Accelerating the Advancement of Digital Dentistry

Comments from the American Association for Dental Research

On behalf of the 3,400 individual and 103 institutional members of the

American Association for Dental Research (AADR), we fully support

NIDCR’s proposed initiative, “Accelerating the Advancement of Digital

Dentistry” and are pleased to submit the following comments. Digital

imaging for diagnostic use, such as advanced imaging techniques to

monitor for caries, tooth cracks, oral lesions, pocket depths,

attachment loss, occlusion, wear, biting forces, plaque indices,

salivary analyses, erosion, etc., is expected to be integral to dental

practice in the future. This is especially true with paradigm shifts

supporting more personalized care. One can imagine these tools, in

conjunction with the use of specific biosensors, being integrated within

electronic records, taking into account information from existing

records, such as historical data on previous and current conditions,

leading to enhanced treatment planning and improved management of

numerous oral and perhaps systemic diseases. In addition, NIDCR could

look at ways to use this newly captured information from the population

as a whole for epidemiological and predictive purposes. It is

unimaginable that there will be a future in digital dentistry without 3D

printing of restorative dental materials. This is still very much in its

infancy, but there should be some emphasis on: 1) integrating 3D

printing technologies with existing imaging tools, especially with

respect to low cost desktop 3D printing machines that are very much a

reality already, but do not really communicate with existing digital

imaging tools available clinically; 2) developing, understanding and

optimizing materials that have been used in dentistry for many years in

a way that they can be printed and used chair-side; and 3) printing of

multi-material parts that integrate polymers/metals/ceramics . Lastly,

in situ sensing technologies to analyze key aspects of the microbiome

will provide options for personalized care related to oral diseases of a

microbial origin.

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Comment No. 342