Two years ago now, I started using this little fella:
This is a Global Surgical Specialties Dental Operating Microscope. It cost as much as my Prius, but every penny was worth it, because Microscope Dentistry is the biggest game-changer that I've ever experienced in my profession.
In those two years I've naturally been to a number of continuing education courses. The speakers often use PowerPoint to project images of treatments they've done on immense screens. Any and all imperfections show up huge! I know, I've tried it with my own shots. And yet, the artificial restorations that we can create in dentistry often look remarkably like the nearby natural teeth that they're meant to seamlessly blend in with. Dental materials, porcelains in particular, can be made to match not only color but translucency, opacity, saturation and surface texture. The treatments we can provide today are beautiful, even blown up to the size of a tennis court.
Usually, though, their preps look all ratty.
Uneven margins, that critical edge to a dental preparation where the porcelain meets the gums. Nicks on the walls that make it hard for the lab technician to make a well-fitting crown. Tissue tags that lie over parts of the tooth like unwanted crabgrass on a lawn, interfering with the taking of an accurate impression.
These things simply don't happen in the world of Microscope Dentistry.
Here is a combined impression of a dental implant and a natural tooth, both for crowns. That natural tooth is a second molar; typically, there's an awful lot of trauma to the gums at the back (distal) as the highly convex contour is whittled away to gain a proper shape. Here, we hardly even see any blood. And the margin is smooth, crisp and even.
The implant tissue is also visualized extremely well, and it's beautifully healthy. This is always the case when Tom Kohler DDS, our main periodontist referral, has placed the implant.
And here's the impression. Without a spectacularly accurate impression, there will never be a spectacularly accurate dental restoration: