SMILE: Dr Shiv Pillay and Natasha Pillay from Serenity Dental.
SMILE: Dr Shiv Pillay and Natasha Pillay from Serenity Dental.

Dentist sweetens smiles with tooth tech

DR SHIV Pillay at Serenity Dental gets excited by two things: teeth and technology. So he is especially animated when the two come together to create a whole new dentist experience that enables same-day crowns and bridges.

“It’s completely changed the way we do things,” he said.

Within minutes of scanning a patient’s mouth with a small wand, Dr Shiv has in front of him a three-dimensional model displayed on a touch screen.

Adjustments, such as crowns or orthodontics, can then be simulated in real-time, and a mock-up displayed of a patient’s future smile.

“Once upon a time if we wanted to do this, we would need to take those goopy impressions, send it to a lab and wait about three weeks,” Dr Pillay said.

“Now it’s quicker and easier than taking traditional moulds, much more comfortable for those with a gag reflex and gives us a much better outcome.”

Digital modelling doesn’t only save time; it permits creativity that puts Serenity Dental at the forefront of innovation. Using a 3D-printing machine, a detailed resin mould can be printed to give patients a physical glimpse into their fanged future.

“We don’t have any of the problems that the old plaster moulds had with chipping and breaking. It gives far more control over the patients’ treatments than was possible before.

“Knowing which treatment is right for you can be daunting with all the options available. But now if someone’s got crooked teeth or wants to fix their smile, we can show them how we expect it will look before they start treatment.”

HI-TECH: Manipulating a digital model of a patient’s jaw.
HI-TECH: Manipulating a digital model of a patient’s jaw.

The same technology is what lets Serenity boast its same-day procedures.

“What used to happen when someone broke a tooth and needed a crown,” Dr Shiv explained, “was you’d get someone in, numb them, prepare the tooth, take a mould to send to a lab, put in a temporary crown, and then get them back three weeks later to numb again and fit the crown.

“This machine takes about thirty minutes to make a crown, so a patient can have a break during their appointment, go and have some tea or coffee, and we fit the crowns same appointment. No impressions, one needle, one appointment, all done.”

Always keen to meet more of Emerald’s mouths, Dr Shiv was recently interviewed by the Australian Dental Association for their monthly publication discussing the benefits of rural practice. Living in a regional area has pushed him to expand his clinics treatment offerings as much as possible.

“The amount of feedback that I can get from patients now is absolutely massive.

“It’s really nice getting to know people,” he said. “If I go to the grocery store, I plan to run into a patient. And now when they come to me I can help them straight away.”

He said the clinic is now designing and manufacturing implant surgical guides and clear aligners for orthodontics, and that it would soon be looking to 3D-printing dentures.

Serenity Dental is located at 23 Hospital Road in Emerald, at the Garden Plaza Shopping Centre in Dysart, and the Shopping Centre in Middlemount.