Do it all
Dr. Paik Sung Ki of IP&I Dental Clinic gives patients personalized care using the very best
in prosthodontic technology
To say that Dr. Paik Sung Ki of IP&I Dental Clinic lends a personal touch to his establishment would be a significant underatatement. "I handle 99.9 percent of everything for our patients of all ages," he says. "It's very unique."
Armed with PhD in ceramic science, Paik is equal parts scientist, artist and doctor, a Renaissance man of all things prosthodontics-related. Where other dental clinics rely on outside technicians to produce reconstructed teeth for patients they've never seen before, Paik is able to rebuild perfect smiles through extensive examinations and intensive discussions with patients, consulting with them on their preferences and paying close attention th the details that make each mouth unique. The results are nothing short of works of art.
Far Eastern blessings via German technology
For centuries, East Asian philosophers have considered healthy teeth to be key to attaining overall health, one of the so-called Five Blessings along with wealth, virtue, longevity and a peaceful death. On the first full moon of the lunar year, Koreans would crack nuts with their teeth, a practice they believed would keep the teeth healthy for a year.
You don't need to be a dentist to appreciate how important a healthy smile is to one's happiness and overall well-being, as anyone who has suffered a toothache knows.
Located in the landmark Somerset Palace in th Gwanghwamun district, the heart of old Seoul, IP&I Dental Clinic brings leading dental technology to its historic location. Gone are the time-consuming, uncomfortable and messy plater molds of the past. IP&I relies on computer-assisted design and manu-facturting (CAD/CAM), an industrial technique in which new teeth or bridgework are produced using degital images taken of the patient's existing teeth. It is a technique IP&I has been practicing for 10 years, says Paik, and it allows for results that extend far beyond the traditional methods.
At the heart of IP&I's service is its cutting-edge Chariside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic system, of CEREC, a German-designed technique that allows dentists to design, build and implant tooth reconstrucitons "chair-side," which is to say they happen at the point of treatment. What this means for the patient is that he or she can often receive the treatment they need in just one visit. It's an expensive system, and one that requires considerable training and skill on the part of the user, but is enables Paik to offer his patients unrivaled service in terms of results, comfort and convenience.
IP&I's English-speaking staff, convenient location and, most importantly, the quick treatment times pari seamlessly with Paik's investment in the very best technology, making the dental clinic a popular one with international patients.
Paik maight use the latest in German technology, but perfecting smiles isn't just ans exercise in cold logic. Like most things human, teeth are defined by their infinite irregularities and imperfections; any robot could make a perfectly functional reconstructed tooth, but to make a reconstructed tooth that looks natural, however, you need an artist.
Rather than ship his digital images to an outside lab, Paik makes his own ceramic replacements on-site using an advanced zirconia furnace, the likes of which, he explains, there are just a handful in Korea. Heating the ceramics up to 1,530 degrees results in a synthetic tooth that is as hard as metal, the standard replacement material, while also being biocompatible, a godsend to those with metal allegies.
Firing the crown in only the beginning. Using small paint brushes, he stains the replacements to give them the discolorations that made teeth look natural. Showing off some of his handiwork, he boats, "It's quite artistic."