Bridging The Gap

Advanced technology creates bridges in a single visit.

native of the Washington, DC area, Robert*, 84, was a civil and water resources engineer for the federal government for more than 30 years. As a youth, Robert was blessed with excellent oral health. He credits his mother, who made sure he drank four glasses of milk each day, with the condition of his teeth.

Dr. Clark Brown of Implant Dentistry of Florida in Melbourne fit Robert (alias) with a replacement bridge in one visit (main story) and treated Amy Burton with Invisalign® clear aligners (sidebar).

Dr. Brown was able to create Robert’s bridge in one day by using a high-tech in-office system called CEREC which stands for chairside economical restoration of esthetic ceramics.

When Robert got older, however, his dental situation changed.   

“Growing up, I never had any real problems with my teeth, but when I was about thirty-five, I suffered a trauma on my front tooth,” Robert describes. “I was trying to show some kids how to break a log in the woods. I threw a log down on a rock, and it bounced up and hit me in the jaw.

“That trauma lingered on, and the tooth remained loose for a couple of years. Then the bone underneath the gum rotted away. I went to a dentist in Washington, and he replaced much of the bone, first with animal bone and then with human bone. He made me a false tooth that slid in and fit under my palate.”

In the years since then, Robert lost a few teeth, and when he moved to Florida, he looked for a local provider to care for his dental needs. He discovered Clark F. Brown, Jr., DDS, of Implant Dentistry of Florida in Melbourne. Dr. Brown, with his associate, William S. Vaughn, DMD, provides a full scope of dental services, performing cosmetic and general dentistry as well as all phases of dental implant surgery and smile restoration.

“I’ve been in Florida about twenty years now, and while I’ve been here, Dr. Brown has provided me with two bridges,” Robert relates. “The last one I received just recently. I was getting my teeth cleaned, and Dr. Brown found a softening under an existing bridge on the lower right side of my mouth. He said it was rotting underneath.

“I also chipped one of the side teeth that was holding the bridge. It didn’t look very nice because it’s all metal there, and it was starting to show. Dr. Brown built up the chipped tooth to use as an anchor. He used a back tooth as another anchor, then made a beautiful, new bridge. The amazing part was he did it in one day.

“I went to Implant Dentistry of Florida at three thirty in the afternoon and by six, Dr. Brown had done all the prelim work, and the bridge was being made in the back room by a mechanical procedure. By about seven, Dr. Brown was fitting it, smoothing it and gluing it into my mouth. Then I left and went home – no trouble. I went in at three thirty and at seven, I came out with a new bridge.”

CEREC® Circumstances

Dr. Brown was able to create Robert’s bridge in one day by using a high-tech in-office system called CEREC which stands for chairside economical restoration of esthetic ceramics. This system uses state-of-the-art optical imaging and CAD/CAM technology to design and mill customized bridges that fit perfectly and match the color of patients’ surrounding teeth.

“CEREC works by taking digital images inside the patient’s mouth and using those images to create a virtual model of the tooth structure,” Dr. Brown explains. “Using the model, we can virtually design the bridge on the computer, then we use the milling equipment in our office to fabricate the bridge.

“We can add custom staining to match tooth color, then we fire the bridges in an oven, just like technicians do in a dental laboratory. The difference is we can have the finished products completed and in patients’ mouths in one day.”

Using CEREC technology, patients such as Robert don’t have to suffer through gooey impressions to make molds of their teeth, wear temporary restorations that can break or fall off, or return to the dentist for a second visit to fit the final bridges.
Dr. Brown can remove an old bridge, repair any damaged tooth structure and make a new bridge all in one visit.

“When CEREC technology first came out, we were simply fabricating single crowns,” Dr. Brown notes. “With the advanced technology we have in our office now, we can also create multiple-unit bridges, up to three or four units. We possess the special milling chambers necessary to make these longer bridges.”

The crown and bridge restorations created by CEREC are made of all-porcelain materials. Previously, these restorations were made of porcelain fused to metal. When the gums receded, the metal base became visible in the form of a dark line along the gumline.

“Robert’s new bridge was made of a zirconium oxide porcelain, which is extremely strong as well as tooth-colored,” Dr. Brown informs. “Now, if his gums recede, only the tooth-colored porcelain will be visible. There will be no dark line.”

Absolutely Excellent

To Robert’s delight, Dr. Brown crafted a new, all-porcelain bridge for him during one visit to the dental office. Robert was also impressed with Dr. Brown’s treatment process as well as the quality of the restoration the dentist created using his advanced CEREC technology.

“My new bridge is excellent and working very well,” Robert raves. “To fit it, Dr. Brown ground down my chipped tooth, then built it up and used it as the foundation for the bridge. He used three teeth in all to anchor it in place. I’m very happy with my new bridge. I absolutely recommend Dr. Brown’s process for creating bridges in one day.”

While Robert is extremely pleased with his finished restoration, he’s also very complimentary of Dr. Brown, his staff and Implant Dentistry of Florida.

“I’m always happy to go there because the place is so nice,” he says. “The people are good to me, and Dr. Brown treats me very well. I’m very happy with him, and I absolutely recommend him.

“My experiences at Implant Dentistry of Florida are always pleasant and efficient. And everything is done knowledgeably. I can’t say anything bad about Dr. Brown and his staff. They’re great and they provide great dentistry.”

*Patient’s name withheld at his request.

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    • Implant Dentistry of Florida

      Dr. Clark Brown and his team at Implant Dentistry of Florida are committed to providing you with excellent dental care in a warm, comfortable setting. They provide the latest techniques in implant dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and general ... Read More

    • Clark F. Brown, Jr., DDS

      Clark F. Brown, Jr., DDS, is board certified by the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego, and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Geo... Read More

    • William S. Vaughn, DMD

      William S. Vaughn, DMD, earned his undergraduate degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College and his Master of Science degree in Oral Biology and Doctor of Oral Medicine degree from the University of Louisville. Dr. Vaughn has participated in c... Read More