digital dentistry imaging
Dental Health
Oral Health

Digital Dentistry Is Revolutionizing the Patient Experience

Dentistry is undergoing a revolution as “digital dentistry” moves from concept to reality.

Digital dentistry allows for a wide variety of advanced techniques to be used to not only make the patient experience better, but it also allows the dentist to utilize quicker, easier and less expensive techniques. Dental dentistry advancements will continue to revolutionize many different aspects of the dental profession.


Digital dentistry incorporates computer-controlled components to carry out dental procedures rather than using mechanical or tools, or plaster tooth models. More dentists are embracing the technology because it improves efficiency, accuracy and potentially produces more predictable outcomes than non-digital techniques.electrical

Not all dentists are embracing the technology due to the significant investment required, a steep learning curve for both doctors and technicians, and a natural resistance to change, especially for those nearing retirement.

The benefits, however, are worth it, says Dr. Depew. He says the following areas are where digital dentistry is making a difference:

  • Computerized patient rooms.

    The first area that most dentists start with in digital dentistry is putting computers into each patient room. This allows for a variety of state-of-the-art techniques as well as enhanced patient education.

  • Digital patient education.

    This includes technologies already available in other industries, such as voice-activated and/or touch-screen computer and software instruction, live video and rapid recall of photos and educational components.

  • Digital Radiography.

    X-rays no longer require film or chemicals. “The main advantages include lower radiation, significant time reduction, ease of storage and organization, and image enhancements for quick and improved viewing.

  • Cone Beam CT.

    This is being quickly adopted by most specialties and becoming the proposed standard for diagnosing of a myriad of conditions; and for planning surgical procedures, including implant placement, third-molar removal, and endodontics. “Future advances and changes will see improved software diagnostic capabilities to automatically take measurements and propose implant positions, and algorithms that automatically look for problems.

    digital dentistry teeth

  • Intra-oral Scanning.  

    Instead of the gooey impressions, the dentist puts a wand in your mouth that makes a three-dimensional reproduction of your teeth. “Scanning teeth and preparations is becoming increasingly easier and faster.

  • Digital Design.

    Using special CAD/CAM software the doctor and laboratory use the data from the methods mentioned above to design aligners for tooth movement, crowns, and other oral appliances.

  • 3D Printers.

    Designing software, tooth models and even appliances can be printed instead of using outdated plaster models.

  • Lasers.

    Diode lasers allow for advantages in simplifying surgical procedures, and an expanding use in many dental procedures make this area of digital dentistry highly desirable. The current trend is small, portable, cordless, low-cost diode lasers.

Combining these technologies, our treatments can be faster, more economical, predictable, consistent, and even more accurate. I believe digital dentistry is already changing the dental profession and that it will lead to even more remarkable technological advances in the future.

Dr. Doug Depew ( has maintained a thriving orthodontic practice in Kennesaw, Georgia since 1990. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia and received his dental degree from the Medical College of Georgia where he graduated at the top of his class. His certificate in orthodontics and his master’s degree was earned from Baylor College of Dentistry at Baylor University. Dr. Depew is also the founder and Academic Director of Trapezio, which provides formal training for orthodontic staff members. This innovative program is endorsed by the American Association of Orthodontists and is recognized internationally as the standard for training and certification of orthodontic staff members. He is an active member in of the American Association of Orthodontists, the Southern Association of Orthodontists, and the Georgia Association of Orthodontists, the American Lingual Orthodontic Association, the Spear Dental Study Club, and the Elite Lingual Orthodontic Society.  Dr. Depew and his wife, Vicki, have three children and four grandchildren.

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