White dental fillings – CEREC porcelain vs composite resin

White dental fillings – CEREC porcelain vs composite resin

White fillings are a popular type of dental filling used to restore decayed teeth or cavities. Because they are available in a number of colour options, they can blend seamlessly with your affected tooth’s remaining structure and the surrounding teeth – as opposed to highly visible metal fillings. White fillings can also be used to change the shape and size of your teeth, which is especially beneficial in cases of damaged, worn or eroded teeth.

The difference between CEREC porcelain and composite resin fillings

Not all white fillings are the same. While different types of white fillings may look very similar, they come in two main options based on the filling material used – porcelain or composite resin. Glass Ionomer fillings (GIC) are another white filling option but are typically used in cases of child tooth decay, adult temporary fillings and sub-gingival fillings (below the gumline). The difference between porcelain and composite filling materials is like comparing apples to oranges. Porcelain fillings – also known as inlays, CEREC or ceramic restorations – are a lot harder and durable than “composite resin” fillings which are also referred to as plastic, resin or composite fillings.

Composite resin – the low-cost but less durable filling option

Composite fillings are definitely the least expensive filling option – but you get what you pay for. Despite the advantage of saving on your short term dental costs, composite fillings don’t have the same success rate as porcelain fillings. They need to be replaced after 5 or 6 years since they cannot withstand the pressures of heavy chewing over time. This may result in a higher risk of fractures and a breakage which means you may have to repair or replace them more often. Another problem with composite fillings is that they can shrink over time thus pulling away from and stressing the natural tooth structure walls surrounding the fillings.

So, not only can the filling fail but your remaining original tooth may fracture also. Additionally, once composite fillings start to contract, tooth decay can start to penetrate between the filling and original tooth structure and cause more oral issues. If left untreated, this can result in hidden decay, catastrophic failure and tooth loss. Lastly, colour integrity is also an issue since composites can fade or discolour and start standing out from the rest of your teeth.

CEREC porcelain fillings – the more natural looking and long-lasting filling

Porcelain fillings are a better and more stable long term filling solution. If they are CEREC fillings, these super-hard restorations are created using the latest 3D CAD-CAM dental technologies – for a perfect and very stable fit that lasts 15 years or more. When completed successfully, they can also support the remaining tooth structure and prevent further deterioration.

Since there is minimal wear and tear on porcelain fillings, there is less of a requirement to excavate and prep a tooth. This means you’ll be able to retain more of your natural tooth structure – to create a stronger foundation for your filling. CEREC fillings are more expensive without a doubt, but when you factor in the replacement expenses of composites over time, the cost differential is negligible.

Are AI dental checkups the next best thing to an actual dentist?

Are AI dental checkups the next best thing to an actual dentist?

Getting an instant artificial intelligence (AI) dental check-up on your phone has always been the stuff of science fiction. But now you can, thanks to an ingenious new free AI app called Pearlii – a self-help tool that can accurately detect potential tooth decay and cavities. Pearlii was developed by Australian oral health specialist Dr Kyle Turner. As a child, Dr Turner grew up in a remote area without local access to dental care. As a result, he ended up paying thousands in dental treatment costs as an adult. Poor access to dental care has always been a problem in many remote Australian communities. That’s why Dr. Turner decided to improve this long-standing health inequality by developing an AI powered phone app that could automatically check your teeth and gums.

How can AI apps accurately detect tooth decay and cavities?

AI powered apps utilise a machine learning algorithm that is specifically developed to detect any signs of tooth decay, cavities (caries) and gum issues. With the Pearlii AI app, you simply download it for free from Google Play or Apple App Store. Once you open the app, you answer a few questions about your oral health situation and then take 5 guided photos of your teeth. After the AI works its magic, you’ll be able to view an instant results page. This displays an overview that includes each of the 5 images with potential problem areas outlined by a colour coded line. The five colour codes are used to indicate the presence of the following oral conditions:

  1. Decay
  2. Stains
  3. Tartar
  4. White spots
  5. Red gums

* Screenshot images courtesy of Pearlii Pty Ltd

Can AI dental checkups take the place of a dentist?

No, AI dental check-ups can’t take the place of a dentist because there will always be a need for in-clinic dental care and treatment. However, AI apps such as Pearlii can help people with limited time, poor access to dental care or during a Covid lockdown. When the app detects an oral anomaly, it can advise and help incentivise the user to book an actual dental appointment for professional treatment. Remember that Pearlii is NOT a diagnostic tool. It is a screening and educational tool only. You’ll still need to go see your dentist if an oral problem is detected for a proper check-up and diagnosis.

What kind of phone do you need for Pearlii’s AI app?

You’ll need a smartphone with Android version 5.0 (or later) or iPhone 5S (or later). Where can I download Pearlii? Apple iOS users can click here to access the Apple Store. Android users can click here to access the Google Play Store. ‍

CEREC crowns

CEREC crowns

In the busy 21st century, customer expectations have changed. Our spare time is precious. So we prefer to shop online, make instant payments, and have our purchases delivered straight to our door. Businesses that can promptly deliver quality goods and great customer service – for the best possible price – meet the needs and expectations of today’s customers. The same applies to modern dentistry. Dental patients nowadays want the best solutions for their oral health in minimal time. In order to meet the needs of today’s dental patients, more and more dental clinics are practising same-day dentistry. This is possible because of advances in dental technology which have made same-day dentistry a reality. Now, lengthy dental treatment can be performed in a fraction of the usual time.

CEREC dental technology

CEREC (CEramic REConstruction) is one such innovation. CEREC is a high-tech dental technology system that can design and produce high quality ceramic dental restorations (such as crowns, bridges, inlays and onlays) for patients, onsite at the dental clinic – in minutes.  

Traditional crown treatment

Traditional crown treatments usually take a week or longer and involve two visits. The first visit involves taking manual dental impressions of your teeth which are sent away to a dental lab. While your permanent crown is being prepared there, you will need to wear a temporary crown. When you return for your second visit, it is replaced by your new crown, which is tested and cemented into place.

The benefits of CEREC crown treatment:

 

  • CEREC crown treatments are far quicker and easier (than traditional crown treatments), and only require one visit. They are actually easier to receive than dental filling treatments.
  • CEREC crowns provide amazing results. They are bio-safe, look natural and feel just like your other teeth. CEREC technology makes it possible to customise and create strong durable colour-matched crowns for your teeth.
  • CEREC restorations are less invasive for patients. When your dentist prepares your teeth for a CEREC crown, only the damaged, decayed or defective parts of the affected tooth are removed. More of your natural tooth is retained during a CEREC procedure, unlike traditional crown treatments which require further excavation – which can weaken your remaining natural tooth structure.
Leeming-dental-cerec-3d-miller.jpg

How does the CEREC crown treatment system work?

Once your dentist has finished preparing your tooth to receive a crown, a quick 3D scan of your oral cavity is taken with a small pen-shaped intraoral 3D camera, called the CEREC Omnicam. The 3D data captured by the camera is then viewed on a computer screen. You can watch as your dentist designs your crown with the CEREC 3D modelling software. The completed 3D file of your new crown is exported to the in-house CEREC milling machine, which proceeds to carve out your crown from a single ceramic block right before your eyes. It takes about 15 minutes, and you’re free to keep watching – or you can take a break! When ready, your new CEREC crown is permanently bonded to your tooth – and you are good to go!

CEREC tooth restorations are suitable for a number of tooth problems and issues including:

  • Heavily decayed teeth
  • Weakened, fractured or cracked teeth
  • Replacement of old metal or failing restorations

However, if your other teeth are stained or discoloured, there may be other dental restorative materials that provide more aesthetic options, especially for front tooth restorations. CEREC is a life changer. If you are interested in finding out more about CEREC crowns, contact us on (08) 9310 3367 or book online to schedule a consultation. We are also happy to answer any of your questions over the phone.

CEREC crowns – one hour, one visit!

CEREC crowns – one hour, one visit!

In the busy 21st century, customer expectations have changed. Our spare time is precious. So we prefer to shop online, make instant payments, and have our purchases delivered straight to our door. Businesses that can promptly deliver quality goods and great customer service – for the best possible price – meet the needs and expectations of today’s customers. The same applies to modern dentistry. Dental patients nowadays want the best solutions for their oral health in minimal time. In order to meet the needs of today’s dental patients, more and more dental clinics are practising same-day dentistry. This is possible because of advances in dental technology which have made same-day dentistry a reality. Now, lengthy dental treatment can be performed in a fraction of the usual time.

CEREC dental technology

CEREC (CEramic REConstruction) is one such innovation. CEREC is a high-tech dental technology system that can design and produce high quality ceramic dental restorations (such as crowns, bridges, inlays and onlays) for patients, onsite at the dental clinic – in minutes.

Traditional crown treatment

Traditional crown treatments usually take a week or longer and involve two visits. The first visit involves taking manual dental impressions of your teeth which are sent away to a dental lab. While your permanent crown is being prepared there, you will need to wear a temporary crown. When you return for your second visit, it is replaced by your new crown, which is tested and cemented into place.

The benefits of CEREC crown treatment:

  • CEREC crown treatments are far quicker and easier (than traditional crown treatments), and only require one visit. They are actually easier to receive than dental filling treatments.
  • CEREC crowns provide amazing results. They are bio-safe, look natural and feel just like your other teeth. CEREC technology makes it possible to customise and create strong durable colour-matched crowns for your teeth.
  • CEREC restorations are less invasive for patients. When your dentist prepares your teeth for a CEREC crown, only the damaged, decayed or defective parts of the affected tooth are removed. More of your natural tooth is retained during a CEREC procedure, unlike traditional crown treatments which require further excavation – which can weaken your remaining natural tooth structure.

How does the CEREC crown treatment system work?

Once your dentist has finished preparing your tooth to receive a crown, a quick 3D scan of your oral cavity is taken with a small pen-shaped intraoral 3D camera, called the CEREC Omnicam. The 3D data captured by the camera is then viewed on a computer screen. You can watch as your dentist designs your crown with the CEREC 3D modelling software. The completed 3D file of your new crown is exported to the in-house CEREC milling machine, which proceeds to carve out your crown from a single ceramic block right before your eyes. It takes about 15 minutes, and you’re free to keep watching – or you can take a break! When ready, your new CEREC crown is permanently bonded to your tooth – and you are good to go!

CEREC tooth restorations are suitable for a number of tooth problems and issues including:

  • Heavily decayed teeth
  • Weakened, fractured or cracked teeth
  • Replacement of old metal or failing restorations

  However, if your other teeth are stained or discoloured, there may be other dental restorative materials that provide more aesthetic options, especially for front tooth restorations. CEREC is a life changer. If you are interested in finding out more about CEREC crowns, contact us on (08) 9310 3367 or book online to schedule a consultation. We are also happy to answer any of your questions over the phone.

Modern dentistry gears up for the digital age

Modern dentistry gears up for the digital age

Since the mid-90s, when advanced CAD (computer-aided design) systems were first used to help create crown materials, digital dentistry has developed rapidly. The latest digital dental hardware includes intra-oral scanning, dental sensor technology, robotics, CAD/CAM and 3D printing.

As a result, a lot of traditional manual dental processes have been, or are about to be, taken over by these emerging digital dental technologies, in the near future.

For example, the process of a traditional crowning procedure usually takes two appointments. It involves making moulds of your teeth, outsourcing manual crown fabrication to dental labs, and wearing a temporary crown in the meantime. Total time: approx. 2 weeks.

Now, there is the quicker option, of a single dental session, for a single crown restoration, utilising CAD and CAM (computer-aided manufacturing). How is this possible?

First, a digital scan of your mouth is imported directly into computer software that will generate the ideal 3D shape of your crown as a 3D file. This 3D file is then imported into a milling machine which carves the crown out of a ceramic block automatically. Then, all that your dentist needs to do, is – bond the newly fabricated crown to your prepared tooth. Total time: 2 hours.

And it doesn’t stop there. Scalpel, needles, use of anaesthetic, drills and sutures are gradually being replaced by lasers. Lasers result in less pain, discomfort and trauma during your dental procedure.

Digital dentistry will also assist your dentist. They won’t need to rely solely on steady hands and an eagle eye for dental procedures that have no margin for error.

Perhaps in the not too distant future, your check ups and dental treatment won’t even be performed by a human dentist, but by dental robots managed by dentists.

3D-printed teeth kill 99% of oral bacteria instantly – before brushing

3D-printed teeth kill 99% of oral bacteria instantly – before brushing

Dutch researchers from the University of Groningen, Netherlands, have created an antimicrobial plastic material for use in 3D-printed replacement teeth, crowns, veneers and orthodontic devices. The new material kills 99% of oral germs and bacteria – before you brush and floss your teeth. The team of researchers conducted research and development of a new antimicrobial composite polymers because dental implant related infections posed a major health risk world-wide. This type of infection is the leading cause of the failure of implanted dental devices.  For example, dental restorations that are damaged by bacterial infiltration can result in secondary cavities beneath the restoration.

It is estimated that over 20 billion dollars are spent annually in the United States by dental patients – to replace composite resin restorations that have failed for this reason. Professor Andreas Hermann and his team added antimicrobial ammonium salts to existing dental resin polymers. The positive charge in these salts disrupted the negatively-charged cell lining or membrane of the bacteria. This caused the bacterial cells to rupture and die.

And while the new material can kill bacteria on contact, it is harmless to human cells. To test the antimicrobial properties of the new polymers, the research team  coated 3D-printed dental objects in a mix of saliva and the Streptococcus mutans bactirium which causes tooth decay. Incredibly, the team found the polymers killed over 99% of the bacteria. In comparison, less than 1% were eliminated by a control sample with no added salts.

While further testing still needs to be carried out for long-term effects and compatibility with toothpaste, these new polymers are shaping up to be a  game-changer in the general medical and dental industries.  Reference Research paper: “3D-Printable Antimicrobial Composite Resins”, 10/2015, University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen 9713 AV, Groningen, The Netherlands.