Fall is upon us. It is the season of change. Everything changes, leaves change, temperatures change, clothing changes and it's good in a way because it reminds us that we have to adapt to changing paradigms. The same is true in dentistry. There was a time when restorations were pretty much porcelain fused to gold, or full cast gold crowns, but change is upon us. If you haven’t noticed gold is hovering around $1700.00 per ounce and the economy...well it is just hovering. Gold as a component of crowns increases the cost of restorations as it goes up. Gold is not the only volatile component either. Palladium, which is frequently alloyed with gold is three times the cost it was in 2009. The challenge then becomes twofold, how to offer a product at the highest quality level and making it cost effective in a weak economy.
This is where we take a look at the new materials that are available and see if they fill a need. Full contour Zirconia for example as a replacement for some gold crowns is a great option. Extremely strong, tooth colored and less than half the cost could help patients afford a restoration. New alloys that are noble but with less cost and less price volatility give great results at a reduced fee. CAD-CAM technology has allowed us to control costs and offer better material choices.
The point is that change is good because it forces us to find alternatives and sometimes in the alternatives, we actually find a better way. Now is the time to discuss materials with your lab and see if you are taking advantage of all that is available today. These combined with our standard restorative products can give a range of great options for every situation.
So enjoy the fall and if you haven’t already done so…break out the sweaters!