I sure wish I had the HD video hookup for my dental microscope already, but since I don’t yet, I’ll keep showing you stuff with my Canon cameras. 🙂
One of the most incredible benefits of the microscope is the ability to work on levels of detail that aren’t even imaginable without one. And that means that I can do VERY VERY VERY VERY SMALL, CONSERVATIVE fillings. I use teensy little burs to remove the absolute minimum amount of tooth structure, not really big ones that dig out way more than necessary. I just wanted to show you an example of how this looks using a patient from this morning; the benefits of this are pretty obvious:
Interestingly, this porcelain crown was done on the same patient as the last gold onlay that I posted. So why a porcelain crown on this tooth instead of gold? Simple — this one is more visible in his smile, and he wasn’t interested in having “bling” in his smile. LOL Given that strength and durability of his porcelain crown is also very important, as is obvious by his choice of gold for his second molar on the other side, we did use what is currently the strongest porcelain crown available today, whether made by a lab or with our CEREC, and it is called Emax. This ceramic is incredibly strong, far superior to the old Porcelain-Fused-to-Gold (PFM) crowns that have been used for decades. And, of course, we did it in a single appointment.
Just to review the advantages of CEREC 3D CAD/CAM Porcelain Crowns, and why we’re proud to offer them at our Southpark Charlotte NC dental office:
- Just 1 Appointment
- No temporary (provisional) crown
- No worries about the temporary crown falling off
- Incredibly strong
- Very natural-looking and blend in beautifully
- LESS sensitivity afterward because the tooth is immediately bonded and sealed
If you need a crown and are looking for the convenience and excellent result we can provide with our CEREC 1-visit crowns, call us or visit our website:
This is a question I’m frequently asked, especially when a patient is considering a significant investment of time and money into some form of cosmetic dentistry, such as:
- Porcelain veneers
- Bonding (tooth-colored fillings)
- Porcelain crowns and bridges
- Teeth whitening
- Even Six-Month Braces
It’s a very understandable question, and the simple answer to the question, “How long will my dental work last, Dr. Payet?” is “It depends.”
Just like a car, your teeth and gums require regular care to ensure that they are working properly. Sure, you can go 10-20,000 miles between oil changes given how improved cars are nowadays, but do you really want to take the risk? Same thing with teeth……….some people go for 5-10 years with no dental check-ups and are fortunate when they come in to find no problems, such as cavities or gum disease. But it’s not many people that are so lucky!
I always remember a quote from some lecturer at a dental conference years ago telling us his response whenever a patient asks the question, and it’s really the most honest, best answer that can be given, “Clearly the teeth that God gave you haven’t lasted your entire life, and since I can assure you that my work is not nearly as good as God’s, unless you die first, the work I do (no matter how excellent) will not last forever either.”
So what can cause your dental work to fail?
- Grinding your teeth — when the human jaw clenches, it can create an amazing amount of force, and over time, enough clenching will cause teeth to crack and break.
- Acidity — anything that increases the acidity in your mouth is good for the bacteria that cause cavities in particular, including Acid Reflux, Sodas, Power drinks (Monster, Red Bull, etc), Sports drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, etc).
- A very sugary diet — the bacteria that cause cavities love sugar. High sugar content means the bacteria feed like crazy, produce acid, and the acid is what eats away the teeth to cause cavities.
- A compromised immune system — your saliva contains important antibodies that help keep the cavity-causing bacteria under control. If your immune system is knocked back due to a disease or some medication, those antibodies will be decreased, allowing the bacteria to grow uncontrolled.
- Decreased saliva (dry-mouth syndrome) — again, due to medications or illness, the amount of saliva may be decreased. With less saliva, there is less “washing” action of the teeth.
- Trauma — obviously. LOL One of my patients a few years ago fainted and fell face-first into a brick wall, shattering a front tooth. Another ran into a pole, shattering another front tooth. Clearly, if you are injured in such a way that your natural teeth would break, any dental work will break, too.
- Bad habits like chewing hard candy or ice regularly — hard candy and ice are just that — HARD! Ice, in particular, is easily as hard as your enamel and as porcelain or bonding. So if you bite down on ice frequently enough and/or hard enough, you can break your teeth and dental work.
That covers most of the major causes of dental work failing. With regular care, use of appropriate mouthrinses and toothpastes, proper brushing and flossing, regularly scheduled check-ups and dental x-rays, using a nightguard, and being aware of diet, etc, your dental work can and should last a very long time.
But always remember — my dental work isn’t as good as the natural teeth God gave you, so my work probably won’t last forever either. 😉
ALIGN Technology, the company that makes Invisalign orthodontic aligners, has not yet made any indication that they will be reversing their decision on June 1st to require dentists and orthodontists to do a minimum of 10 cases each year and complete 10 hours of their Continuing Education courses each year. The backlash among dentists and orthodontists, however, continues to get stronger, as this is a fairly blatant move by a for-profit corporation to intrude on a doctor’s autonomy and decision-making rights as to which cases are appropriate for Invisalign and which are not. Several professional organizations, including the Academy of General Dentistry and the New York State Dental Association, are already responding with letters to ALIGN Technology’s Board of Directors and President, stating that there is simply no evidence that the so-called “proficiency requirements” have any basis in science, and unless they can come up with something to substantiate the claims the company is making, they should immediately withdraw the requirements. If ALIGN Technology continues on this course, patients should fully expect to see an enormous drop in the availability of Invisalign as more and more dentists and orthodontists simply drop their service.
The good news is that there are alternatives to Invisalign, and they work as well or better, AND they’re even less expensive! For some info and examples, check out our Six-Month Smiles in Charlotte! Then you can Request a Complimentary Consultation to see how fast you can feel good about your smile again with straight, white teeth! And if you’re concerned about cost, if you sign up for our Dental Discount Plan or choose Interest-Free Payment Plans with Care Credit, you can save some real money, too.
Baby Boomers – get your teeth fixed before you retire when you still have dental insurance and flex plans to help pay
Old silver fillings with cavities and cracks that could turn into root canals and crowns or extractions
The teeth around the old silver fillings may have cracks that could lead to broken teeth
Gum (periodontal) disease
Ugly old crowns that could be replaced for a nicer smile in the golden years
Replacing missing teeth with dental bridges or implants so you can eat the foods you want
Etc etc etc……
This gentleman hadn’t been to the dentist in a number of years but knew that he was approaching retirement, so he wanted to come in, get a cleaning, and find out if he needed to take care of anything while he still had dental insurance. Turns out that many of his 30+ year old silver fillings were in really bad condition, with pieces chipping off, cavities forming around the edges, teeth cracking, and gum disease to boot.
While the total treatment that he needed involved some gum surgery (not needed for everyone, obviously), the primary issue that we addressed was to clean out the old fillings and cavities, then rebuild the teeth with all-porcelain crowns on several teeth, 1 tooth got a tooth-colored filling, and 1 tooth got a gold 3/4 crown (most of the tooth, but not the whole tooth is covered by the crown).
He can now rest assured that all of the problems with these teeth are fixed, and it’s likely he will not need any of them ever worked on again as long as he takes good care of them.
I thought I’d just mention this again, as we’ve had increasing interest in our Smiles by Payet Dentistry Dental Discount Plan; as far as I know, it’s the only Dental Discount Plan in Charlotte, NC that’s offered. Patients are finding some real savings with it. We are only offering this for patients with NO Dental Insurance; alternately, if you have an HMO or DMO plan and don’t want to see the dentist your network says you have to see, this option would work for you, too!
We’re often asked what is the “BEST” way to make a person’s smile the way they’ve always wished; should they do orthodontics (braces), should they have a “gum lift” (esthetic crown-lengthening), should they choose veneers? Of course the answer is, “It depends.” Each has advantages, each has disadvantages, so you must personally weigh each option very carefully to make the most informed decision for yourself. The option that many choose for correcting crooked teeth, though, is that of Porcelain Veneers.
Veneers, also known as Laminate Veneers, are very thin porcelain shells, individually hand-crafted by a skilled laboratory technician, that are bonded onto the teeth. There must be clear and excellent communication between the patient, the dentist, and the laboratory, for veneers can truly be customized to create the look that you want: Shape/Contour, Translucency, Color, Brightness…..
Veneers single biggest advantage over Braces is the speed with which a smile makeover can be completed. Unless there are complicating factors (and there often are, so it’s wise to be prepared), a Smile Makeover can be completed with veneers in only 3-4 weeks. Of course, the disadvantages are that some healthy tooth structure must be removed so the teeth don’t look like horses’ teeth, and the fee is usually significantly higher.
To demonstrate the remarkable difference that can be achieved with Porcelain Veneers to correct crowded teeth, here’s Linda:
Linda’s veneers (10 on the top, 10 on the lower teeth) were completed 6 years ago and are still providing Linda the smile she’d wanted since she was a child but never had.
Coming very soon: Short-Term Adult Orthodontics, or “Get your crowded front teeth straightened in just 6 months, not 2-3 years, with braces!”