Digital Dentistry

Advanced technology creates crowns in one visit.

Having been a dental assistant for 13 years, Diana Jaks knew what she wanted in a dentist. The current personal trainer was skeptical when a friend suggested she try hers. After all, Diana didn’t know the man or anything about him. Still, she trusted her friend’s recommendation and gave her friend’s dentist a try.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Diana Jaks

“I’ve worked for really good dentists and really bad dentists, so I was very particular about who I went to,” Diana explains. “I knew what I wanted for my teeth. I didn’t need any dental work at the time, just a routine cleaning, so I thought I’d do a meet-and-greet with this dentist my friend had recommended.”
This dentist was Bryan N. Griffith, DMD, of Griffith Dental in Port Richey.
Dr. Griffith and his team made an excellent first impression on Diana. She felt comfortable from the moment she walked through the practice’s doors.
“I noticed right away that the office seemed calm; it wasn’t hectic,” she describes. “I didn’t feel uncomfortable, and it smelled good, none of that clove-type smell you usually get when you walk into a dentist’s office.
“The staff at the front desk knew who I was when I walked in, and they greeted me warmly. They took all the steps to provide the kind of service I expect. The front desk is like the curtains to the stage. Then, I went into the treatment room.”
Diana recalled working with dentists who looked into patients’ mouths and immediately determined extensive dental work was required. She was pleasantly surprised when Dr. Griffith didn’t do that. She was also pleased with his gentle and earnest chairside manner.
“I knew I had what dentists call craze lines,” she admits. “Crazing in your teeth happens when your chew ice or eat something hot, then something cold. Your teeth get these little lines in them that look like little cracks.
“Dr. Griffith looked in my mouth, took an x-ray and told me about a craze line in one of my teeth. But then he said, Let’s just keep an eye on it, which set my mind at ease. His approach was more conservative and managing, which was amazing. It suited me. I’m a conservative person when it comes to treatment.”

“I left Griffith Dental with a permanently cemented crown. It fits right. It functions well, and I don’t have a space between my teeth anymore.” – Diana

There were, however, two nagging dental issues that Diana decided to address with Dr. Griffith. Since she felt she could trust him, she first told him about a space between two molars on the lower left side of her mouth that trapped small particles of food, which can allow bacteria to grow. She then explained her other concern.
“It just so happened that one of the molars had a small crack in it, and eventually, that tooth could break in half and cause pain,” she relates. “I figured it’s going to crack someday, and a tooth that has a food trap can cause gum disease. I decided if I can close that space and save that tooth from cracking and causing me pain, I’m going to do it.”

CEREC graphic courtesy of Sirona.

CEREC produces a computer image (right) and sends it to the milling machine (above) that fabricates the crown.

Certainly CEREC®

For Diana’s tooth, Dr. Griffith recommended placing a crown, and Diana agreed. Unlike a filling, a crown is a dental restoration that fits over the entire tooth. In the past, having a crown made was at least a two-visit process, with patients having to wear a temporary for several weeks while the permanent crown was fabricated in a dental lab.
Dr. Griffith, however, made Diana’s new crown using digital dentistry. He used his high-tech CEREC in-office system. CEREC, which is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, uses state-of-the-art
optical imaging and CAD/CAM technology to design and mill a customized crown that fits perfectly and matches the color of the patient’s surrounding teeth.
“CEREC enables us to make all-ceramic dental restorations right here in our office,” clarifies Dr. Griffith. “With CEREC, creating a restoration is a one-appointment process; there are no temporaries involved. In one visit, we can have a patient’s crowns completed.
“It’s also nice that patients only have to be numbed one time because there is no second visit. There’s also no gagging impression material.”
CEREC is true digital dentistry, notes Dr. Griffith. It uses a digital camera to take photos of the patient’s teeth. Then, it creates images on a computer that the dentist uses to digitally design the crowns. This information is sent to the milling machine, which fabricates the crowns from blocks of ceramic that match the color of the patient’s other teeth.
“The crowns are manufactured and fired here right before we cement them in the patient’s mouth,” observes Dr. Griffith. “If something isn’t right with a crown, which is rare because CEREC is so accurate, I don’t have to send the crown back to the lab. I can correct the issue right here and re-fire a new crown.”
“After Dr. Griffith prepared my tooth, he said, We’re going to go make your crown. I’ll be right back,” recalls Diana. “I was really surprised. I’ve never seen that done before, where you sit there for a little while, and you leave with a crown. I didn’t have to worry about a temporary coming off, because I didn’t have a temporary crown.”

Spot-On Results

After Diana’s appointment at Griffith Dental, she had a brand-new crown. She was delighted that Dr. Griffith used digital dentistry to do the job. It made the process of getting a crown simple and quick. Diana was pleased with the finished product as well.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

The CEREC machine was used to help Diana (shown here with her dog Darby) resolve two dental issues.

“I left Griffith Dental with a permanently cemented crown,” she states. “It fits right. It functions well, and I don’t have a space between my teeth anymore. I no longer have a food trap, and I know I’ve protected my cracked tooth. Dr. Griffith’s treatment plan was spot on. He did the right thing.”
Diana is grateful she followed her friend’s advice and made an appointment at Griffith Dental. She says her experience partnering with Dr. Griffith and his team was outstanding. She’s happy about the way the dentist uses state-of-the-art digital dentistry, yet treats every patient like family. She’s impressed by Dr. Griffith’s advanced techniques.
“I like that Dr. Griffith uses high-tech equipment,” she says. “I like that he took an image impression of my tooth instead of using that horrible-tasting stuff you have to keep in your mouth for twenty minutes.
“I also like that within a few hours, I was out the door of Griffith Dental with a crown that was permanent. I tell people all the time about how incredible Dr. Griffith’s treatment is. I say, It’s worth a try.

The Practice With Personality

Like Diana, Louis Zone knows what he wants in a dental practice. He wants to be welcomed and to feel comfortable. He wants a dentist who will encourage, not judge, him, and will make him feel good about going to the dentist.
“My teeth as a child was a sad story,” he shares. “Let’s just say, I didn’t take very good care of my teeth. When I was an adolescent, my mom took me to some dental places, and I developed a dislike of dentists as a result. One dentist told me I was a dentist’s nightmare.
“I did have a pretty good family dentist in Virginia, which is where I lived before moving to Florida in 2010. I liked that dentist. We formed a good relationship, but then I just stopped going to him. I didn’t fear or dislike him. I just decided that since nothing was wrong with my teeth, why go to the dentist?”
Not going to the dentist is not good for anybody, but the effect it had on Louis was especially harsh. During his time without routine dental care, Louis’ teeth deteriorated, and he ended up with a number of serious dental issues.
“I hadn’t been taking care of my teeth for the past ten years, and I developed problems that needed to be addressed,” he confirms. “I had cavities here and cavities there, a loose tooth, you name it. I needed to find a dentist. One day, I was talking with a friend, and this friend suggested I give Dr. Griffith a call, so I did.”
When Louis arrived at Griffith Dental, his experience mirrored Diana’s. He found the office to be well-organized, and he was warmly greeted by a friendly front-desk staff. Like Diana, he was pleased by Dr. Griffith’s practice style and chairside manner.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Louis Zone

“The staff was very kind and helpful,” he describes. “I immediately got the feeling that Griffith Dental was a good place. Dr. Griffith was very personable, and he explained what he was going to do and why he was going to do it. I thought, He’s a good dentist. He knows what he’s doing.
“Dr. Griffith did the evaluation and came up with a few things that were wrong. He said I needed some dental work, including a bridge. I knew the bridge was necessary because I was missing a number of teeth and had nothing to bite on on the right side of my mouth. I said, Let’s take this one by one and spend this year fixing up what needs to be fixed.
The treatment plan Dr. Griffith developed for Louis included some fillings and a few crowns as well as the bridge. To create the crowns, Dr. Griffith used his CEREC in-office crown-making system. Louis is happy with the outcome of his dental work, but what impresses him most about Griffith Dental are the atmosphere and the people. He says the practice has personality.
“For Louis, it wasn’t the advanced technology we have that made him return for his treatment, it was our personality,” verifies Dr. Griffith. “It was who we are and how we treated him with respect and like family that did it. As a result, he trusted us enough to let us go into his mouth and make his smile great again.”
“I trust Dr. Griffith and his staff,” shares Louis. “Dr. Griffith and I have formed a good bond, and I don’t have any fears that I’m going to get a bad job with him. The thing for me now is to make sure I keep going to him.”

Service and Lifelong Health

Part of what gives Griffith Dental its personality is its unfailing commitment to quality dental care and superior customer service. The first part of Griffith Dental’s vision statement reads, “Our vision is to provide matchless service to all people we come into contact with.”
“The statement goes on to say that our team pays attention to the finest details and is distinctly committed to growing relationships with our patients,” notes Dr. Griffith. “Our goal is to partner with our patients to achieve lifelong dental health. At Griffith Dental, we do that as a team with only the best people in every area. It speaks of integrity and trust.
“We care about lifelong health. For example, we perform a test to classify patients as high-risk or low-risk for the
purposes of x-ray radiation. Based on their risk, patients might not get x-rays every year. Not only does this minimize patients’ radiation exposure, it also saves them from using their financial resources on the tests.”
Customer service is not just the staff’s job. Dr. Griffith personally calls patients in the evening after significant procedures to check on how they’re feeling and answer any questions they may have. The dental hygienist calls patients who’ve had gum therapy.
“Dr. Griffith called me one time when I had a little incident with an abscess,” relates Louis. “I think he was out of town. He gave me his personal cell phone number to call in case I had a problem. All that makes ours a very trusting relationship.”

“The whole staff is very friendly. They call me by my first name and treat me like family.”
– Louis

Dr. Griffith and his staff also make every effort to make their patients comfortable during a visit.
“We ask patients what type of music they like to listen to, and while we’re treating them, we give them a set of custom headphones tuned to a station playing their favorite artists. We also have Netflix, so if patients prefer, they can watch a show or movie during treatment.
“We also have warm blankets if patients want them and all types of snacks and drinks for them to enjoy while they relax and wait for CEREC to make their crowns or other restorations. These are just a few things we do to make patients comfortable.”
The personality of Griffith Dental really comes out in the way the team members do everything they can to treat their patients right. They want their patients to feel at home, especially Dr. Griffith.
“If someone came over to my house tonight, my family and I would be very focused on making sure that person was treated well,” observes the dentist. “We do the same thing when patients come to Griffith Dental.
“Our team has worked hard to develop a strong set of skills that enables us to deliver great care and make everybody feel comfortable, like part of the family. That’s what brings patients back to us over and over again.”
It’s what has kept Louis coming back.
“Louis now has a smile that will last him a lifetime, and it should not be a challenge for him to maintain it,” says Dr. Griffith. “He’s currently on a strong maintenance plan with us. All he has to do is the routine care, which should be no problem for him.”

Terrific Bridge

Both Diana and Louis are impressed by Dr. Griffith’s advanced equipment and techniques, but those are not what he likes most about Griffith Dental. He returns there because of the people and their commitment to making him comfortable and happy. He returns because the practice has personality.
“The whole staff is very friendly,” Louis reports. “They call me by my first name and treat me like family. Dr. Griffith has a good operation, and he makes it easy to go and see him. It’s easy to like him, too. He’s a very nice young man, and I trust him a lot.”
The important thing now for Louis is to continue his relationship with Dr. Griffith and the rest of the team at Griffith Dental. Thankfully, there are a few personable people around him helping him stay on track with his regular visits.
“The girls in the office have a persuasive way of reminding me when I have an appointment coming up,” Louis says. “They tell me in a nice way. I’ve gotten married since I moved to Florida, and my wife also reminds me when I have to go to the dentist. It’s easy to make the appointments, and they’re very good experiences.
“I’m thrilled with the work Dr. Griffith has done. The bridge he put on the right side of my mouth is a godsend. It works terrifically. Dr. Griffith knows his job is to take care of the teeth I have remaining, and he does a good job of that.”

 

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    • Griffith Dental

      Dr. Bryan Griffith and their team take care to explain everything in detail, from corrective options to financing alternatives, and maximize your comfort at all times. Their vision states, “Our team pays attention to the finest detail... Read More

    • Bryan N. Griffith, DMD, P.A.

      Bryan N. Griffith, DMD, P.A., began his education with an Associate of Arts degree from Pasco-Hernando State College. He then earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of South Florida and his Doctorate in Medical Dentistry in... Read More