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:
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!
OK, I know that most people don’t think that going to the dentist is fun, but it sure can be a lot more interesting than it used to be for sure. The advent of digital dentistry, particularly CAD/CAM dentistry that allows us to make all-porcelain crowns in just 1 visit, is just pretty darn cool, and that’s even according to my patients who’ve benefited from it. We brought the CEREC 3D system into our office at the end of December 2007, and in that time we’re approaching our 200th CEREC crown. In the beginning, I didn’t take many pictures because I was really concentrating on learning how to make the crowns beautiful, fit well, and happen smoothly and quickly. Now that we’ve become more comfortable with the technology, I’m taking the time to really take quality photos to show off just what we can do, and yesterday just was the perfect opportunity.
This gentleman had these porcelain-to-metal crowns placed about 4-5 years ago, but he is a major grinder and started breaking the porcelain off within a year. That’s one of the potential problems of adding porcelain on to metal like that. They obviously needed to be replaced, and he drove all the way from Asheville, NC for us to do this in 1 appointment; since we clearly needed very strong porcelain, we chose EMAX, which has truly remarkable strength. Take a look and see the results for yourself after the crowns were glazed in our oven:
Obviously, the single biggest advantage for patients with our CEREC machine is the ability to have beautiful, all-porcelain restorations completed in a single visit. Here’s an example of how nice that can be. This patient had 10 porcelain veneers done about 2 years ago; due to her grinding habit, she had knocked off and broken one of the veneers. Rather than make a yucky impression and send it to the lab, while she had to wait several weeks with a temporary veneer, we made it right in the office. One visit porcelain veneer, no temporary, no second visit, and her smile was back to beautiful! See if you can guess which one was done by us on CEREC and which were done by the lab?
If need your any tooth fixed, not just if it’s a porcelain veneer, CEREC CAD/CAM can do it for you. Call our office 704-364-7069 or Request an Appointment Online.
NPR aired a story this morning (March 5th, 2009) that has to do with snoring, sleep apnea, and the wide-ranging effects that they can have on behaviour, brain function, etc. This is something I”ve been studying and talking to patients about for several years now, but it’s gaining wider acceptance in the medical fields. On the most basic level, sleep disorders cause a decrease in oxygen levels to the brain, which results in various decreases in function and can have significant effects on your overall health.
Please take some time to listen to the reports and read the articles – wonderful information!
We could also perhaps name this…..”How do I know if my dentist and I are on the same page?”
While there are an infinite number of variations on this theme, you can break it down into 2 basic groups of dentists. While both can serve you well, given how important the doctor-patient trust relationship is, I recommend you be willing to ask questions of your dentist and his/her team to make sure that you have the same goals for your mouth and dental health. Here are the 2 basic breakdowns:
(1) “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Dentists who subscribe to this theory generally don’t recommend any treatment until something actually hurts or breaks or is obviously decayed. In other words, let’s say you have a tooth with a crack in it, such as the ones I showed in this post from January ’09: Cracks in Teeth. This group of dentists generally won’t say anything about these teeth unless it actually starts hurting you or the tooth breaks. Given that it is impossible to actually predict when a tooth like that will break or hurt, you may go for many years with teeth in that condition, so the ADVANTAGE of this philosophy is that you don’t spend any money until it actually happens. The DISADVANTAGE is that – when the tooth finally breaks and/or hurts, it is generally in much worse condition than if treated earlier, which means that it will probably be more expensive to fix. Plus, of course, you might have to deal with the pain, and for some reason, these things always happen on nights or weekends when the dentist isn’t available.
(2) “Here’s a potential problem; let’s go ahead and fix it now before it breaks and hurts.”
In this philosphy of care, the dentist will evaluate you for all current and potential problems, inform you, and give you the option of choosing to have the treatment done before the tooth breaks and/or hurts. Of course, the dentist should NEVER try to force you into anything – always remember that you are the ultimate decider of when to have your treatment done. But if you have some trouble brewing in your mouth, wouldn’t you prefer to get it fixed before it gets really bad? Before it gets more expensive? Before you have to suffer?
It’s probably pretty obvious which philosophy we choose at Smiles by Payet Dentistry – #2. We will inform you of any and all problems that we see. We’ll give your our recommendations based on the years of experience and advanced training and available research. We’ll tell you what treatment options you can choose. And then we will sit back and let you decide how much to do, when to do it, and how you want to do it. Please ask us questions until you feel completely comfortable, and don’t worry that you’re hurting our feelings if you decide to wait.
We understand that you will be ready when you’re ready, and we are here to help you when you are. Our goal is simply to make sure that you are fully informed so that you can make the best choice for yourself. Call us for an appointment, or request one through our website by clicking here: Request an Appointment.
Many people grind their teeth. Many people clench their teeth. Many do both. The worst part is, though, that many have no idea that they do it, or how much damage they’re doing to their teeth — or how much it could cost to fix. Sadly, too, many dentists don’t do anything about it either. Here are 2 examples of just how badly one can damage teeth by grinding/clenching.
Look how uneven the teeth are as they’ve been ground down. See the gum recession and the deep “notches” in the teeth? These things are NOT caused just by growing older and our mouths aging. It takes incredible force to wear down enamel, which is the hardest substance in your body. But once you wear through enamel into the second tooth layer – dentin – that wears down much faster and the damage accelerates.
Both of these gentleman wanted better-looking smiles. The first one was completed over 4 years ago; we are still in the process of completely rebuilding the mouth of the second gentleman. Needless to say, it is very expensive to rebuild teeth like this. Sadly, it could have been almost completely avoided if they had known about and used a nightguard years ago.
So if you think you grind your teeth – call us today! Sure, your nightguard might cost several hundred dollars………but what is that compared to thousands and thousands of dollars in treatment and many hours of time in the dentist’s chair. You’re investing in the future health of your mouth.
Don’t wait like these gentlemen did. Call us at 704-364-7069 and make your appointment to have a nightguard made and protect your teeth!
Visit our Smiles by Payet Dentistry page on this for more information on the NTI-tss nightguard.
Dental insurance is an interesting issue today, and it’s often a complicated one that confuses many patients. Heck, sometimes it even confuses us! Therefore, I’d like to offer a little clarification on what dental insurance is and isn’t, what it covers and what it doesn’t cover, when it’s worth having and when it’s not, and what you can do to make your life and ours a lot easier, smoother, and more trouble-free when it comes to your dental benefits.
- First and foremost: DENTAL INSURANCE IS NOT LIKE MEDICAL INSURANCE!!!! I really can’t stress this enough. With medical insurance, you pay your copay, and your insurance pretty much covers everything after that unless you go out of network or it’s something unusual. With dental insurance, you typically only get a certain amount of benefits per year, usually $1,000 – $1500. If you’re really lucky and have a great employer, it might be as high as $2,000/year.
- What does “UCR” mean, and is it really what it says? “UCR” stands for “Usual, Customary, and Reasonable” fees. Here’s the problem that most people don’t understand……every single insurance company determines what THEY think UCR should be, it varies by the ZIP code of your doctor/dentist, and not only will insurance companies NOT tell us or you what their UCR fees are, but they also don’t even reveal how they calculate them. Obviously, this makes it much more difficult for us to accurately estimate what your co-pay will be, and unfortunately, it often means you end up with a remaining bill after insurance pays less than we originally expect. The GOOD NEWS is that we have recently updated our practice management software to the newest version, and it has some marvelous features that will help us estimate much more accurately as we input more data. Please be patient with us, though — it is time-consuming to do and will take a little while to have completely set up.
- In-Network vs. Out-of-Network: There is a big misconception out there that – if you go to an out-of-network dentist (assuming you have a PPO and not a DMO) — you will end up paying a lot more out-of-pocket. Here’s the thing – that simply is not necessarily true! Now, sometimes it is, especially on really major kinds of treatments, such as bridges, implants, and the like. But for check-ups and cleanings, fillings, and sometimes even crowns, there may be no more than a $10-20 difference. Ask yourself this simple question: if you are really happy and comfortable with your dentist, isn’t it worth a few extra bucks to keep seeing someone you know and trust, rather than pick a dentist just because they’re “in-network,” even if you may not like them but you save a few bucks?
- “My cleanings are covered 100%, Doc!” Sadly, this is no longer true for everyone. With the current economy, many companies are changing the coverage they offer, and some of those plans don’t even cover 100% of your regular cleaning, EVEN IF you go to an In-network dentist. Sad, but true. It is very important that you keep yourself informed of what you plan covers and doesn’t.
- “But my insurance was SUPPOSED to pay $XXX amount, and you told me wrong!” This is where we are really looking forward to the improvements in our software that should help us calculate the proper amount, but there is an EXTREMELY important fact to remember, which is: we can never give you better than an ESTIMATE of what the insurance will pay. The insurance company itself will tell you the same thing if you call them. Doesn’t even matter if you call and give them the ADA procedure code, our fee…..they STILL will only give you an estimate, NOT a guarantee. I know this can be frustrating, and it is for us, too, because we know it’s never fun getting a bill in the mail after you thought you’d paid all you had to pay.
- The last item for today: please remember that, when it comes down to it, you are responsible for the entire bill. If your insurance doesn’t pay; if your company quit paying the dues and the coverage lapsed, or any of the other possible reasons insurance doesn’t pay or it pays less than expected, you are responsible for paying your bill. We bill the insurance as a courtesy to you.
Of course, this doesn’t even get into all the details of all the different insurance plans. Bear in mind that our software has almost 500 different insurance companies listed, and there are probably close to 1000 different policies. It is impossible for us to know every detail of every plan, although we sure do our best to find out. Your best bet, though, is to know your coverage, too. Ask you Human Resources department to help; they are often a great resource if your insurance company is trying to get out of paying, too.
Yes, dental insurance is complicated. Call us if you have any questions.
If you are one of our patients, please take a few moments to visit our Facebook page. We’ll be adding announcements there, specials (pretty much the same thing as here, but you’re probably on Facebook more frequently, right? 🙂 ), and it’s a neat way to stay connected to what’s happening in our practice. You can even write reviews (yes, we WELCOME reviews!!!), become a FAN, and leave messages about what’s going on in your lives. Having a baby? We’d love to see pictures! Been on vacation? Share! Have your own business? Let us know and we’d be delighted to have you list your business for others to benefit.
And if you’re not currently one of our patients but would like to find out more, you can get information on the practice there, too.
I’ve also added a Widget in the Sidebar that allows you to Bookmark us on Delicious so we’re always easy to find. Don’t you just love the Internet? 🙂
While silver/amalgam fillings are not requested very often in our practice, as most prefer to have fillings that blend in with their natural teeth, they are something that we do when situations warrant, as I discussed in an earlier post.
However, when it comes to the general topic of silver fillings, there are a lot of misconceptions, myths, and outright falsehoods out there. There are groups that CLAIM to have proof of a vast conspiracy by dentists to poison our population by using silver fillings (these are probably the same groups who believe that fluoride is a Russion attempt at mind-control of US citizens so they can take us over – hasn’t happened yet, and the conspiracy has been around for decades.); these groups CLAIM to have scientific proof that the mercury in silver fillings is poison that will lead to an absolutely amazing range of diseases, and that the simple removal of those amalgam fillings will almost magically cure those diseases. And it gets even wilder than that, but unless you’re specifically looking for a good laugh at how crazy these conspiracy theories get, I won’t bore you with all of them.
Let me be perfectly clear about my stance on this issue:
To date, there is absolutely NO, repeat NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE that the small amounts of mercury present in amalgam/silver fillings causes any disease or disorder whatsoever.
I hope that was clear enough. 🙂
If silver fillings were as bad as the conspiracy theorists claim, then pretty much the whole world would be crazy, as amalgam fillings have been placed by the billions over the last 100+ years. My parents, for example, would have been beset by a myriad of illnesses, as both of them had a mouthful of silver fillings for many decades, and only recently have they been replaced as they’ve slowly worn out. Any strange illnesses in either of them? Nope. Nothing changed after they were taken out 1-by-1 either.
As a rather interesting side note: during my dental school years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, I did a 2-month summer exchange at the dental school in Munich, Germany. While there, I was approached by several professors to proof-read some studies that they had translated prior to publishing them in English-language dental journals. Please bear in mind that Germany has pretty much banned amalgam fillings for many years, so it’s not like they are fans of the material. These professors had carried out a study that attempted to find a link between the presence of amalgam filings and a wide range of diseases and disorders; the study had lasted 5-6 years. And what were the results? Simply this:
They were unable to find any positive evidence of a connection between the amalgam fillings and ANY of the list of diseases and disorders that they had listed. Not one.
Kind of interesting coming from professors in a country that has practically banned the material for as long as they have, don’t you think?