Health & Safety

July 13, 2012

Dental lab puts teeth into work

Story and photo by Senior Airman C.J. Hatch
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Matthew Jefferys melts a small piece of gold to create a gold tooth implant. The gold is heated by hand and spun quickly into the tooth mold.

The sounds of drills and suction tubes strike fear in many people, but in the 56th Dental Squadron, not everyone makes patients cringe.

Members of the 56th DS dental lab work every day to insure the teeth on Luke Air Force Base are healthy by keeping them safe, rebuilt or repaired.

“Here in the dental lab we make anything that goes in a patient’s mouth,” said Tech. Sgt. Bret Toliver, dental lab technician. “We make night guards, retainers, implants, crowns and more.”

Depending on the need, it can take a few weeks for the lab to finish a project, but it all begins in the dentist chair. The dentist identifies a problem, like the need for an implant for a lost tooth, and the lab gets to work.

“The dentist starts out by making an impression of the patient’s mouth where the root of the implant has already been put in,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Jefferys, dental lab technician. “We have a hard-setting stone similar to plaster we pour into the impression to make a model of the patient’s mouth. We take a small piece of metal called an analog that clips into the implant. The fake tooth is built around the analog and made out of metal and porcelain.”

The final product takes a bit of work, according to Jefferys.

The lab tech builds a wax model of the tooth inside the dental impression and shape the wax to look like the original tooth. The wax tooth is taken out of the model and another hard-setting stone material is poured around it. When dry it looks much like a large piece of chalk with a hole in the bottom.

“We put the mold into one of our heaters to melt the wax out of the middle,” Jefferys said. “With the wax out we now have an inverted mold of the patient’s tooth that can be filled with the right material such as gold or porcelain.”

The mold is placed in a centrifuge to be spun quickly allowing the melted material to take the shape of the tooth.

Once the metal cools, it’s removed and prepped for the final process — making it look nice.

“One of the hard things about the whole process is making it aesthetically pleasing,” Jefferys said. “It takes a long time. You don’t want to make a tooth that’s the wrong color, shape or size. So we spend most of our time trying to make the tooth look just right.”

The tooth is then ready to be set in the patient’s mouth.

The process of making an implant takes the longest time in the lab, according to Jefferys. Other things such as night or sports guards are simpler and take only a few days.

For more information on implants, mouth guards or other products, call the clinic at (623) 856-2273 to make a dental appointment.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Pg-1-Standalone---140411-F-HT977-026

Weather: Exercise component

First responders prepare to transport a simulated injured patient during an extreme weather exercise April 11 at Luke Air Force Base. The exercise was designed to train and evaluate Luke Airmen on readiness and preparation for ...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Plane crash, coma doesn’t deter pilot

Courtesy photo Retired Capt. David Berling, 56th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, stands in front of his 1977 Cessna RG March 23, 2012, at the Glendale Airport. Berling lost his legs in a 2007 plane crash, the subject ...
 
 

Comprehensive support system helps unit resiliency

In today’s Air Force environment of force restructure, budgetary constraints, continued mission requirements and resiliency, establishing a comprehensive support system in a unit is absolutely essential for success. Each organizational tier, whether at the element, flight or squadron level, must be resilient and have support mechanisms in place to not only meet, but exceed daily...
 

 

Preparing for next rank makes successful Airmen

As Airmen we have many responsibilities and duties we must carry out in accordance with our jobs. According to AFI 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, our responsibilities are as follows: junior enlisted Airmen initially focus on adapting to military requirements, achieving occupational proficiency and learning how to become highly productive members of the Air Force....
 
 
Senior Airman
JASON COLBERT

Energy office helps keep lights on

Senior AirmanJASON COLBERT Master Sgt. Adam Kelley, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron base energy manager, explains the value of low wattage light bulbs to Robert Wimp at the Energy Conservation Month booth April 9 at Luke Air Force...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2014

Change of command Lt. Col. Jon Wheeler relinquishes command of the 310th Fighter Squadron to Lt. Col. Matthew Warner at 8:31 a.m. today in Hangar 913. Days of Remembrance The 2014 Days of Remembrance of the Holocaust Victims is May 2 at Club Five Six. A Holocaust exhibit of masks of holocaust survivors and paintings...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin