Can a Chipped or Fractured Porcelain Crown be Repaired?

As a busy dental office, we see some variation of this quite often:

“Doc, the porcelain on my front tooth veneer chipped. Can you fix it?”

The answer is yes, but there are some limitations. But let’s first look at a successful porcelain repair case we completed in our office.

Before and After Photos of Porcelain Bridge Repair

The photo below shows a patient of ours. He had a 7 unit dental bridge that he loved – and that had been in his mouth for over twenty years. An unfortunate slip in the bathroom led to him banging his tooth on a porcelain sink (notice the irony?) which led him to fracture off a huge chunk of the ceramic on his front tooth.

The porcelain chip was large, unsightly, and very noticeable. His greatest fear was that we would have to do a brand new bridge.

Before and After photo showing porcelain repair of a chipped dental bridge

In Round 1, in Dental Bridge vs. Sink, the Sink won. In Round 2, Dr. Nick emerges victoriously over the Sink and saves his patient’s bridge! Photos and dentistry by Dr. Nicholas Calcaterra.

We utilized the highest rated porcelain repair kit on the market. Leveraging this product, along with our expertise, we produced a phenomenal result. It took us approximately 1 hour. And the best part is that our patient did not need a new bridge.

The Details on Repairing Porcelain

If you noticed from the beginning of this post, we said that we could repair porcelain, but there were exceptions.

Cosmetic porcelain crowns, bridges, and veneers are made in a variety of ways. But nearly every method requires the porcelain to go to extremely high temperatures – like over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit! So to add porcelain to a crown in a predictable manner, you would need to put the crown into the firing oven. But that’s not possible given that there’s a person connected to the tooth!

So, the next best thing is to bond composite material to the fractured porcelain. Composites are the white material used in fillings and bonding. The challenge is that the bond from composite to porcelain is not that strong. Nevertheless, when done correctly, we can still get a good result, as you can see below:

Before and after photo porcelain fracture repair of front dental bridge

Another chipped dental bridge. You can see the underlying gold of the bridge. 45 minutes later, he walked out like the bridge was brand new! Photos and dentistry by Dr. Nicholas Calcaterra

His bridge was cemented in placed. So we bonded composite on there. Two years later, he still looks great!

How to Get a Porcelain Chip Repaired

If you have a chipped front crown, veneer, or bridge, you might just think you can call any dentist and have it taken care of. That is not always accurate for the following reasons:

  • Repairing porcelain is not an every day procedure for most dentists. So, many dentists simply do not know how to do it.
  • A dentist has to keep in stock a very specific (and expensive) porcelain repair kit. Most dentists don’t have this in stock.
  • Some larger fractures can be impossible to repair in a manner that lasts a while. In those cases, you may need to invest in a new crown, bridge, or veneer.

If you believe this is what you need, it never hurts to call and ask the dental office if they are able to do this type of procedure.

Request a consult to repair porcelain on a crown or bridge

Do you have a crown or veneer that is chipped? Interested in seeing if it can be repaired? Call us at (203) 799 – 2929 or visit this page to request an appointment.

 

Ceiling Mounted TVs in Every Room!

We recently completed a small renovation project to enhance our patients’ experiences. In addition to our existing wall mounted TVs, we mounted flat screen TVs on the ceiling directly above our dental chairs!

ceiling mounted TVs in dental rooms for dentist office

This pediatric patient of ours was spellbound – enjoying his favorite show on the TV directly above him while getting his teeth cleaned.

Little did we know that this renovation would be such a big hit for both adults and kids. Some of the comments we’ve heard:

  • Can I get the name of your carpenter? I need several of these in my house.
  • Can I leave my kids here for several hours while I go shopping?
  • I’ve been a fan of getting my teeth cleaned, but with this TV, I actually love it now!
  • This is better than getting a pedicure!

Our carpenter (who is also a patient of ours) custom designed and built the cabinets for the TVs, complete with sound vents and an area for the remote control to function. Here is a closeup:

TV on the ceiling at our dental office

The custom cabinet is mounted within the ceiling tiles directly above your head.

And don’t worry, the TV is secured into the ceiling with commercial grade fasteners and plywood.

Why Ceiling Mounted TVs Help Us to Help You

We obviously installed the TVs in the ceiling to allow our patients to watch TV. But there are several less obvious benefits. These include:

  1. Increased Efficiency – with you looking at the TV directly above, your head position is ideal for us to complete your procedure(s). We can then do better dentistry in less time!
  2. Better Pediatric Patient Behavior – as an office that sees tons of kids, we know that we have a limited amount of time to get procedures done. Now, the kids don’t even want to leave the chair. And we’ve also noticed that kids who previously needed nitrous oxide no longer need it – they just needed the TV!
  3. More Consistent Appointments – because the TV makes dental visits enjoyable, we find our patients actually enjoy coming to see us. With an increased frequency of visits, we are able to detect small problems before they become big. This results in healthy teeth and smiles all around.

Each TV has a dedicated cable box with over 200+ Optimum channels from which to choose.

Looking for a modern dental office for you or your family? Call us at (203) 799 – 2929 or visit this page to request an appointment.

 

Trypanophobia: How We Overcome Fear of Dental Needles with IV Sedation

Needle phobia photo and how we treat trypanophobia.

This makes many people nervous.

Fear of needles, often times referred to as trypanophobia, is a very common phobia. Fear of the dentist, also called odontophobia, is frequently seen in patients who are phobic of injections, needles, or other sharp objects.

Then end result is a patient who is terrified of coming to the dentist.

How do we overcome these fears, including needle phobia? With IV sedation.

But, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice the irony in the above statement. After all, how are you going to overcome a fear of needles by sticking a needle into a vein in someone’s arm?

Think it’s impossible? Think again! Read on to learn how we do it.

About IV Twilight Sedation

IV sedation you will float in the clouds and not be scared of needles

You will feel like you are floating in the clouds. No fear of needles up here!

IV sedation, frequently called twilight sedation, as the name would imply, puts you into a twilight state. But what is a twilight state?

A twilight state is a level of sedation in which you are very sleepy, your eyes are heavy, all your anxieties are gone, and you don’t care what’s going on. You may fall asleep. And you will likely have no memory of anything that occurred when you are in the twilight state.

Our experience treating thousands of fearful patients is that for the majority of them – 99.9% – we can overcome trypanophobia and odontophobia – using IV sedation. If you’re floating in the clouds, your fears are long gone!

About Fear of Needles

Dental injection photo with big needle

The thought of this makes some patients very scared

Fear of needles is quite common. How common? Depending upon the source, approximately 20% to 22% of the population. In fact, there is even a diagnostic medical code for it (F40.231 for those interested).

Needle phobias are associated with health care avoidance. The result is that patients delay/defer/postpone medical and dental treatment over this. Based on our experience, we then see patients coming in severe pain – pain that has lasted for months – because they avoided treatment due to trypanophobia and/or odontophobia.

But phobic patients can get over their fears and get treatment done – under the right conditions.

How We Overcome Trypanophobia

As stated earlier, we can get you over your needle phobia using twilight sedation. But if you’re afraid of the needle, how do you get an IV in?

We get the IV in without you even knowing it. Here’s how:

  1. We give you a relaxing pill to take the morning before your appointment. This makes you super relaxed so by the time you arrive, half of your fear of needles is already gone.
  2. We begin to administer nitrous oxide. By itself, the nitrous makes you very relaxed. But combined with the relaxing pill, you won’t even feel us scanning your arm for veins.
  3. We place a little numbing agent (lidocaine to be exact) into the site.
  4. Next thing you know, the IV is in, and you didn’t even feel it. Nor did you care!

At this point, we are all ready to begin. We begin the sedation, and all the fears dissipate. It’s that simple.

Are you afraid of needles or the dentist? Interested in sedation? We are one of Connecticut’s most experienced sedation dentistry offices. Call us at (203) 799 – 2929 or visit this page to request an appointment.

One Hundred Dental Visits by Yale New Haven Hospital Residents in 2016

Yale Hospital Residents and Interns come to Calcaterra Family Dentistry in Orange, CTWe are pleased to announce that we are rapidly approaching a significant milestone in our dentist office: One hundred dental visits by Medical Residents from Yale New Haven Hospital in 2016 alone! These visits by residents included everything from cleanings and fillings to wisdom teeth extractions and nightguards.

We are glad we are able to provide dental care to these doctors in training. In many cases, residents did not see a dentist while in medical school due to unpredictable schedules and hospital rotations.

Why YNNH Residents Choose our Office

There are many reasons why Yale residents gravitate towards our office:

Proximity to Yale New Haven Hospital

Except in cases of significant traffic, we are a 10 minute drive from both the main Yale Hospital campus and Saint Raphael. Some residents jump on 95, others on the Post Rd, while others take Rt 34 or other routes.

Yale Hospital Resident with dentist Dr. Nick Calcaterra Orange, CT

One of our many Yale resident patients at a recent visit with Dr. Nick Calcaterra.

“Resident Friendly” Hours

Residents, especially those in surgical subspecialties, work atypical hours. In many cases, a dental office that’s open Monday – Friday from 9:00 to 5:00 simply does not work. Because we offer early morning, evening, and weekend appointments, we’re able to accommodate the schedules of nearly all specialties, from Neurosurgery to Peds! (Note: we have resident patients in both those fields).

We Accept the Yale Hospital Dental Insurance

In network with Delta Dental for Yale Hospital Medical ResidentsAll Yale Hospital residents have some variation of Delta Dental insurance. Not only are we an in-network dental office with Delta, we are experts in it! We can make sure you maximize your benefits at our office. Just call and ask for Jenn or Claire and we’ll help you out.

As an FYI, all Yale Hospital employees, not just residents, have Delta Dental, and we have hundreds of employees as patients. We live, eat, and breath Yale Delta Dental!

We Love to Talk Shop

In our experience, some residents like to come in and sleep while they get a cleaning. And that’s OK. Others like to talk and learn as much as possible. And we love that! Dr. Nick Calcaterra loves to talk about dentistry. If you want a refresher on all the branches of the trigeminal nerve and how it affects local anesthesia success, you’ve come to the right place!

Interested in making an appointment? Want to learn more about why our office is the choice of dozens of Yale residents? Call us at (203) 799 – 2929 or visit this page.