Digitalization is rapidly changing dentistry. I believe these will be the key digital trends for 2023:
The adoption of intraoral scanners by dentists and labs, grew at an extremely fast pace last year. It will continue its climb in 2023. Intraoral scanner (IOS) penetration in the USA is now over 50% according to the ADA with mature global markets showing similar penetration.
In fact, with 3Shape’s TRIOS intraoral scanner, last year we saw the number of TRIOS cases grow by 66%. Every two seconds around the world a case is scanned with a TRIOS. In particular, we see a major pickup in IOS usage for full and partial denture workflows.
Future IOS usage will continue to go far beyond digital impressions just replacing analog impressions. IOSs are transforming the way we work.
Along with intraoral scanners, 3D printers are the hottest equipment in the digital category. The true game changer though, is 3D printing material. Every month, we see new and improved dental materials released.
In 2023, 100% 3D printed final dentures will become commonplace and most likely, disrupt the removable market. Also, 3D printed final crowns are beginning to pop up in early-adopter dental practices. Eventually, all indications will have the potential to be 3D printed – a core question is how many clinics will buy 3D printers and what will they choose to print?
In 2023, artificial intelligence will become a reality for most clinics and labs. AI innovation skyrocketed in 2022 and the trend is not slowing down.
Right now, everything from intraoral scanners to CAD design software
The digital wave is driving dentistry to become an ecosystem of interconnected software, devices, and sensors. Standalone systems may find themselves standing very alone by year’s end.
This paradigm (also called the Internet of Things, or IoT) is set to become the driver of the digital clinic. In 2023, a growing number of devices and software in the clinic will be interconnected with the Practice Management Software (PMS) serving as the host.
Digital twins – the virtual simulation of real-world objects or persons - will be another major tech trend in 2023. In dentistry, building a digital twin of a patient can mean combining the inputs from many different devices, sensors, and software.
This combined data will allow us to diagnose, plan and treat patients at a completely new level – particularly when adding in AI. I believe that we will use the digital twin for every treatment with the PMS serving as the link to all devices and software.