One of the things I remember vividly from my childhood is every once in a while, my Mom would need a crown. She would bite on a popcorn kernel or some other hard thing and break her tooth. She would go see the dentist and he would do a crown or “cap” on her tooth. This was a big deal for her and entailed several appointments.
As a general dentist, this is something I now see just about every day. It is very common for a tooth which has had a large filling, especially an old filling, to break. Many times a crown is the best option to be able to save the tooth. Patients generally do not like this procedure because it is both expensive and time consuming.
Now I have something that can help with at least one of those complaints! My new equipment can take a digital scan of the tooth, then mill an all ceramic crown which can be cemented at the same appointment. This eliminates the return trip to fit and cement the crown. Patients ask me all the time if there is an easier way to do a crown. Well, this is the answer.
Technology has come a long way in the last few years. Remember when we used to listen to cassette tapes and think we were cool? Dentistry has come a long way too. I have never been the kind of person to jump on the bandwagon and try a new procedure before is it tried and true. On the same hand, I don’t want to be a straggler to adopt a great technology the benefits my patients and has great results.
The CAD-CAM technology is great for making all ceramic and resin restorations. We can even mill a “filling” out of a block of resin and cement it on to your tooth. Unfortunately there are still some things it won’t do. Any crown or bridge with metal in it still is made using casting. And of course, our dental lab technician is still a very valuable part of the team to make sure that you have the best type ofdental work for your situation.
Maybe your dentist already has this equipment. There are 24 dentisst in the Buffalo area that use the CEREC like I just got. Ask if it is right for you!
Deborah Petronio, D.D.S.