Monday, October 28, 2013

High Tech Dentistry in our Little Town

Today I went to the dentist for a six month cleaning.  It was quick and painless.  I have a gold crown that was put in many years ago.  I remember getting it shortly after we were married 45 years ago.  It cost $60, and I was so upset at how much it cost.  Times have sure changed.  She is keeping an eye on that one tooth, but otherwise I'm good for another six months.

Technology has changed so much.  I remember as a kid going to the dentist.  I can't remember exactly where the office was, but I believe it was on Main Street in Stoughton Wisconsin where I grew up.  We had to walk up a big flight of stairs and through a dark hallway into the dentist office.  Then I would usually have a cavity.  They didn't have sealants back then, and we ate candy without brushing all the time.  They didn't have high speed drills, but drills that would drone with a low pitch grinding sound.  And the smell, I will never forget the smell of the teeth being drilled.  The dentist would tell us to raise our hand if it hurt.  Needless to say, the arm would go up and down as if it were motorized.  I imagine they didn't get all the decay and finally just put a silver filling in and hoped it would last a while.  That is why I have crowns on most of my molars.

When we moved to Princeton, we needed to find a new dentist.  We looked in the phone book.  Even eleven years ago we used phone books.  There were no smartphones back then.  We found two dentists and chose one.  It was a very good choice.  She had all the latest equipment and procedures.  Some of my old crowns needed replacing and so one by one I have had that done over the years.  Our dentist has the CEREC method.  It is an amazing computerized method that can do a crown from beginning to end in one visit.  There is no need for taking impressions with that awful gunk.  The old tooth is measured out using a mini camera and the picture is transferred to a computer screen.  Then a new tooth is designed to fit in with the existing teeth.  When she is satisfied with everything, she pushes a button and a new tooth is ground from a block of porcelain that matches the other teeth.  The new tooth is then glued in place and your done.

Even the x-rays are high tech.  They put some camera type thing in your mouth and pictures of all your teeth appear on the computer screen.  Problems can be detected by looking at the computer screen. 

This is probably one of the most boring blogs ever, but that was my day.  

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