Predictions for 2016: What’s Next for Oral Care?
We pay a lot of attention to the oral care industry here at Boka. And because we want to offer the best in home oral care, we’re digging deep to learn what’s next. We talked to our own experts, Boka Co-Founder and American Dental Accessories President James Hagen, and Chicago-based endodontist Dr. Vladana Babcic, DMD, to get some predictions for what 2016 holds for the oral care industry.
Here are their thoughts:
- More multidisciplinary care
The days of simply seeing a general practice dentist are fading away. Our experts say the best treatment will come from more collaborative efforts, a trend that’s already starting to take hold.
“Now, when a treatment plan is done for a patient, it really involves a lot of specialists—not just your general dentists,” Vladana says.
Plus, with growing evidence of links between the mouth and overall systemic health, physicians and dentists will likely work together more than ever before. “Treating and preventing disease will be better facilitated through health practitioners working together,” James says.
- Pushes to minimize invasive dentistry
A world in which cavities don’t need fillings could soon be real. Our experts predict an industry shift where more emphasis is placed on preventive care with fewer invasive procedures, including cavities.
“Before drilling teeth, particularly micro-cavities, (i.e. a cavity at its earliest stage, also called a surface cavity), there will be a greater emphasis to take preventive steps to remineralize the teeth by keeping one’s mouth less acidic before deciding to drill and fill,” James says.
This sentiment extends past just fillings—it’s an overall change in dental philosophy. It means that when something abnormal is detected in the mouth, dentists will aim for a less invasive treatment option earlier in the process instead of waiting until it gets worse. For patients, this will make for more positive experiences at the dentist.
- Patients taking ownership of their mouths
Many dentists agree that home care is the most important part of maintaining good oral hygiene. However, misleading information is pervasive in consumer dental products. People are starting to wonder why their toothpaste foams and their mouthwash burns. The chemicals that offer those effects may make our mouths feel cleaner, but they’re not necessary.
But as people learn more, they can start taking control of their oral-care routines. This is especially important as we gain a broader understanding of the oral-systemic link, or how the health of a person’s mouth connects to that of their entire body. Healthier mouths have so far been linked to lower rates of heart disease and stroke, among other things. These findings have piqued interest and passion in oral health, and it seems like their implications could be great for everyone.
Dentists have had to work hard to battle myths, but next year that could start changing. “In 2016, consumers will become better informed and active in preventive health,” James says.
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