Current technology is of great benefit to the patient in saving time at the dental office. We all have very busy schedules, and who wants to prolong their dental visits?

One-visit ceramic crowns is one example of a time-saving benefit. Cerec is the leader in this technology. In the past, it would take at least two separate visits to the office and would require the patient to leave in a temporary for about three weeks while the lab fabricated a crown from an impression from the patient’s mouth.

Quite often the temporary would come off requiring additional visits. Because of possible unforeseen distortion of the impression, if the crown does not fit, it requires an additional impression and visit.

With Cerec, the crown is milled in the office out of a solid block. The fit is very intimate. If for some reason it does not, it can be milled again. This one-visit technique saves a lot of time.

Dental implants can also sometimes take upwards of a year to finally get a tooth. It takes four months to place an implant after an extraction and then an additional four months for the implant to fuse with the bone.

Utilizing third cone beam imaging technology, an implant can be planned to coincide with the removal of the tooth and this saves about four months on the treatment time necessary.

In certain circumstances, mini-implants can be used to replace teeth, and they can be loaded right away, saving an additional four months.

With exams, implant placement, and root canals, it is necessary to make dental X-rays. The advent of digital X-rays saves a lot of time due to the instant result that can be displayed and saved on a computer. Enhancement is also possible, which cuts down on re-takes. 

Even the utilization of the basic computer saves time for record storage and maintenance. There is no need to go searching for a patient chart and or X-rays; it is all instantly available on the computer software.

It is truly a convenience for the patient to save time at the dental office in the ways mentioned. There is usually a time and money concern, so at least one of these two major considerations is addressed in a very big way.

James G. Jenkins, D.M.D. is the owner of Bluffton Dental Care in Bluffton.