KNOWLEDGE IS POWER:
Embedded between nearby Alpine peaks and the hilly terrain of the Jura, you will find the French-speaking city of Geneva. A city of precision. A city which prides itself on its immaculate state. A city of detail. A city of preservation. A city of supreme quality.
No wonder this is the home of one of the world leaders in composite – Didier Dietschi. The last few days have been a whirlwind of excitement; new found knowledge and absolute admiration for the man who has managed to emulate nature using synthetic materials using his own hands. His course has affirmed what I already know – knowledge is power. There is always more to learn.
Throughout the last few days he has passed on his knowledge about how long composite can last and how it can be manipulated effectively and efficiently. Didier pushes the boundaries of conservative dentistry, challenging dental dogmas of dentistry in a way many cannot.
What is important to note is that Didier’s claims are not ill founded. He has spent years researching and documenting various materials and their longevity. His theories have a strong scientific scope.
Composite is a material that I offer to many of my patients, much more regularly than porcelain. The advantages are copious;
- For monetary reasons. Composite does not require the need for lab related fees.
- The teeth do not need to be cut. However in rare circumstances the teeth do need to be prepped, this is often very minimally.
- Composite allows better colour control in some cases. So for those minor tweaks needed, composite is fabulous for applying and controlling translucency, tints and other details.
- Composite restorations can be achieved in a single visit.
- The dentist can always add to composite restorations if they fracture.
- The process is fairly reversible as the teeth have not been cut (most cases).
- Now as mentioned several times, composite (like other parts of dentistry) cannot be the answer to everything. Indeed proper diagnosis by the health professional (that would be me) aids in proper treatment evaluation and execution.
If composite is deemed to be suitable, Didier is certainly the best teacher one can have to guide me through my treatment. Beautiful polychromatic restorations and appreciation of those intricacies created by Mother Nature will always be my goal for each patient.
So as composite and porcelain struggle for the top spot. Where would composite fail?
Unfortunately the downside is that its lustre is not as well maintained as in porcelain. It is prone more to chipping and staining. Maintenance is very important. Replacement is more frequent too. For cases with large destruction, porcelain may also be better.
Roaming through the peace capital and entering the Geneva Smile Centre filled me with excitement every day. Intensive theory, followed by our practical procedures and assessments left me feeling liberated. I often pondered down to the old town in the evenings for a necessary indulgent meal of fondue or raclette. My mind bursting with new knowledge and excitement about my future endeavours.
Didier’s gentle manner and Yodaesque approach kept us engaged. The master has taught us more than we could imagine and left me thirsty for more. Until next time Geneva. Now it’s time to apply this to my patients at home.
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