What a world we live in. Things are moving/changing so fast that it’s enough to make your head spin. I never thought I’d be one of those old farts to lecture my kids about “when I was your age there was no internet and we only had 3 channels to watch….and that was if the “rabbit ears” had tin foil on them and were exactly in the perfect position!” Yett here I am, barely over 50 and reminiscing about Johnny Dark and Top 40 radio. But as they say, the only thing that remains constant is change.
And that is never more true than with the field of dentistry. Every year new technology appears that makes what I do faster and better and , for the patient, more comfortable and more esthetic. I will be writing soon about a new piece of equipment that I will be acquiring that will allow me to prepare and finish a crown for my patient at the same time- no temporary, no additional appointments- truly amazing.
But for now, I want to bring the conversation down to a much smaller topic- tooth colored filling materials. Dental materials change monthly, it seems, and unless your dentist keeps up on the latest information constantly, odds are that the materials that he/she use are obsolete. I take hundreds of hours of Continuing education every year and I teach at very high level institutions that feature the latest research but even with all that, it’s difficult to stay ahead of the curve.
I was reminded of this lately when I discovered a new tooth colored filling material that is amazingly better than the previous “new and improved” material that I had been using. And in actuality, that older material was doing just fine- looked great on patient’s teeth and resisted breaking. But this new material blew me away in how good it looks on front teeth. In other words, it matches amazingly well to the other teeth so that when I do bonding to make someone’s smile prettier, this material takes a pretty smile and makes it absolutely dazzling!! I love that! I get so excited when I am able exceed that patient’s expectations so that when they see their smile in the mirror they exclaim “WOW”. That’s what makes my job so much fun.
So the next time you are at the dentist’s for some work (cosmetic or otherwise), you might want to inquire as to how much your dentist has kept up with the latest materials and equipment- there really is a difference. There’s a difference in the materials just like there is a difference between dentists. Some keep up with the latest stuff and many don’t. I’m just saying!