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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

One picture is all I have

I have a thing about teeth. I must have as many as possible. I recall my mother starting me at the dentist when I was maybe four years old. This would have been 1947ish, mind you. Somehow it was impressed on me as important, and I did it.

There have been tooth adventures along the way. Two bridges to span missing adult teeth. Another bridge because the root of a tooth simply resorbed. "I'll be damned," said the dentist who pulled it, describing the molar almost falling into his hands. I wanted an implant to replace it, but he talked me into a bridge, which I still regret. We had a couple more tooth disagreements, and I moved along to a new dentist.

A couple years ago the matching molar on the other side of my mouth pulled the same root disappearing act, and tumbled into a dentist's hand. It's some autoimmune problem. I got an implant. But, this is about what happened this morning, at the dentist.

An otherwise sound molar developed a cavity at the line above its crown. At my last tooth cleaning I bargained with the dentist, to no avail, to make a plan to go through the crown to fill the cavity.  I made the appointment. I know the drill full well. Five or six hundred dollars to repair the tooth and the same over again to make a new crown. 

I put in my ten o'clock appearance this morning. Fortunately, it turned out, I had no plans before two this afternoon, aside from going to work, which is easily blown off. My tooth was filled, then the dentist put a camera in my mouth and began taking pictures. I heard it beep five or six time, a new angle, another five or six times.

I turned to look at what the dentist was still doing, next to me. There were three teeth on the screen. Granted, the dentist was making the third tooth, actually, my new crown. I was so fascinated I didn't think to pull out my trusty phone until almost the end.

It was a CAD-CAM machine, and she was Computer Assisted Designing my new crown, from the reference photos she took earlier. When she was done she announced my new crown would be ready in fifteen minutes or less.



"What's going on? Is this like 3-D printing?" Actually, in a lab behind the wall of x-rays, a little block of porcelain was being milled into a crown. "Does it come down a conveyor belt or pop up?" Now she was laughing. Actually, the technician went over there and secured the little block of porcelain between two burrs, and started the process.

So, all I have a picture of is the little worm, counting down fifteen minutes of milling.

It still cost $1,140, after my senior discount. Well, double miles on my card and no second trip back. I'm still in awe.

32 comments:

  1. I have not heard of this, amazing!

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  2. Very technologically advanced. Long ago I had to go to the ceramist when a new crown was to be made so as to have the enamel color correctly matching my other teeth. i have a very odd tooth color, turns out. The last crown was done with Photoshop. I'm hoping I won't ever need another one.

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  3. That is interesting, expensive, quick, but interesting.

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  4. Your dentist gives you a senior discount? Wow. I asked my dentist if they gave a senior discount and he laughed and said "This is Florida, if we gave senior discounts we'd have to give them to just about everyone." I didn't laugh.

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  5. That is awesome. My dentist's office doesn't have all the latest equipment and so to make a crown have to send stuff to the lab. Your prices for dental work are very good. Just to make a crown and have it inserted cost us about $1400-1600 everywhere in my province.

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  6. This is great technology. Hope you like your new crown.

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  7. WOW!!! Amazing!!! It is just phenomenal what they can do now. Good for you! xo Diana

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  8. Having sseveral crowns myself, I can understand how happy you were not to have to wait for an outside lab to make this one!

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  9. My daughter got her implant done the same way, made right there while she waited. I get my crowns the old way, a temporary one while the lab makes the permanent one to be fitted in two weeks.

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  10. Dental work is so expensive. couple that with an abnormally severe fear of the dentist and I let my teeth go. I had pretty teeth when I was a young woman. I now have pretty teeth again but not all of them are home grown.

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  11. This is really fascinating to me... I know I need some dental work done, but now living in Mexico I know I'll find some place competent and inexpensive. Like you, my Mom started me at the dentist when I was about 5... she cleaned his office in exchange for me and my siblings dental care... but that was a LONG time ago and things have changed. Hope I find as good as technology and care as you're getting.

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  12. My partner's sister experienced this. Yes, it is expensive (still) but the time difference is WONDERFUL.

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  13. Hari OM
    Well that IS impressive. I trust it lasts longer than its fifteen minute manufacture time... YAM xx

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  14. This is truly amazing! Art had a crown made and had go back several weeks later for the crown to be placed.

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  15. I am hoping to get to another dentist soon for a deep cleaning, all very expensive and painful in the pocketbook more than the mouth

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  16. When you quoted the price I was reminded why I don't go to the dentist. When the teeth I have are gone, they are gone! Sad but true!

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  17. So many advances over the years in dentistry! Absolutely amazing and worth the price I think!

    betty

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  18. That is amazing! And well worth the money, if you can afford it. In the UK it is rare to find such advanced technology, but the cost is much less -- and we are lucky to have a National Health Dentist. We still have to pay something but so far so affordable...

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  19. That is astonishing technique! I don't know about the American health assurance system - didn't Mr. Obama create something new? - but do you have to pay it on your own or does the assurance company?

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    1. We pay privately for medical and dental insurance. I have never carried dental insurance.

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  20. wow, I'm impressed. I have many crowns due to an accident at 16 which really caused a lot of damage which has revealed itself over the decades and I have never had one made while I sat there and then had it put on. so, no impression with that goopy stuff that makes you want to gag? speaking of loose teeth, I have a loose tooth, been loose for years and last night I dreamed the dentist pulled it.

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  21. How astonishing! My Dad was a dentist who began practicing in 1939 and I worked for him a bit in the late 60s. He would have been amazed by what you describe!

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  22. Super technology. When I think how things were when I was a child...that rubber mask...

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  23. How about a double set of teeth? That's another story. I have never heard of the crown being done like that. I still have all my teeth and have developed a dry mouth. Then I start hearing stories of teeth crumbling out (my nightmares since childhood) from dry mouth and I am scared silly. All I can do is the over the counter stuff. Hope you have dental insurance. It is so expensive to go to the dentist, but I have always taken good care of my teeth, only to have them crumble out???

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  24. When I think back to school dentists when I was a child - this is in a different world.

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  25. Still about the same as they usually cost. Wish they'd cut down on the price somehow.

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  26. Our dentist office had a machine that allowed patients to see their crowns made, but it wasn't successful. too slow.
    Mom took us to dentist office regularly, from four to 18. Dr. gave Mom some sedative syrup to give us, after the first time we bit and kicked. 1955

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  27. That's amazing. I doubt it's available in my neck of the woods though. I had an implant a couple of years ago and it took 2 dentists supervising each other as it is still a rare procedure here. It has worked out well.In fact, my dentist refused to do the other option which would have been a bridge because he thinks they cause a lot of damage to good teeth.

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  28. That is super cool! I've not seen that technology before. A bill like that from the dentist, though? That, I've seen before.

    Hi, friend. Sorry I've been absent for so long. xxo

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  29. That is super cool! I've not seen that technology before. A bill like that from the dentist, though? That, I've seen before.

    Hi, friend. Sorry I've been absent for so long. xxo

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  30. high tech crowns - didn't know about those. Fast turn around.

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