NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Going to the dentist can be painful, not because it hurts but because it can be time-consuming—especially if you need a crown or bridge.
But as Dr. Mallika Marshall explains, there is new technology that can reduce time in the dentist’s chair by hours.
Aimee Stone needed a dental crown, which usually takes several trips to the dentist. As a working mother of three, she didn’t have time for that.
“The biggest problem is booking my time, so I have to pick up my kids at certain times, and I have to fit in work,” she said.
But these days, Stone can walk out with a new crown in less than two hours from start to finish thanks to laser-based technology.
“We have the image completely built in 30 seconds instead of sitting with an impression tray in your mouth,” Dr. Jim Stein said, explaining how he first creates a 3D image of the damaged tooth.
He then designs a new crown with perfect dimensions on a computer.
The images are sent wirelessly to a nearby 3D printer mill which quickly builds the new crown out of ceramic.
So in just 13 minutes, Dr. Stein is able to retrieve the new crown and see if it fits perfectly in a patient’s mouth.
The technology can be used for crowns, bridges and veneers.
Dr. Stein says it’s safe and patients love it.
“It’s nice to know that he is making this perfectly-fit crown for my mouth,” Stone said.
As for Dr. Stein? He’s having a blast.
“Being able to do this for my patients, with my patients, is really the most creative thrill I’ve ever had. We actually have a lot of fun here. It’s not painful for the patient. They get immediate gratification and I can’t imagine practicing any other way,” he said.