My name is Hennie and I’m the owner here at Upton Dental and Implant Centre… and I love my toys!
I’ve been meaning to write a little about all our new technology that we have invested in and introduced over the last 4 years, but just never found the right time to do so. I must confess, I’m a lot better dentist than a writer, so please bear with me!
When I took over from Mr John Gordon in 2014, I promised him and our staff that we will keep the ethos of the practice the same with regards to how we look after our patients and the overall feel of the practice. I inherited a fabulous practice with amazing staff and a patient base to be very proud of. One of the many bits of advice Mr Gordon gave me was to invest in some new technology to move the practice forward. That’s exactly what we did from the start. Everything we have incorporated over the last 4 years was done with one purpose in mind; to make the whole experience at the dentist better for our patients. The old days of brutal dentistry are over. We are very lucky to live in this era of innovation and I must say, the dental profession has embraced it with open arms.
I hear a lot of people say: “Wow, amazing! But does this mean I will pay more for my treatment?”
My reply is categorically: “No, not at all.”
As the owner, I am acutely aware of what we charge our patients and I am very conservative when it comes to setting our prices. All the investments we have made have not been considered when we set our prices and will not be in the future. I believe that everything we use in practice needs to be available to make our lives and our patients live easier and more efficient. By being a practice at the cutting edge of technology, we save time, being more efficient and prevent any major complications thus reducing our costs without charging our patients any more than any other practice in the area. I always joke and say I could have used the money to go on very exotic holidays and drive very flash cars, but we decided to reinvest in the practice as a way of saying thank you to our patients and staff.
I’ll discuss just a few bits to give you an overview of what we have available.
One of my favourite bits of kit in the practice is our CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography) scanner. We bought it 3 years ago and I must say, I will not be able to practice now without it. We can now take 3D x-ray images of your jaw. We use this to help us plan our dental implant cases, figure out positions of buried or impacted teeth, seeing the extent of pathological lesions and much more. We can use these amazing images and the software to plan exactly where we want to place our implants even before we touch you. We can use this information to make an implant guide that we use during placing your implant. This way we know exactly where all the important structures like nerves and sinuses are and we can avoid these areas for much safer surgery. It takes out all the guessing during our treatment which is great because we can be confident we place the implant in the safe area where we planned, which will mean the area will heal very quickly and we will get a superior result when we fit the final crown on the implant.
Our next piece of kit is our CEREC system. Instead of putting that horrible putty and gue in your mouth to take impressions, we can now just wave this almost magic wand over your teeth and obtain the most accurate picture of your mouth which our laboratories can use to make your crowns, bridges, implant restorations, clear aligners and dentures. In some instances, we may still need to take an impression, but we try to minimise it as much as possible.
We also have our own CEREC milling unit which means we can mill our own crowns in house while you wait. It’s amazing because we can design the crown ourselves, make it the way we want it and fit it on the same day. The best of all is, you can watch your crown being milled if you wish to do so. So, no impressions, no temporary crowns and no waiting for the crowns to come back from the laboratory. I think it makes a massive improvement in the whole experience for our patients and the feedback we get is amazing.
We still send some work to our trusted laboratories when it is too complex to do in-house. We will never be able to work without our dental technicians.
Our intraoral cameras are great tools to help you to visualise what we can see as dentists. We use them all the time to show patients areas in their mouths they can’t see. It is literally a small camera which we can take still pictures with.
PRGF is one of our latest additions. I trained under Mr Pete Saunders and he and many other top implant surgeons are using this system during any surgery. It stands for Plasma Rich in Growth Factors.
It works by us drawing a small volume of blood from your arm (normal phlebotomy procedure), centrifuge the blood and extracts only the part of your blood containing all the platelets and growth factors leaving behind to be discarded the red and white blood cells which cause inflammation and discomfort during the healing process. By using your own blood’s healing products during our surgeries we reduce the time of healing and make the post-operative recovery much shorter and a lot less painful. Again, I think it is a win win for everybody. Shorter healing time and less pain! I don’t know about you but I’m all for that!
Our next “toy” we are looking into is a 3D printer. We can use our CEREC scans and literally print the models inhouse. Again, very accurate and very quick. I’ll keep you posted.
If you have any questions about any of the above, please get in touch and we will be happy to explain anything in more detail.