Traditional dentistry includes familiar equipment and methods, like x-ray film and the use of dental impressions and molds to produce a dental restoration, such as a crown. However, these approaches are time-consuming and often are not individualized for the unique needs of each patient. Advancements in digital dentistry – such as state-of-the-art imaging, computer-aided design and manufacturing, and 3D printing techniques – have enhanced the speed and safety of visualizing dental disease, transformed the production of dental devices, and improved the quality and success of dental treatments.
Despite these successes, there are still significant opportunities to innovate and optimize digital dentistry tools and technologies. The objective of this initiative is to advance digital dentistry research to enable safer and more effective personalized oral health care. Potential research areas include development and integration of advanced digital imaging tools, software technologies, surgical planning strategies, manufacturing approaches, and clinical decision-making tools. Accelerating advancement of digital dentistry could substantially upgrade individual oral health and improve health outcomes by catalyzing the development of new approaches to monitor, diagnose and treat oral diseases.