The advancements in the world of dental technology continue to amaze me. Today, we are rapidly creating a better and better experience for all our patients at Asheville Dental Care. The more research I do, the more I get excited about what I can do to enhance our patient’s experience and results.
When I think of how far the field of dentistry has come, in terms of dental implants, it makes me feel very lucky to be practicing dentistry today.
To get our heads around the recent advancements let’s take a quick look at all that was involved in getting an implant, just a few short years ago. Our traditional first step was to have the patient take a 2D X-ray. This x-ray showed us a lot of what we wanted to see as far as the length of the implant, but limited us in the ability to see the best angle or position for the implant. The result, for our patients, was a functional implant that may or may not look natural in the patient’s mouth. In addition, because the 2D x-ray did not give us the ability to see through the bone, before we placed the implant, we needed to make an incision in the patient’s mouth to get the view we needed.
We would then rely on the 2D x-ray and the visibility of the incision to place the implant. While it was often painful for the patient, the majority of the time this worked well. However, during the three-month healing period the patient was either left with a gap in their mouth or used an ill-fitting partial denture to hide the implant. Then at the end of three months, the dentist, were left with the challenge of how to fit a crown on this implant in a way that both made it work and made it look natural. The issue we were facing was how to design and fit a crown after the implant had been placed and the procedure was complete. We were left with little or no flexibility in how we were able to adjust the implant to get a more natural and beautiful appearance.
Now with the new technology that we have at Asheville Dental Care this has changed all of that. These advancements have allowed us to develop a far better dental implant procedure. The result is an easier experience for our patients, and a higher functioning implant with a more beautiful and natural result. Today, with this new technology, we actually plan the crown first, we begin with the end result in mind, so we know before we ever begin exactly where the implant can best be placed so it will both look and function perfectly. This is only possible because today we use a 3D x-ray (instead of the typical 2D x-ray) which gives us a far clearer and more exact picture of the patient’s mouth. With this level of x-ray machine we not only see the bone, but we can actually see through it. This gives us the full picture and all the information we need, before we begin, about where best to place the implant so it is in its safest and strongest position. We are then able to integrate this 3D x-ray with our CEREC (the in house crown/implant production machine) so that we know the implant will fit where the crown needs to be placed.
Again, with this new technology, we are able to plan for and see the placement of the implant and crown before we begin the procedure, ensuring the best results for our patients. The benefits for our patients include: No incision, more often than not an elimination of the 3-month waiting period, a stronger implant and a more natural looking crown. More importantly, the patient and dentist both have peace of mind that they are able to place the crown safely and securely before the procedure even begin.
And the technology just keeps getting better. This weekend I discovered and learned about new products that make placing and restoring implants and even more precise and predictable procedure. This is exciting because the more precise and predictable we can make the implant procedure the higher level of result (both in function and natural looking) we can achieve for our patients. Rest assured, the entire team of Asheville Dental Care is investing in this new product, and we are dedicated to continuing to provide both a higher quality implant and overall experience for our patients.
Again, we are excited about the field of dentistry today. We invite and encourage you to learn more. Call our office, 828-274-3882 or come by, we are happy to give you a tour!