Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Digital Crown by Sirona

So I cracked a crown the other day and visited my dentist for potential repairs. The bad news? It had to be replaced. The good news? He could do it all in his office in less than 3 hours.  Modern day dentistry now includes the capability for a dentist to have a complete diagnostic to production system in his practice.

A digital picture was taken of my crown while it was on my tooth for reference. Then it was removed. Following the usual cleanup of the underlying tooth (Novicane and all,), another picture was taken.  Then, sitting right beside me, the dentist used the computer aided tools to construct my new crown. The design process took all of about 10 minutes.

Sitting back and relaxing for about 30 minutes, the finished product, a purple looking crown was brought to me for inspection.  Then it was fitted for final location and minor traditional grinding in my mouth. Back to the system for baking in an oven for the hardening and final color, and about 30 minutes after that it was cemented in place and I was on my way.

The price wasn't cheap, but with dental insurance, at least half was covered. And it's about what I had paid for crowns in the past the traditional way: one appointment to prepair and make a mold of my teeth and put on a temporary crown; wait two to three weeks for the dental lab to construct the crown; another appointment to install, fit and if necessary send back for adjustment (yes, I had at least one of those too.)

Yes, dentistry has come into the digital age; now if we can just get past the shots!

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