A couple of weeks ago I had a patient tell me something that may seem obvious to you but, nevertheless, was an epiphany to her. “I realized that you should go to a dentist that loves what he does,” she stated emphatically. This is a patient that had recently lost two teeth to fractures and needed to have them restored with implant replacement and crowns. She believes her previous dentist was just not enjoying the profession and it showed in his lack of enthusiasm and work. She is relatively new to our office with its modern advances so this has been an eye-opener for her. Because she had been fracturing her teeth, she had been told she would need to wear a nightguard at bedtime. But let’s see what can be done with modern dentistry….
As an example of one ‘eye-opener,’ when I finished the restorations for her that basically restored her entire bite, with just four molar crowns, we took out a relatively new technology in our office called a T-Scan. The T-Scan comes from a company in Boston, Massachusetts that has been perfecting this dental technology over the last two decades. As she bit on a piece of special cellophane her bite registers on the computer and literally makes a movie of her bite. It is a real time vs. force movie. Not quite ‘Dirty Harry’ or the ‘Godfather,’ but a movie of exactly how her bite forces are distributed over time. Unlike the little piece of carbon paper that we use to check the bite, this is a comprehensive compilation of all the teeth and how they hit with a very accurate display of the amount of force and where precisely the teeth come together over time.
This patient thought, because she was told, that she would need a nightguard forever. But with the analysis that we were able to do, we only needed to adjust the bite so that the forces were distributed evenly. In this case, no nightguard was necessary. One very happy patient.
It is not just the technology. It is what the technology allows us to do. Again, T-Scan, Invisalign, Laser-Dentistry, Sedation Dentistry, Velscope Oral Cancer Detection, Digital X-rays, Digital Photography are just tools to help us to provide what modern dentistry is capable of doing for our patients.