Saturday, March 5, 2011

High-tech Dentistry in the Hills

Blackberries - Karen Balvin,
 Almost three years ago, I was enjoying some homemade blackberry jam. As I bit down, a teeny tiny blackberry seed broke one of my fillings – yes, just like David and Goliath – took it completely out. Who knew something so small could be so mighty? Fortunately, the tooth didn’t hurt at all but it sure felt funny with the whole middle missing.

My dentist of 25 years, the wonderful Dr. Kizziar, laid out my options – crown the tooth or fill it again. Well, I have a few crowns already and wasn’t looking forward to option 1 so I chose the re-fill. Problem being that the tooth was mostly filling so it was questionable how long it would last.

Answer to that question? Almost three years. This time it was soft chicken that did the job. Although the filling didn’t fall out, it felt loose and the tooth hurt. So back to the dentist I go. This time there is no discussion about options – it is definitely crown time. So be it – now I’m ready.

Well, guess what? I was anticipating the usual crown schedule – prep the tooth, install a temporary crown, and come back in a couple of weeks for the real thing. Was I ever surprised when he said it would take him about an hour to make the crown if I’d like to wait? Since getting to the dentist takes over two hours, that was a no-brainer.

Within the past year, my dentist in a little town of under 2,500 people in a mountain county of only 13,000+ got high-tech. He’s got a CAD/CAM system now that allowed him to scan my tooth and generate a crown right then and there. Not only that, but the new tooth is solid ceramic rather than a veneer. This tooth will probably outlast me! And it looks just like a real tooth, too. Isn’t modern technology amazing?

So if you’re in need of a crown, don’t despair. See if your dentist is all high-tech yet and if not, get a referral to one that is. And here’s a Wikipedia link if you’d like to know more about CAD/CAM dentistry.


  1. Using CAD/CAM systems in dentistry is a major breakthrough for the dental field. Congrats in experiencing its wonders firsthand!

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  2. Thanks for stopping by, Jenny. Yes, the CAD/CAM system is an amazing dentistry development!