Four Dental Technology Trends to Look for in 2014

You might think your dentist is boring and old fashioned, but general dentists and dental specialists get to deploy some of the coolest, most cutting-edge technology in their offices every day. And, as the industry diversifies and the price of equipment drops, more dentists can utilize lasers, 3D imaging, and digital technology to provide better, faster, more convenient patient care.

1. Cone Beam 3D CAT Scan

Although cone beam technology has been around since 1996, it has only recently become a widely used tool of the trade in dentistry. This system takes x-ray images from multiple angles to create a detailed 3D image of the hard interior structures of a patient’s mouth, jaw, and throat. Used primarily in the planning phase of dental implant placement, cone beam scans can also serve a vital function in the endodontist’s and orthodontist’s office.


Computer-assisted design and manufacturing software (CAD/CAM for short) offers dentists a dynamic tool for designing crowns, inlays, onlays, bridges, veneers, and even dental implant restorations in the office. With CEREC, the design becomes a reality in the milling machine. Tiny jets of laser-energized water cut the crowns and other restorations from blocks of solid dental ceramic. Within the course of single appointment, dentists can design, mill, and place a patient’s restoration without the need for repeat visits or waiting for an offsite lab.

3. Laser Dentistry

Soft-and-hard tissue lasers have come into their own over the past few years and, as the cost of equipment goes down, more dentists are able to incorporate this technology into the office. Dental lasers have applications across general dentistry and specialized practices, including hard tissue procedures like cavity preparation and soft tissue procedures like gum recontouring, eliminating canker and cold sores, and performing biopsies.

4. Online Patient Resources

Dental offices have been going digital at breakneck speed for the past decade, in response to increased business stemming from online searches. More practices are incorporating secure electronic claims submissions, patient forms, and online payment portals into their websites. Patients appreciate the convenience and dentists are able to spend fewer resources and man hours on paper claims, forms, and billing.

About Shawn Hofkes, DDS

With advanced training in oral and maxillofacial surgery and certification in sedation dentistry, Shawn Hofkes, DDS is qualified to perform wisdom tooth extractions, dental implant placement, and gum surgery from our comfortable, state-of-the-art dentist office featuring cone beam technology in Cerritos, CA. To schedule your appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and all surrounding communities.