This statement was made to me this week. The situation was the following: social event in a couple of weeks; black spot on a crowded and turned front tooth. Part of the patient was saying, “I want to look good at this affair. Part of the patient was asking, “Will I look worse? Will the fix fall off?
Before we deal with those issues, let’s discuss why we do anything that is temporary. After all, the patient is sitting in the office. Let’s just fix the problem permanently and be done with it. As a rule, anything that it involves lab work usually can not be done in one visit. The reason is simple. The technology and the process to make something for you can not be performed in your mouth. Whether the technology is old or new, the making or “manufacturing”, if you will, of a replacement part needs fast moving components or high heat which precludes the process from happening inside your mouth. What we do is make a copy of your tooth after we have shaped or adjusted it and send this copy to a lab. They then have a duplicate of your tooth or mouth and can make something that is designed to fit your mouth and situation.
This two appointment process will leave your tooth in limbo. It has been shaped and modified and you may not like the way it looks or feels in this intermediary stage. This is where temporization comes into play. We make something right in the office to cover, protect and make the tooth or teeth look natural. There are many ways to do this and many material to do perform this step. Recently, we have moved to a new material which not only looks great but fits very well. I can make it for you very quickly and oftentimes you will leave the office looking better than when you entered. This is true depsite the fact that you do not have the permanent fix as of yet.
The patient who asked this question, needed a crown (cap) and was concerned about the interim crown falling off. Our newest technique has demonstrated great retention by the tooth. The need to re-cement an interim crown has decreased by a great deal. They fit very well and the only reason that they become loose is the fact that I use a light glue so that I can remove it easily for the final tooth. So falling off is typically not an issue.
In terms of cosmetics, I can alter the position and size of your tooth to create a much more pleasing appearance. Dark stain, spots or other discolorations are gone. If the tooth had a silver filling, your temporary will eliminate all of that. So, except for hardness and durability, the temporary has solved all of your immediate needs.
In our patient, who expressed concern, not only did I get rid of a cavity and black spot on the front tooth, but I also turned the tooth and created instant orthodontics for her. She was so happy and confidnent that her affair would go off without a hitch. Her tooth looked good, free of spots, and turned to create a pleasing cosmetic result.
The lesson to learn from this is to never assume that something can’t be done in an efficient and expeditious manner. You don’t have to walk around with broken, discolored, or unsightly teeth. They can be fixed faster than you may expect. Do you have a tooth that concerns you? Call me at 440.951.7856 and we can discuss it.