Dentist explains new tech on TV
oooooooooooooooooooGetting a crown for a troubled tooth can be an uncomfortable process, from the preparation of the tooth, biting into a squishy mold, waiting for the crown to be made, and then hoping it will fit nice and tight.
That is not the case anymore at Wilton Center Family Dentistry, where Dr. James T. Aris uses CAD/CAM technology to scan teeth and make crowns, all in one visit.
Dr. Aris will discuss this state-of-the-art dental technology on the television program American Health Front, airing Saturday, Nov. 30, from 1 to 1:30 on WCBS/Channel 2.
“CAD is computer-aided design and CAM is computer-aided manufacturing,” Dr. Aris explained. “With this technology, I can design and manufacture a crown, veneer, inlay or onlay in the office with control over the form and function of the restoration.” (Inlays and onlays are pieces of a crown.)
The digital scans and increased degree of precision and accuracy ensure a good fit. “The fit of the restoration is key for the health of the tooth and in preventing future decay,” he said. “The digital scans are fast, clean and accurate.”
Although the basic technology has been around for about two decades, Dr. Aris has had a system manufactured by E4D Technologies for the past year. Only about 10% of dentists in the country have this technology, said Pamela Aris, speaking from the Wilton office.
“It’s dramatic,” Ms. Aris said. “The digital scans are really a game-changer.”
The system allows a dentist to use a high-speed laser, at the tip of a wand, to make a digital impression. According to the manufacturer’s website, the laser captures images from multiple angles for fast and accurate scanning, resulting in a virtual model.
The computer system then grinds down a block of porcelain to just the right size. The process is relatively quick — scanning is done in the morning and then the crown is milled — so patients can be finished in one day. Patients may watch the milling process if they wish.
“What I like about it is it fits exactly to the tooth,” Dr. Aris said. “It’s a very exact fit with no margin of error.”
After the crown is bonded to the original tooth, all that’s left is to adjust the bite. “I like it so I can put my final touches on and take it down in the mouth,” he said. “I like to tweak it myself.”
Because the crown is made only of porcelain, with no metal, Dr. Aris said, a patient’s tooth does not need as much preparation. “You save a lot of tooth structure,” he said. With no metal, he can also see through the crown with an X-ray to detect any decay.
The technology can also be used to repair a broken or missing tooth. Ms. Aris recalled a child who came in after losing a tooth during a sports event. “That child went to bed that night with their front tooth restored,” she said.
Information: 203-762-5100 or drjamesaris.com.