient, the more advanced the dental care he or she can provide. When dentists are equipped with the right precision dentistry tools, they spot problems before they even begin. The advanced technology in advanced dentistry makes dentists able to capture all details in patients’ gums and teeth.

Advanced dental technology allows for greater precision while providing dental services. This level of precision may not be possible when using the naked eye. Precision dental technology provides dentists with information that would otherwise not be available when using the naked eye. By understanding all the information regarding a patient, dentists develop the best treatment plan for the patients.

With the right technology, dentists can provide complete, yet gentler care even when treating areas deep in the patients’ mouths. The right technology not only ensures that patients receive the best care but also provides patients with greater comfort while undergoing treatment. Advanced microscopes mean less glare and less discomfort for patients. In addition, advanced electric handpieces mean less noise and vibrations while providing treatment to patients. For patients who find it stressful to undergo dental treatment, precision dentistry makes the process much more comfortable.

Find a Northridge Dentist Near Me

Are you in need of precision dental services, Northridge Dentist is the place for you! We rely on the most advanced dental technology to ensure that we offer our patients the best dental services. We understand in providing personalized dental care instead of adopting the one-fits-all treatment approach. Contact us at 818-875-0216 and speak to one of our dentists.

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