Couponista Queen was compensated for this post.
Recently I had to have some dental work done. I’ve never had to have much more than regular cleaning and a few fillings done before, other than having my wisdom teeth out when I was in high school, which was NOT pleasant. So while I was curious, I was also pretty nervous to find out that I needed a crown done – actually I would need a total of three. My old silver fillings had failed and could not be replaced. NOW, No one enjoys having dental work done, right? And if you do, well I am not sure you are quite normal. But, I needed the work done, and I gathered up my courage and made the appointment for the first crown. I was very excited to learn that I would have a complete (not temporary) crown in ONE visit. How lucky that I have found the most amazing dentist, and she and the wonderful staff at Fenton Family Dentistry helped me through the process! Fast forward to the Day of the Crown. I was nervous. The office staff was amazing at calming my nerves from the moment that I checked in. The dentist, Dr. Jessica Nieva, could not be more wonderful. She was professional, she explained everything that would happen, and was just as great at calming my nerves as the office staff. In other words, Fenton Family Dentistry really knows the meaning of “chairside manner!” We were chatting like long lost friends in no time.
Before I knew it, I was leaned back and we got started! I DID choose the laughing gas so that I was more relaxed, and I am glad that I did.
Let’s talk tech. The process that they used to do my crown is called CEREC or Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. The method was created by Prof. Werner H. Mörmann and Dr. Marco Brandestini waaay back in 1980 (I was 9, around the time I got my first filling!) and has been updated and modernized from using 2D technology to 3D technology. This has revolutionized inlays, crowns, onlays and veneers! If you’ve never seen it in action, the process is actually really cool. They design a virtual model (or imprint) of your mouth based on scans that they have taken. That means NOT MORE disgusting and uncomfortable impressions with that goopy stuff. Can you tell I am not a fan? It always made me gag. I had braces and had plenty of impressions made. This was painless and fast, like a magic wand that measures your teeth exactly.
The dentist or technician then designs the dental restoration piece aka my crown on a computer and sends it off to the milling machine on site to manufacture what you need.
Within 20 minutes or so, the milling machine makes the tooth. All that is left is painting it to match your own teeth, curing the paint, then implanting the crown in your mouth! From the start of the design to the manufacturing of the tooth, it’s all digital and I was in and out in a few hours with a brand new tooth! It was incredibly cool to see the tooth being made in the office. In the past they’ve had to order from a dental lab for that type of thing and you have to come back for your permanent crown. And really, how often do you actually get to see a tooth being made? That’s not quite an everyday occurrence and I have to admit that I loved watching it. I used to work in the office of a machine shop, so I am familiar with milling machines, but not one that fits on a counter. Technology is SO COOL! Dr. Nieva has definitely invested in the equipment to make sure that the patient has the best possible experience, and the training for her staff to use it.
YES, that is MY TOOTH being made!
One of the main reasons I am so thrilled with my experience is how quickly it was all done. From start to finish, the entire process only took around 2 and a half hours. I’m a busy woman, so to be able to have the entire procedure done and be out the door in under 3 hours was a huge bonus for me. Even though it was done efficiently, the staff stayed professional and friendly, and just as amazing the entire time.
The final result is one that I am incredibly pleased with. I was pretty numb for a few hours. I had minor discomfort for two days. The only pain I had was where the gum was pulled away to accommodate the new tooth, but that healed in a few days because I followed the clear post-op care instructions. I love that my tooth is no longer sensitive to cold, and I adore the fact that the color of the crown matches my own tooth color exactly. I cannot tell it from my own original tooth. I’m sure that isn’t a hugely important factor for some with a molar, but for me, I like knowing that I don’t have a tooth that is lighter or darker than my own. It makes smiling easier knowing that the crown matches and doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. Overall though, I’d say despite my apprehension, that the entire experience was not bad at all. Imagine that! Dental work that isn’t quite as bad as expected.
If you’ve been putting off getting dental work done, please don’t keep waiting! Sure, some of it can be uncomfortable, but hopefully, you’ll have an awesome experience and dentist like I do, and there are options that will help you through the procedures like nitrous gas. There’s no sense in sitting around with a painful or embarrassing tooth that needs work when you can get it fixed as quickly and easily as mine was! If you’re in the St. Louis area and are looking for a new dentist, I cannot recommend Fenton Family Dentistry enough! They can be reached on their website or by phone at (636) 326-7633 with any questions that you might have, or to book your own appointment! I have been so pleased with the quality of the care I have gotten over a few cleanings and now all THREE crowns and TWO replaced fillings, that my husband returned to the dentist after 20 years away. His teeth were getting bad. He has had lots done to make HIM smile again. He is even more handsome now! Thank you, Dr. Nieva and your staff! You really DO change lives.