Author: Kata Nagypal
Something about me…
I would like to introduce myself. My name is Kata Nagypál and I am studying medical dentistry in the University of Szeged in Hungary. I always wanted to learn this profession. I started university only last year, but I saw and have heard many things about the dentistry’s developing. It is always a big question what will happen in the next century? Thinking about it is always the part of my thoughts.
In the interest of showing my ideas, I will demonstrate a little piece of them.
As science is developing fast, lots of new technologies occur in every area. In the past 100 years, medicine, dentistry and the pharmaceutical science had many changes. Digital therapeutics, precision medicine, 3D printing, immunotherapy, cell and gene therapies and artificial intelligence have arrived or are on their way. The molecular biology is one of the most popular sciences today! Therefore, I will describe a couple of their usage in the medical dentistry system.
Everyone wants a healthy and an aesthetic smile, as well as it is a requirement today that we have an attractive plus almost perfect oral look. The question is how we can adjust it without any dental device? Gene therapies offer more and more possibility to make things better. In the last century there were numerous successful treatments with stem cells, genes, nanobots etc. Why is it not possible to make gene therapy in the dentistry? When I say that I do not mean only adults, but rather the infants. If we take a sample from the genes that express the teeth’s attributions from the infant, then we can predict the dental arch’s form and situation. I think that it is very important, because if we know the method of the eruption of the teeth, we will previse the potential diseases. In that case if you are aware of your dental processes, you can continue a quality life. You have an opportunity to create a healthy diet and healthy living that avoids also the dental diseases, besides you can maintain your overall health. Another question is: what will dentists do if people do not have pains in their teeth and have a wonderful white smile thanks to the gene technology? The answer is that this therapy is not a technique which makes your mouth’s look, hygiene and status perfect. It is a technology that helps you to steer clear of bad things. If you want an excessively shining smile, you still have to go to your dentist, but it is not the healthiest for you, because these materials mill your teeth’s external part.
The fetal’s dental gene therapy can be varied. Scientists have to know which genes influence which dental progress. Firstly, the specialists have to take a sample from the genom and examine it with advanced technologies in the laboratory. After that they make conclusions and statistics of the process and visualize it on 3D or 4D display. It is wonderful that experts can prepare the human’s denture before the human grows up. Naturally, while we can predict considerable progresses, there are many things that are affected by the environment during the dental evolution in human’s life. The process is a little bit similar to stem cell therapy, doctors can also take them from the umbilical cord blood after birth and freeze them for many years. I believe treatments that are connected to the fetal ages are extremely important, especially because if we detect any alteration or mutation, then we can set up an early diagnosis, and stop it in time. There are many diseases that affect the dental area like amelogenesis imperfecta and other which are coded in the human genom. So, my opinion is that dental control from the fetal ages is almost as remarkable as the stem cell therapy.
It is true that dentistry goes ahead highly fast, but it is also a fact that this theory is still in its infancy. It is going to improve in the next decades, but by 2100 it will be a basic method. Thus, I want to show you an innovation in 2100 based on the previous concepts. Yesterday a baby was born and doctors took a sample from its genes, which defined its teeth’s nature, after they took stem cells from the umbilical blood. Later, the microbiologists studied its cell genom and wrote down the possible methods of its denture. After that, they fixed the information to its electronic health card. The card contains the accurate term of the milk teeth, wisdom tooth eruption and also in which periods the patient can expect root or tooth rotation that have to deal with (protetic devices). When the baby grows up and visits the dentist, the doctor will search the data. Thanks to the gene technology the patient gives an information about how their denture will look like for example in 20 years' time. The therapy contributes to make a diagnosis more easily and detect what is really happening, based on the nucleotid sequence of the child’s genes. By then specialists will know which markings of the genom affect the tendency of caries, tooth deformations due to the unhealthy living. In addition to this, doctors can realize if the person tends to develop cancer which can evolve in the dental area. The prevention of cancer is very essential today, because unfortunately it is one of the main causes of death cases and many kinds of cancers appear in the oral space. The biggest disadvantage of the above mentioned fact is that today such a recognition is very expensive. However, in 80 years, it will not mean a financial problem.
In the next century, I can imagine a special camera which examines the patient so fast that it sets up a diagnosis in seconds. Of course, this camera will have a minimal radiation or none at all. That tool will cooperate with dentists and other doctors. It will notice lesions that are not perceived by doctors. In many cases it is beneficial when the patient has a serious disease. If such cameras appear, the specialists will get to the background, because they will have less and less work. It really appears to be advantageous, but, like everything, it also has a dark side. The doctors' work becomes negligible owing to the cameras, gene therapy and robots.
By 2100, dentistry will be flourishing much more than today. At that time robots will be the potential examiners at dental clinics and they will prepare many things. On the one hand, they will make doctors' work much easier, but on the other hand, they may substitute doctors which sounds strange. Then, will we not need doctors? Will we need only robots? That is the secret of 2100.
The list of sources:
Life: The Science of Biology, 10th Edition by David E. Sadava, David M. Hillis, H. Craig Heller and May Berenbaum
Woelfel’s Dental Anatomy eight edition by Rickne C. Scheid and Gabriella Weiss