Monday, October 20, 2014

New Teeth While You Wait

Between work and family obligations, most individuals have very hectic and tight schedules. Often dental treatment is put off because of actual or perceived time commitments on the part of a patient. This office has invested in a hi-tech system called CEREC that allows us to fabricate a permanent all ceramic crown [cap], onlay or veneer in one single office visit. This means fewer injections, less drilling and less time taken away from your daily activities. This computerized system allows us to use strong, tooth-colored ceramic materials to restore your teeth to their natural strength, beauty and function. These materials closely match the composition of natural tooth structure. The significance of this fact means when you eat hot food and drink something cold, the restoration and tooth expand and contract at almost equal rates, minimizing the chance of your tooth cracking. Also, the ceramic restorations are chemically bonded to your teeth, so we can preserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible.

First, we examine the tooth or teeth to determine the appropriate treatment. It could be a simple filling, or a full crown, depending on how much healthy tooth structure is remaining in our clinical judgment. Next, we administer an anesthetic and prepare your tooth for the restoration, removing decayed and weakened tooth tissue. This preparation is just like we would do for many other restorative techniques.
Then, we take an Optical Impression of the prepared tooth. Instead of filling a tray with impression "goop" that you must bite into and hold in your mouth until it hardens, we coat the tooth with a non-toxic, tasteless powder. A camera is used to take a digital picture of your tooth. This whole Optical Impression process only takes a minute or two.

Next, the CEREC machine helps us create the restoration for your tooth. The CEREC 3D software takes the digital picture and converts it into a 3-dimensional virtual model on the computer screen. We use our dental expertise to design the restoration using the CEREC 3D computer program. Within a few minutes, with the click of a button, the restoration design data is sent to a separate milling machine in the office. A ceramic block that matches your tooth shade is placed in the milling machine. About 10 - 20 minutes later, your all-ceramic, tooth-colored restoration is finished and ready to bond in place. Finally, we try the restoration in your mouth to ensure proper fit and bite. The restoration is then polished and bonded to the prepared tooth. Your tooth is restored with no "temporary" or return trip necessary. Please call our office to see if you are a candidate for this procedure.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Use it or Lose it!

Did you know that if you don't use all of your dental insurance benefits or money in your flexible spending account (FSA) this year, you lose them forever? That's right - no dental benefit plan or FSA we know of allows you to carry unused benefits over to the following year. If you don't use them, you lose them!

You may have benefits remaining this year. Waiting until next year means that not only will you lose any unused benefits for this year, but also that you may have to first satisfy a new year's deductible before any benefits will be paid.

If you have been postponing dental treatment, call our office at (757) 229-1224 to see if you have benefits remaining this year. We also have various financing options to help with any portion not covered by dental insurance.

About Me

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With over 20 years of creating smiles, we are proud to provide gentle, family-oriented dental care to the adults and children of our community. We are located in Williamsburg, just minutes from York county, Toano, Denbigh/Newport News and surrounding areas.