It’s no surprise that technology has advanced to new heights in recent years. Only a little over ten years ago, as a freshman in high school, iPods had yet to be plugged into everyone’s heads, e-readers were a thing of the imagination, and the only “cool” cellphone to have was a flip-phone, leaving little in the means of Emojis and even text messaging. Back then I couldn’t even log into the Internet without first checking that everyone was off the phone and that they’d remain off of it for the next hour or so while I stayed dialed into the Aline. The largest advancement at the time was AOL screen names and even then you were lucky only if your computer didn’t constantly shut down, irritating your friends as you were disappeared and reappeared at random. I should know, and for the record I had at least five different screen names, all of which I am too embarrassed to share.
But that was ten years ago, flash-forward to the present and you find a world filled with technology. Now, iPod ear buds hang from everyone’s ears, e-readers dominate the Amazon market, and cellphones have now been deemed “smartphones” for the most part, essentially placing a computer into the palm of your hand. Aside from my father, who ironically enough, works with computers, everyone has embraced the updates in technology, using it to advance their businesses and lives as they see fit. Dentists in particular have benefited greatly from the rise in technology for their field. From porcelain fillings to same day crowns, the dentistry field has been witness to a boom in technology, offering added comfort to their patients.
But is it worth it?
A crown is a porcelain, but sometimes metal, cap placed over damaged or cracked teeth to protect the tooth’s pulp from becoming infected and creating a need for a root canal. By drilling out the damaged area of the affected tooth, dentists are able to reinforce broken teeth, giving the tooth a better chance at living out its life.
The Angle: Getting a crown has always had a way of inducing panic into even the bravest of patients. Typically requiring two-three weeks for the crown-turnover to happen, your appointment happens in two steps. The first appointment leaves you with a temporary crown, while the second cements the final into place. In case you are one of the lucky few to have avoided getting a crown throughout the years, let me lay it out for you, for two-three weeks after your initial appointment you must live with a temporary crown in your mouth, allowing air, heat, and cold to penetrate the tooth more easily and increasing discomfort in your mouth.
The Appeal: Same day crowns, just like the name implies, are done within a single visit. Impressions are taken in the same day that your crown is milled right at your chair-side, giving you back three weeks of your life, wherein you would otherwise be submitted to unease. Not only do same day crowns save you from an uncomfortable month of chewing on one side of your mouth, but they take less time out of your busy schedule, as you are only required to wait for one visit as your crown is created and placed in your mouth as well.
Perhaps the biggest concern for dental patients today, however, is whether or not the cost difference is worth the convenience. For this particular procedure, the verdict is in, and I’m here to tell you that it’s worth looking to. Because the excess lab costs are kept to a bare minimum with the use of a same day crown machine, the cost of a porcelain crown, milled right before your eyes, is roughly the same cost as a traditional style crown, which takes weeks to create.
How’s that for life changing?
Low cost, low pain, low on inconvenience-the hype, it seems, is true. Though the same day technology works well on most candidates, they are not an option for everyone. For those requiring front teeth crown placements, or for those people who grind and clench their jaws throughout the night, traditional crowns may be suggested as the best option for your mouth. Of course, as with any medical practice, you should discuss the details of your procedure with your dentist beforehand and find out what the best options are for your particular case. Take heart, however, in knowing that your teeth are in the best technology available, giving you back that smile you’ve always loved.