I began my dental assisting career at the ripe old age of 18. Back then, dentistry mainly consisted of amalgam fillings, extractions, crowns and dentures. I didn't hear the terms: implants, veneers, CEREC, or digital. Today, these terms are used almost daily. There are so many new and innovative ways of saving teeth, replacing older dentistry or remaking a whole new smile.
Exams are easier and quicker by using digital xrays. No more waiting for the traditional type of xrays to develop, fix and dry for 10-12 minutes. (Hopefully, one didn't have to be retaken!) These images are instant and can also be emailed to other offices including specialists. No more waiting for snail mail to deliver them. Plus the radiation time has dramatically been reduced with digital.
As for the materials, they are stronger and much more natural looking. Tooth colored fillings used to be applied by first mixing part "A" with part "B". Now these composites come in small capsules, in an array of shades, and ready to be used. The ceramic used to make crowns is four times stronger than porcelain. When possible these crowns can be made in one visit in the office. There are no impressions, no temporaries and no waiting for 3 weeks. Also, they are more conservative to prepare. More natural tooth structure is left, lessening the chance of sensitivity. I'm proud to work at South Bay Dentistry and offer those one visit crowns.
Whitening teeth has never been easier. A bright smile can really change one's outlook on life. It can bring about a new confidence. Take-home whitening gel and custom trays are worn for about 15 minutes a day for a couple of weeks. After that, they are worn only to maintain the brighter shade.
Even straightening teeth has evolved. And they're not just for kids anymore. With procedures like 6 Month Smiles and Invisalign, a beautiful smile can be achieved without traditional metal brackets and wires. Furthermore, it can be done in a shorter amount of time; months rather than years.
Technology has made being a dental assistant rewarding and very fun. It's exciting to be a part of a profession that helps people not only look better but feel better about themselves!!
Anita, Dental Assistant Extraordinaire