I really like my dentist.

Had a cavity done.  This was probably one of the most fascinating things I’ve done in a while and this post may seem like bullshit, but, frankly, if someone would ever suggest that I would enjoy getting a cavity filled, I’d respectfully tell them they are nut.  But, I actually did enjoy it…  and so I am writing this review in my blog.

The dentist’s name is Dr. David Shapiro (Yelp – note that he is now in West Windsor, not Hightstown)and he not only explained what he was doing, but took pictures, which is what I think make the tremendous difference in the whole experience.

Here it goes:

First he anaesthetized the area.  Then he checked if the anesthesia was sufficient and, when I still felt discomfort, anaesthetized a bit more.  And then…

The following are various stages of the drilling the cavity.  Sorry, don’t have the tooth before the procedure – we got to talking about taking images after he started…

2011-09-01 - Step 1

Then he went in with at a slower speed:

2011-09-01 - Step 2

2011-09-01 - Step 3

These are in progression….  Crazy…  I didn’t realize that the cavity is half of my tooth.  This is what the tooth looked like immediately before he started setting up the brace.  Note that he kept the ridge at the top – apparently this helps the structural integrity of the tooth:

2011-09-01 - Step 4

Then he put on a brace:

2011-09-01 - Step 5 - Braced

And then he filled it up and cured it:

2011-09-01 - Step 6 - Filled

And then filed down to finish off.

2011-09-01 - Step 7 - Filed Down

Some really interesting bits: apparently a lot of companies advertise quick curing for the filling selling dentists on doing things quicker, but Dr. Shapiro said that he follows independent research that showed that claims are not quite true/reliable and cures conservatively (20 seconds, small layers) to make sure that the filling sets properly.  Also, he described some shortcuts that dentists sometimes take to save time (like filing off the ridge mentioned earlier)– things that he doesn’t do.

At the end of the day, I understood the implication of what he was saying even if I forgot most of the terminology.

So, takeaways:

  • being able to see what’s going on (even if every couple of minutes) really reduced anxiety/discomfort.  It was amazing to actually see what’s going on and, at one point, as crazy as it might seem, I actually enjoyed the whole affair and was thinking “I wonder if I have more cavities – I’d do this again”.  For me, that’s crazy…  (I am not a total noob: had a bunch of stuff done before seeing Dr. Shapiro years ago…  2 root canals and a bunch of fillings…  and braces…  none of which I would say were even remotely pleasant, although, to be fair, the root canals and some of the fillings were done in Russia)
  • While I don’t have a strong basis for comparison, Dr. Shapiro seemed like a no BS, follows latest research, cares about his patients sort of guy.

So, if you are looking for a dentist: I highly recommend Dr. David Shapiro.  If you are a dentist: take some pictures while working on your patients – they’ll love you for it. Better yet, record some video and publish in my journal. Smile

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