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.


 
 

 
141210-F-BI157-003

‘Hip’ view …

Airman Pedro Mota Senior Airman Richard Canales and Airman 1st Class Brandi Sullivan, 56th Medical Support Squadron diagnostic imaging technicians, demonstrate taking a radiographic image with a Falcon view Dec. 11 at Luke Air ...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Dec. 8 through Sunday: Tickets Security forces issued citations for seven moving violations and four nonmoving violations. Vehicle accidents Security forces responded to one minor vehicle accident. Nonemergency responses Dec. 11: Security forces responded to a child being left alone when the parent stated the child...
 
 

Safety begins with asking ‘What could go wrong?’

I’m sure most of us have been told to “be safe” at some point either by a commander, supervisor or even a co-worker. This holiday season will probably not be any different. Someone will use this simple phrase in the next few weeks, and it will feel like a cliché to you, but what does...
 

 

Taking care of Airmen: How Air Force mental health services helped an academy leader

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Chief Master Sgt. Max Grindstaff, the academy’s command chief, said taking advantage of Air Force mental health support services helps him cope today with the deaths of nine Americans he served with in Kabul, Afghanistan. “I sought counseling because I needed it,” the chief said. “If I feel like...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Dec. 1 through 7: Tickets Security forces issued citations for 11 moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Vehicle accidents Security forces responded to two minor vehicle accidents. Nonemergency responses Dec. 1: A child was left at school when it was not communicated from the step mother...
 
 

Stay fit through season of celebrations

Tis the season for family get-togethers, office holiday parties and cookie drives. What do these events have in common? Food … lots of food. As people load their plates with cakes and pies, getting a good workout drops on the priority list. Why do people fall into this annual holiday trap? Aaron Anderson, 56th Medical...
 




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