When I graduated from dental school, I thought that I had learned an enormous amount of material. I happily hung out my shingle and put my wealth of knowledge to use, saving teeth and helping others.
This was before the advent of dental implants, single-visit crowns, “smile design”, porcelain veneers, and many procedures that we take for granted and that have become mainstream today.
Yet in spite of the latest in technology, I’m still frustrated that failures occur so often. It’s because most of this “new” technology is rooted in the past. Did you know that the median life span of a crown or bridge is only 10 years? After 8-10 years, we often find decay below the crown or bridge, and a new crown is needed, or sometimes root canal treatment is necessary and sometimes the tooth is lost. Unfortunately, even patients who regularly see their dentist over their lifetime and have conventional dentistry performed still end up losing many of their teeth. Conventional dentistry is what most dentists do today – and those techniques were first developed in the decades following World War Two. I call it 1960’s dentistry.
I was dissatisfied to learn that I could not control or prevent failures even of my own dentistry. So I began to reach out, looking for unconventional means. What if there was a way, I thought, to avoid the most commonly performed procedure, a cap or crown? What if we could avoid grinding down a tooth, and instead add to it, replacing tooth structure lost through decay, wear or fracture? Could we then reduce or eliminate root canal treatment? Would my dentistry last longer?
The answer is YES! Early adopters (like me!) are now practicing this way.
Very recent advances in materials and techniques now allow us to avoid 1960’s dentistry almost entirely. Sometimes a cap or crown is necessary, but more and more often we can restore an entire mouth using tooth-saving techniques. Our newest filling materials are BIOACTIVE. If you use a Fluoride-containing toothpaste, the filling material in your tooth actually recharges and re-releases Fluoride, preventing tooth decay at the edge of the filling.
This kind of dentistry is really common-sense, and I believe it to be at the leading edge of what dentists will eventually be doing. In ten years, maybe more, every dental school will be teaching the techniques of this tooth-saving dentistry. But right now, today, it’s available in Placerville. It’s long-lasting, it looks and feels great! Call us to find out more about our crusade to save that tooth…