Nanotechnology and AI in Dentistry

I. Introduction 

Nanotechnology and AI are future advances in dentistry. Nanotechnology used in dentistry is known as Nanodentistry. In this article, we will learn about the role of Nanotechnology and AI in Dentistry.

II. Nanotechnology in Dentistry 

Nanorobots in dentistry
Image source: Creative commons

A. What are Nanobots and Nanoparticles? 

Nanobots are devices and machines that have limited movement. Nanoparticles are static proteins or substances that carry drugs or other compounds.

B. Dental Applications of Nanobots 

Drugs when administered in the body might show adverse effects. But use of nanorobots delivers the drug at the particular site and reduces its adverse effects such as not harming healthy cells.

Nanodiagnostic devices diagnose diseases earlier at cellular and molecular levels. These devices collect and analyse body fluids and tissue samples at cellular levels. These devices when inserted in the body also identify toxic tumour cells.

Some potential applications of Nanobots include administering local anaesthetics, providing permanent treatment for hypersensitivity, renaturalizes dentin, destroying bacteria causing dental caries with dentifrobots which are otherwise known as nanorobotic dentrifices.

C. Nanoparticles for Dentistry 

Nanoparticles can be used as bone replacement materials in the form of nanocrystals which have pores on their surfaces that adsorb proteins and are also used as hydroxyapatite nanoparticles. These nanoparticles on the implant surface promote the multiplication of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) thereby enhancing the adhesion of the implant with bone. 

In dental anaesthesia, the nanorobots present in the anaesthetic solution suspend in the gingiva and enter the pulp chamber by passing through the dentinal tubules from the gingival sulcus and anaesthetises the nerve supplying the tooth so, the patient will have painless treatment. 

Nanoparticles are used in filling materials in dentistry like composites, which makes the surface of filling smooth. Nanoparticles are also used in flowable composites that are used to bond the tooth with orthodontic brackets.

Toothpaste containing calcium carbonate nanoparticles promotes remineralisation of enamel. Nanotechnology in Digital imaging provides high-quality images.

Nanoparticles in disinfectants show 100 % effectiveness in destroying germs and HIV. 

D. Nanodentistry Treatment 

Using Nanotechnology in Dentistry is Nanodentistry. It manages the following dental conditions:

  • 20% Nanohydroxyapatite dental cream is used to treat dental hypersensitivity.
  • A clinical trial shows that following exposure to soft drinks, 10% nano hydroxyapatite solution increases microhardness of enamel thereby promotes remineralization of enamel.
  • 5% nanosilver fluoride has shown to prevent the progression of dental caries especially in molars without causing staining of the tooth by fluoride.
  • Nano sodium fluoride prevents formation of dental biofilm as it shows bactericidal effect. 
  • Infrabony periodontal pockets are treated with Nanogen and BoneGen TR.
  • Nanosurface treated implants has shown no mobility with bone loss at the site of implant.
  • Prevents dental caries, hypersensitivity and enamel erosion with combinations of SnF2 (Stannous fluoride)and calcium phosphate.

III. AI in Dentistry 

AI used for scanning and 3D printing of dentition in dentistry.
Image source: Creative commons

A. What is AI-powered Dental Diagnosis? 

AI has a major role in diagnosis and treatment planning in dentistry. It diagnoses dental caries, periodontal diseases, tooth fractures and sinusitis. Taking digital radiographs to diagnose a condition takes time. Using AI in digital scanning reduces time consumption, also use of AI for making data entry of clinical documents reduces the workload of dentists in maintaining patient reports.

B. Benefits of AI in Dentistry 

AI has more benefits as it reduces time consumption in record taking, diagnosis and treatment time, and in maintaining and accessing patient records easily.

C. The Future of Dentistry with AI 

The future of dentistry depends on two basic technologies. 

  1. Artificial Intelligence
  2. Intelligence Augmentation

Artificial intelligence focuses on independent technology while Intelligence augmentation focuses on humans to meet their needs with machines.

A major step of AI in dentistry is Robots. Robots replace routine jobs like performing scans and 3D printing of crowns. In the future, there is also a possibility to perform medical procedures remotely.

Artificial intelligence also has its drawbacks such as cybersecurity risks and increased costs of AI in healthcare.

D. Examples of AI applications in Dentistry

AI-powered dental implants are implant robots, use of implant robots has its risk as they may cause injury to the maxillary sinus while operating in the upper jaw and the inferior alveolar canal and lingual plate while operating in the lower jaw.

Computer-aided dental restorations include fabricating crowns for teeth. The most commonly used crowns are metal crowns and porcelain fused crowns (PFM).

Machine learning in dentistry supports decision-making. Studies show that machine learning helps to recollect patient records in clinics 15% better than doing it manually, it also helps to improve the outcome of orthodontic treatment with its algorithms. 

IV. Conclusion 

Nanotechnology and AI have their advantages and disadvantages. But, recent research proves its needs and advancement in the healthcare industry.

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