Drs. Oz & Roizen’s Tip of the Day: Digital dentistry, while you wait

King Features SyndicateSeptember 24, 2013 

Did you ever think your dentist would go into manufacturing?

Well, about 10 percent of dental offices now have the latest in on-the-spot crown-manufacturing technology! This new type of digital dentistry is making it possible to get perfectly shaped porcelain crowns made and installed in your mouth in about an hour. No more “temporary” crowns or multiple office visits. And they’re not more expensive!

How does it work? First, you have a digital scan made of your broken or misshaped tooth (the system can’t scan below the gum line, so while-you-wait implants are still in the future). Then the system feeds the data to an on-site CAD/CAM (computer-aided drafting/computer-aided manufacturing) system that mills the crown. After a little prep work, it is ready for your dazzling smile.

But this is new technology, and preliminary studies have shown that some of these machines make stronger and more fracture-resistant crowns than others. So here’s our recommendation: Before you get your on-the-spot digital crown made, ask your dentist how many he’s done, how the oldest one is doing today and what kind of problems he’s run into. If he hasn’t done many or can’t discuss success and failure rates, hold off and go with the old tried-and-true method. Even though the process can be irritating, you know it’s reliable — and soon enough on-site digital dentistry will become a well-tested way to get a crown. We think that’s enough to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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