by Dr Lakh Sangha, Karalee Family Dental, QLD
This is a rubber model of a tooth with an amalgam filling displayed in cross-section. Turn it around and it shows a cross-sectioned tooth fitted with a crown.
What’s good about it
A lot of patients find it difficult to picture how an amalgam or a large filling can cause fractures within a tooth. This model clearly demonstrates how and why it can happen. You simply pull back on the rubber at the tip where the amalgam is sitting and it flexes out to imitate a fracture. When you flex the tooth back and point out the crack to the patient, they can see how it’s running towards the pulp chamber.
It assists a dentist in two ways. Firstly, it allows us to show how a crack can form from a large amalgam or filling. This helps the patient understand why we would need to remove the old filling and cracks and sort the issue out with a new filling or a crown.
Secondly, it forewarns them that if they have a deep crack, a new filling or crown may prevent it getting worse but there’s also a possibility that it may propagate towards the nerve and the tooth would require root canal treatment.
I’ve used this model many times and patients immediately grasp what I’m explaining. It’s a very useful visual aid to help my patients understand the problem and allows them to make an informed decision on their treatment. It’s hard to beat this effective educational tool for patients.
What’s not so good
To be honest, I don’t think there’s any negatives to this smart little tool. It clearly and simply illustrates a couple of dental procedures and it’s pretty cheap to purchase.