When Dan D’Amico needs to figure out how to create and place a crown, he heads to his office to look at a 3-D image of his patients teeth. Then he mills the new tooth, bakes it in a small oven in his Main Street office and can place it that same day.
The Watertown dentist decided to use high tech tools at his practice – D’Amico Dental Care – to speed up his work and make it more precise.
“With 3-D we can see things we couldn’t see before,” D’Amico said.
Now he can take a 3-D X-ray of his patient’s mouth, then go and create the tooth using special software. Often patients can save a visit to the dental office.
“We can plan and crown a tooth before you go home,” D’Amico said.
When a replacement tooth is needed, D’Amico can use another program to look at the X-ray and find out exactly where to screw in the tooth. When he is satisfied, he sends the information to a company in German, SICAT, which produces a plastic surgical guide that fits over the patient’s teeth which has a hole to guide the drill.
“I can only drill through the hole, and drill to a specific depth,” D’Amico said. “It is much safer, much more accurate and more aesthetically pleasing.”
His is one of the few dental practices that utilize these technologies.
“Less than five percent of the dentists in the country have both technologies,” D’Amico said.
He decided to go to this system after seeing an oral surgeon, Yong Koo, from Wayland speak at a conference. D’Amico grew up in Watertown but now lives in Wayland and keeps in contact with Koo.
D’Amico started using the system in August 2013, and said he is always learning. He can bounce ideas off Koo and other dentists who use the technology.
“If the hole is going near an anatomical structure or there is not enough bone, I can just put the X-ray in DropBox and he’s able to look at it,” D’Amico said.