Playing football or any sport for that matter can be rough on the old teeth. They can easily get chipped or even broken during physical contact out on the field. This leads to many patients seeking a smile “make-overs”, or a complete transformation of their smile. Patients seeking whiter, straighter, larger, and smaller teeth. Often as dentists we have patients present with every aspect of their smile and teeth in dysfunction:
• missing teeth / difficulty chewing
• severely worn teeth
• misalignment / crooked teeth
• a narrow smile
• too much gums showing in the smile
• discomfort in the chewing muscles / TMJ issues
Many patients present all of the above symptoms. For our study we will call our patient Lucy.
Lucy’s smile is very characteristic of a woman in her late 40s or early 50s with a minor sleep-time grinding habit. This slowly wears the edges of the front teeth creating “small teeth” and a old/worn appearance. The loss of height in the tooth structure also accentuates the wrinkles in the smile line. Lucy’s is also missing a molar tooth – which is apparent in her smile due to her wide smile line.
Our objectives were to correct all of her issues and discrepancies. Comfort. Function. Esthetics. All three of these are equally important. Pick any two of these goals, and omit any single one, and the procedure is a failure – the patient is miserable in some form or fashion.
When faced with multiple, complex issues like Lucy, we are forced to work on all of the teeth at the same time. This gives us complete control of every aspect: color, shape, and alignment. Before we do any of this work on Lucy, we do all of our proposed work on a simulated version of Lucy’s teeth and jaws, fabricating all of the final dentistry and porcelain work in a diagnostic wax form. This allows us to “pre-view” the result and possibly identify and short coming before we treat Lucy.
In Lucy’s case our initial appointment was about 4 hours long. We prepared all remaining 27 teeth in Lucy’s mouth. We also removes 1.5 mm of gum tissue with a laser. Lucy left that day with temporary crowns and veneers made from composite (plastic) resin. Lucy’s temporaries were modeled after our proposed final shape and alignment. In other words, Lucy left with a smile makeover – not 100% there, but about a 50% improvement. Two weeks later Lucy was reappointed for another 4 hour appointment. At the second appointment all of Lucy’s crown, bridge, and veneer work was placed. Some components were placed with permanent adhesive, other components (related to the bite and TMJ issues) were placed with a trial adhesive. This trial adhesive allows us to remove certain components of Lucy’s dentistry at a later date if certain symptoms remain or do not subside completely over time.
Here is a list of the work done on Lucy.
6 porcelain fused gold crowns on her molars
1 three tooth bridge, porcelain fused gold
7 Zirconium and porcelain crowns on her pre-molars
12 Feldspathic porcelain veneers on her top and bottom 6 front teeth
All of our Peoria IL porcelain veneer work is shade Ivoclar 010 / BL1
If you examine the before and after pictures closely, you will notice an difference in color, length of the teeth, the absence of excessive gums in the smile, the width of the smile within her lips, the additional molar on her upper left smile now showing, and the overall youthful appearance of Lucy ~ stunning!