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      New VA equipment makes dental crowns in 10 minutes

      Veteran Julius Jacobson is used to getting dental crowns, so he knows that waiting is part of the process, and dentists at the VA Medical Center know it, too.

      â??The veteran would have to come in, and we would prepare the teeth for the crown, and we'd have to take an impression,â?? said VA employee, Marian Johnson. â??That impression would get sent to a lab in Texas, and it would take two months before it came back. The veteran would have to travel back, remove the temporary crown and put the permanent one on.â??

      Itâ??s safe to say it's a long and tedious procedure from start to finish, but not any more. Through technology using a CAD camera that takes computer images of the teeth, a crown can be milled in the new machine in less than 10 minutes. And it's more than just simple convenience that makes everyone happy around the clinic; it saves the VA money and keeps their patients safe.

      â??Itâ??s a big cost savings when you look at travel pay and the safety of our veterans not having to travel,â?? Johnson said.

      â??I talked to a veteran this morning from Marinette and he drove here, and it took him two-and-a-half hours because of the weather,â?? Jacobson said. â??If he would've had to get it the old way, he would just come here, get some stuff done, go back, and have to come back again.â??

      The clinic said theyâ??d eventually like to use the machine to create veneers and bridges, in addition to the crowns.