Every single day we see at least 3-4 patients with broken fillings and teeth, and most of the time it’s an old silver filling that breaks teeth.
Interestingly, most of the time the tooth broke under normal everyday circumstances like eating. Sometimes we find broken teeth that patients did not even know were broken.
Why is it happening?
Old silver fillings have very different characteristics to our natural teeth and often it causes a lot of pressure to our own tooth structure. Also as they get old sometimes gaps form between the tooth structure and the filling which make things even worse.
What are the solutions?
The best option to fill or restore damaged or broken teeth is to replace them with a restoration that has similar characteristics to our natural teeth.
At South Gippsland Dental Clinic we offer state of the art CEREC® technology. We believe that porcelain restorations created by CEREC® technology is the best way to restore your teeth to the way nature intended.
Dr. Taehee Lee, South Gippsland Dental’s principal dentist, has more than 10 years of experience in CEREC® technology and was the first one to introduce this technology to South Gippsland.
After carefully examining the situation of the tooth, your dentist will determine the appropriate treatment. It could be as simple as a porcelain filling, or a full crown, depending on how much healthy tooth structure is remaining and the clinical judgement.
After the preparation of the tooth is done and the damaged parts of the tooth are removed, optical impression is taken. Instead of filling a tray with impression “goop” that you must bite into and hold in your mouth until it hardens, your dentist will use a digital camera to take a digital picture of your tooth. This whole Optical Impression process only takes a minute or two.
Next, the CEREC® software converts the digital image into a 3-dimensional virtual model on the computer screen. Your Dentist then uses his or her dental expertise to design the inserting block into the milling chamber restoration using the CEREC® 3D computer program.
Within a few minutes, your dentist clicks a button, and the restoration design data is sent to a separate milling machine in the office. A ceramic block that matches your tooth shape is placed in the milling machine.
About 10 – 20 minutes later, your beautiful tooth-coloured porcelain restoration is finished and ready to bond in place. Finally, your Dentist tries the restoration in your mouth to ensure proper fit and bite. The restoration is then polished and bonded to the prepared tooth. Your tooth is restored with no “temporary” or return trip necessary. All of this is done in a single appointment!
How successful is it?
Just like any medical or dental treatment there are times when it may not work 100% correct. However, CEREC® technology (which has 30 years of history) has shown one of the highest success rates among any restorative/filling materials available in dentistry.
Furthermore even when it does not work, the repair is relatively simple in most cases and patients usually do not need any major work in future.
Already more than 1,000 CEREC® restorations are placed in South Gippsland with an exceptionally high success rate.