A Habit of Excellence
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
Excellence is indeed a habit, and details matter. Call me crazy, but when the success or failure of a crown or filling can be influenced by something as little as the number of seconds spent evaporating a solvent, it’s hard not to get obsessive.
Dental technology has introduced so many new products in the last five to ten years that we haven’t all decided the best ways to use some of them. Dental ceramics have been introduced that have incredible strength and beauty. Yet, when handled, treated, and delivered according to the manufactures recommendation, still show weaknesses. Some of the possible problems and causes of failure might seem to some as inconsequential. Little things such as the speed of the instrument used to make any adjustments or the shape of the supporting tooth under the crown have been shown to increase the risk of failure. Believe me when I say details matter.
Both Dr. Gregg and I have spent significant time developing our systems and protocol for the “latest and greatest” treatments, as well as those that are “tried and true”. Our love of the art of creating naturally beautiful teeth is mutual – and is the driving force behind our dedication to learn the most successful documented methods of handling modern dental materials. Each material has certain advantages and we make our decisions with predictability and longevity in mind right along side thoughts regarding how to create natural beauty. We view all of our techniques as tools in our tool-box – the more the better. For, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Above is a photo of one of the steps I use to prepare a type of ceramic crown to be cemented in a patients mouth. It is one, small step, in towards the end of a sequence of no less than 10 steps. Not everyone feels that it is needed, but there is research to support it. It’s a detail that matters to me.
Daniel Balaze, DMD, FAGD is a Restorative Dentist in Laguna Niguel, CA