Truly, the wave of the future in dentistry is DIGITAL, and not just in computers in the rooms. Digital dentistry is expanding into every aspect of modern dental care, and I love being part of it! Here’s just one example from this week:
Digital Dental Impressions – NO GOO and Much Faster
When you need crowns in our Charlotte dental office, most of the time we make them right here during your appointment with the CEREC CAD/CAM system. However, there are times that we still need to use a lab, and one of the main reasons for this is when we need the strongest possible materials, such as zirconia. Zirconia is a ceramic material with unbelievable strength and hardness, even when pretty thin (we’re talking 1 millimeter thin).
Digital Doctor-to-Lab Communication
Recently, a long time patient came in with 3 broken porcelain crowns. Actually, 2 were broken, and 1 had a cavity under it. We did a complete Smile Makeover for Richard a little over 10 years ago (as of today Dec. 5th 2013), but for a long time, he refused to believe that he grinds his teeth at night, so he wouldn’t get a nightguard, despite all my recommendations. Well, after he’d broken more than a few porcelain crowns, he finally did get a nightguard, but the stress on the crowns before means that more will break down the road.
We’ve been slowly replacing Richard’s older Empress porcelain crowns with Zirconia crowns, because we want the absolutely strongest material available, so hopefully this will be the last time these crowns need replacing. To do so, instead of of using the messy impression material in trays, we use CEREC Connect, which is the digital doctor-to-lab communication portal that allows me to send digital scans of your teeth to the lab in mere minutes, rather than having the lab pick them up, or having to ship them with FedEx.
The Benefits of Digital Impressions
- Incredibly precise and accurate
- Because they’re digital, there is zero chance of distortion or any changes that can happen to regular impressions during shipping
- The scans are received by our lab before the patient is even out of the chair
- Digital scans require zero time for the lab to make stone models, make duplicates, worry about one breaking or finding a little distortion that we couldn’t see in a regular impression, so they can start work on the crowns much faster
- Turnaround time can be as little as 1-2 days, so even though it’s not a single visit, it’s still much faster than a regular impression.