“The ability to have the crown ready for the patient in one appointment avoids the intermediate phase of wearing a temporary crown for two weeks and then returning to the office for the final crown to be cemented,” explains Dr. Bell. An optical scanner and digital technology allow him—in consultation with his patient—to design the ideal crown which is milled onsite.
The same scanner is also helpful during implant procedures. The first choice is always to save a tooth, says the dentist, but sometimes, despite all efforts of both patient and dentist, that just isn’t possible.
Implants are also being sought by many who have relied on bridges and dentures for years. “They are choosing to go to implants because they are more stable and functional,” says Dr. Bell. “Dentures often rub and shift which irritates the tissue while the patient is chewing. Bridges often trap food underneath them.”
In the past five years, he notes, implant crowns have become more natural-looking, stronger, and they integrate with the bone more quickly—which can shave months off the time between implant and crown placement. The team’s CBCT scanner allows the dentist to see a 3D image of the bone which means dental implants can be placed with more precision, thereby lowering any risk of injury and complications. (It also enables root canals to be done more confidently.) “That scanner,” says Dr. Bell, “helps me sleep better at night.”
Integrating the 3D CBCT image and the Cerec optical scanner image can often significantly reduce the number of visits necessary to replace a tooth, says Dr. Bell. “In the past we often needed approximately 4 appointments to replace a tooth with an implant, now, in many cases, we place the implant in one appointment and the next time we see the patient we are able to attach the tooth to the implant.”
Dr. Bell insists on using premium implants from companies that have long-established excellent track records. It’s all about minimizing risk of future problems, because when an implant fails it can mean a long process of addressing infection that gets into the jaw bone. Dr. Bell, who has been placing implants for 10 years says, “You have to be extremely committed to the art and science. Placing implants requires dedication to continuously upgrading your training to stay up to date with the advances.”
Indeed: The money invested in state-of-the-art equipment and the time devoted to continuing education are significant. On average, Dr. Bell exceeds 100 hours of continuous education training per year, more than 3 times the college requirements. Dr. Bell has received training at some of the most widely respected dental training institutes in the world including Spear Education in Arizona; he is a graduate of the Kois Center in Seattle, and a mentor with the Cerec Doctors Institute.
“The technology is changing so rapidly in dentistry,” says Dr. Bell, I believe that we have a responsibility to stay current to ensure that our patients receive optimal care. One of the reasons that we do all these procedures in-house is so that our patients can have continuous care from the same clinicians from start to finish. Another reason is that by offering more specialized procedures, we make advanced dentistry more affordable to our patients.”
With Dr. SuAnn Ng teaching clinical oral radiology, pathology, and local anaesthesia at Camosun College, and not to mention keeping busy with Dr. Bell and their two young children, they are both pleased to have Dr. Andrew Sweet in the office these days. Dr. Sweet also provides a wide range of dental services including crowns, root canals, extractions, surgeries and Invisalign orthodontics.
Dr. Benjamin Bell & Dr. SuAnn Ng
General & Cosmetic Dentistry
#220 – 1070 Douglas St (TD Bank Building)
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