As computer technology becomes ever more pervasive in our lives, we constantly encounter new, smart versions of technologies that used to be just fine as dumb appliances. Watches, coffeemakers, juice machines, and even jean jackets are all being turned into smart devices. These devices have the ability to transform our lives, making it possible to live and work in ways that would have been unimaginable for our parents.
It’s probably only a matter of time before someone decides that “smart” dentures need to be available. But what would these dentures actually do for their wearers? Potentially quite a lot, and it has the potential to really enrich the denture experience, although it could also result in some serious unintended consequences.
No Lost Dentures
The first technology that would be applied to smart dentures is a simple locator. In fact, this technology is already in development. Since lost dentures are one of people’s main issues when dealing with removable dentures, this has the potential to be very helpful to people on a day-to-day basis.
Future versions could even be set up so that they’d detect if you walked too far away after taking them out in a restaurant or bathroom so you didn’t accidentally leave them behind.
Another major issue people struggle with is being able to eat all the foods they want with dentures. Partly, this is because of the inherent limitations of dentures, which rest on the gums, but it’s also because people have to learn to chew differently with dentures. In the future, dentures will be able to use a combination of motion and pressure sensors to train you into maximizing your bite force and chewing effectiveness–without dislodging dentures.
The technologies for this are already being used to diagnose and treat TMJ. It wouldn’t be too hard to build these into dentures.
Once dentures are detecting motion and pressure, they can start being used to watch for changes in their fit. As long as dentures are properly fitted, they should show the same kinds of motion. But once fit changes, dentures will experience more slipping and sliding, fulcruming, reduced bite force, and other bite problems that can be easily programmed into the dentures. When the dentures detect these problems, they can send an alert that you need to have your dentures refitted.
There may even be a form of dynamic fit system that would adapt to your gums on the basis of how you were chewing.
Watching What You Eat
Nutrition is an ongoing concern for people wearing dentures. In the future, dentures themselves could be used to make sure wearers are getting enough nutrition. Dentures could easily detect how regularly a person is eating and their quantities just by monitoring chewing. A linked app could be used to record what was being eaten.
A more sophisticated technology could even be made to monitor the food directly. Dentures are perfectly positioned to “taste” your food and rate its nutritiousness. Then your dentures could let you know what’s missing in your diet.
Bad Breath Warning
A simpler sense of taste could be used to warn you if your dentures had picked up an odor. Because bad breath compounds are easy to detect, there’re already bad breath sensors out there, and it’d be easy to incorporate these into dentures.
When you got the warning from your denture, you’d know it was time for a denture cleaning. That way you could keep your dentures beautiful, avoid bad breath, and maintain your oral health.
Universal Control at the Tip of Your Tongue
But dentures don’t have to be limited to functions that they have traditionally fulfilled. Instead, dentures could actually become your new command console.
Dentures could be made to detect tongue movements. Once they did, dentures could be used just like a touch screen to control any device you wanted. At first, there’d be some problems with it sensing random movements, but over time the configuration could be worked out to make it the easiest, most intuitive control you’ve ever used.
Proprietary Bite Back
However, we’ve already learned that many of these connected devices come with unexpected drawbacks. One of the biggest is the use of proprietary products to gouge users. For example, smart coffeemakers are often made to only work with special refills that are sold by the device manufacturer–for an inflated price. Imagine if your dentures were made so they would only let you chew certain foods?
Another big problem with smart technologies is that they invade our privacy. A smart denture could potentially be one of the most invasive technologies ever–telling a company about everything you did all day and even sensing parameters about your body.
Be Smart about Your Dentures
We may not have smart dentures now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be smart about your dentures. Economy dentures come with many unexpected costs, but quality dentures turn out to be a great value over the long run.
If you are looking for the smartest choice in dentures today, consider FOY® Dentures in Columbia, SC. Please call (803) 781-9090 today for an appointment with a denture dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.