As I wrote last week, I was at the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s convention in Dallas. It’s always an inspiring meeting that showcases the latest strides in technology and materials. This year’s meeting did not disappoint. I was in class for 3 days and heard new ideas on cosmetic dentistry as well as where technology may take us in the next several years.
But one lecturer captivated me more than the others- his name is Dr. Newton Fahl from Curitiba, Brazil. His specialty is in the field of cosmetic bonding and I guess you could say that he is the rock star of bonding. Bonding has been around for 25 years and gained notoriety as an inexpensive way to repair front teeth. As in most areas, there are different levels of expertise and skill when it comes to cosmetic bonding. As the amount of desired change to the tooth increases (a whiter tooth, replacing a broken part of a tooth or even creating a bonding veneer that covers the entire tooth) the level of skill and artistry needed increases dramatically. Dr. Fahl represents the pinnacle of artistry in that he can take a tooth that has been broken off and rebuild it using layers of material to recreate the look of the tooth such that it is virtually impossible to distinguish it from its neighbor.
It is the layering technique that I learned about this past week and that has sparked a renewed passion for the treatment. The latest materials available enable me to create and/or recreate teeth that are amazingly lifelike. I have been a fan of bonding and its potential for many years. The photos above are actually of my assistant Edie’s daughter, Brooke, who I treated 6 years ago. She was 12 years old and had spaces between her teeth that she hated and that were untreatable with braces. In just an hour or two, I was able to close the spaces and give her the smile that she desired; and she has been thrilled with the result. Six years later however, the material is getting a little dated. So this summer I will be redoing the case with the new materials and techniques that I learned from Dr. Fahl. And of course I will update you with the new pictures once it is done.
But the other truly exciting news from Dr. Fahl’s course is the opportunity to study with him in his office in Curitiba, Brazil!! I will be traveling 13 hours on 3 different airplanes next February to have the opportunity to study with Dr. Fahl for 5 days. Now, let’s just say, without going into pathetic stories, that I am not the biggest lover of long flights. However, opportunities like this don’t come along very often and I know that it will be an unbelievable experience. I have always considered myself a Continuing Education nerd but this trip is the icing on the cake. I will certainly be updating my progress with new bonding techniques as well as the travel preparations. And if anyone knows a good place to stay in Curitiba………