Why 1 DSO exec expects a 'quantum leap forward' in dentistry

The dental industry has an optimistic future thanks to advances in technology, according to Barry Lyon, DDS.

Dr. Lyon is a chief dental officer for the division of orthodontics and pediatric dentistry at Sarasota, Fla.-based DSO Dental Care Alliance. He recently spoke with Becker's about the future of dentistry and how treatment will be improved for patients. 

Editor's note: This Q&A is part of a weekly series featuring Dr. Lyon focused on topics in the dental industry and DSO field. This response was lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: Is the future of dentistry bright or dark?

Dr. Barry Lyon: While there will always be naysayers, I believe the future of dentistry is exceptionally bright. We’re looking at incredible advances in technology and more advanced and highly sophisticated treatment modalities.

With the advent of artificial intelligence, computer-assisted design, improvements in 3D imaging, teledentistry and digital scanning, patients will experience more comfortable, more effective and more individualized care. Dental treatment from 10 or 15 years ago will seem more like 50 years ago.

Patients can expect advances in dental care that were unimaginable in the past. Regenerative dentistry and the ability to regrow tooth structure is on the horizon. Utilization of inflammatory markers and biomarkers will allow dentists to be a step ahead of the oral disease process. Gene editing technologies will allow the modification of the genetic code that can reduce the susceptibility to caries, periodontal disease and oral cancers.

Clearly, the image of dentists as molar mechanics is a thing of the past. Instead, we’re looking at a quantum leap forward for the profession and for the dental care of patients.

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