Changing Times in Dentistry

Healthy Smiles by Rita Tempel, DDS

This article was originally published in The Gettysburg Times, May 17, 2017

A couple of weeks ago I attended my annual dental meeting of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). This year’s meeting, held in Las Vegas, was outstanding. Every year we are introduced to new technologies and materials to improve the quality of level of care we can provide to our patients.

Over 25 years ago, our only options for crowns were either metal or porcelain fused to metal. Today, we have so many options for “porcelain” or “ceramic” crowns. The different materials have advantages and limitations, so it is very important that as a dentist, I know my patients’ health, diet, functional or grinding habits, as well as what kind of toothpaste they use since all of these factors affect the different types of ceramics in a patient’s mouth.

A few months ago, I wrote an article on the abrasiveness of toothpaste. Still today, I review my toothpaste charts with patients to show that something as innocent as toothpaste can and will affect one’s oral health and restorations. Imagine what a diet of soda drinking, sucking on lemons, and ice chewing will do to teeth and ceramics?

The world of dentistry is changing. So what does the future hold? Robotics were mentioned at this year’s meeting as being the future of dentistry. Slowly but surely, technologies are replacing what used to be mainstream dental care. Also, the styles and types of dental practices have drastically changed over the last decade. Solo practices or one dentist offices where the dentist stayed and practiced for 30+ years are being replaced by group practices, corporate practices and boutique style practices. Corporate practices tend to market heavily with “cheap deals” and have a high turnover of staff and doctors. Boutique style practices invest in their services and offer patients high quality services with individualized attention.

As a sustaining member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, I abide by the code of ethics to dedicate the knowledge I acquire for the betterment of the health and well-being of my patients. The AACD has world-class lectures and hands-on workshops which lead AACD members to provide excellent clinical dentistry with responsible ethics. To achieve esthetic excellence, the AACD has established parameters and criteria to guide AACD dentists through the process of delivering responsible excellent esthetic dentistry.

Every time I return to from an annual meeting with some of the best dentists from around the world, I am inspired to continue to “sharpen the saw,” up my game, and offer my patients the “Ferrari” or best of the best that today’s dentistry offers.

Dr. Rita Tempel is the owner and founder of Gettysburg Smiles, a family dental practice located at 2018 York Road (Route 30 East), Gettysburg. For more information, see GettysburgSmiles.com, follow Gettysburg Smiles on Facebook, or call 717-339-0033.

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