ALL SMILES

With digital technology replacing analogue systems in so many aspects of our lives, dentistry is no exception. Lucy Mackey speaks with Dr Kate June Stark, founder of StarKlinics Regenerative Digital Dentistry, to find out what digital dentistry is and how it can give you a bright smile on your wedding day..

StarKlinics Regenerative Digital Dentistry

It’s said that the best accessory you can wear is a smile, and on your wedding day you’ll want to smile with confidence. Now, thanks to new practices like StarKlinics Regenerative Digital Dentistry, a visit to the dentist can make all the difference.

To put it simply, digital dentistry means your dentist will be using digital, or computer-controlled systems and tools to treat your teeth. With the aid of the latest technology, appointments are shorter and cause less pain, and the results last longer. For Dr Kate June Stark, staying abreast of cuttingedge practices is key. “I have always followed and embraced new advancing technologies,” she says. “It’s been my passion since I qualified.”

One of the advantages of going to a practice like this is that cosmetic procedures, including repairing a chipped tooth or replacing a missing one, don’t have to be lengthy, invasive processes that take multiple appointments to complete. “You can achieve whitening, veneers and other cosmetic treatments all in a single visit. Even if you leave it to the last minute, you can still have an amazing smile on the day,” says Stark, who believes the results look and feel just like your natural teeth.

According to Stark, dentistry in Australia lags behind the United States and the United Kingdom, but practices like StarKlinics Regenerative Digital Dentistry are changing that. After establishing two successful clinics in London and the Channel Islands, she moved to the Gold Coast to begin a new practice. “[Our technique and equipment] allows for pain-free local anaesthesia and no needles,” Stark explains. “Which means you can have all your fillings, inlays, overlays, crowns, bridges, root fillings, extractions and gum treatments in one visit.”

The term ‘digital dentistry’ can sound confusing – after all, dentistry is a very hands-on process – but it’s as simple as your dentist taking advantage of the most up-to-date equipment, just like your mechanic using a computer to diagnose what’s wrong with your car.

For Stark, the transition from practicing in the United Kingdom to working in Australia is very rewarding. “The opportunity to educate both patients and dentists [in the latest techniques] is extremely exciting,” she says. “Everyone wants to get involved.” Her patients have been very happy with the service. “If I asked to keep your mobile for a week, how would you feel? It’s the same with digital dentistry once you’ve experienced it,” Stark says.

If ‘digital dentistry’ still sounds like science-fiction, let’s break down some of the technology that practices are now taking advantage of.

You’re probably familiar with having an x-ray at the dentist. There’s the lead bib, and the uncomfortable plastic piece to keep your jaws in the right position. A ‘digital’ alternative to this procedure is a computed tomography scan, commonly knows as a CT scan. Unlike an x-ray, a CT scan produces an image detailing every type of body structure at once, including bone, blood vessels and soft tissue, allowing your dentist to view a more accurate picture of your teeth and gums.

One of the most common reasons people avoid the dentist is fear of needles! A local anaesthetic is essential for many procedures, but a lot of people actually fear the prick of a needle more than getting a filling, according to the Better Health Channel.

To mitigate the discomfort of needles, Stark’s team use a computer-controlled local anaesthetic delivery (CCLAD) system called The Wand. It’s not magic, but it is a lot less painful than a syringe; according to the Journal of Dental Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine. This is thanks to the slow, steady, controlled delivery of anaesthetic.

StarKlinics Regenerative Digital Dentistry offers an alternative to traditional fillings that lasts as long as an amalgam of metals but can be matched to the colour of your teeth. CEREC, or ceramic reconstruction, represents great innovation in dental care. Unlike conventional fillings, which often take place over several visits, a ceramic filling can be completed in just one session. During this process, a detailed, three-dimensional scan is sent to the in-house ceramic milling machine and a perfectly formed filling is generated. Computer numerical controlled (CNC) systems, like ceramic milling machines, are precise and accurate, and there’s no need for moulds or temporary fillings, so you can have everything taken care of in just one visit.

In the midst of all your wedding planning, your teeth probably aren’t top priority, but for something that will be present in all your wedding photos, a radiant smile is sure to complete your ensemble. By investing in the latest training and equipment for its practitioners, StarKlinics Regenerative Digital Dentistry offers a faster, less painful, and more authentic solution for all your cosmetic (and general) dentistry needs.