Welcome to Transformative Smiles. This is a dental series we have made to share with you some clinical cases from our dental practice to show how smiles are created with modern dentistry.
For today’s case I’d like to share with you one of my partial mouth rehab cases. So this is a patient who came in to see me for inadequate tooth display which means that when he smiled he showed very little to no teeth. He found our office in Aiken, SC, through word-of-mouth and made a consultation appointment to discover what can be done.
So we can see below that this patient had some wear of his teeth but his teeth were also in a less than ideal position, which resulted in him showing no tooth structure when he smiled. This was the main issue that he wanted addressed, and he wanted to do this without orthodontics or braces.
Generally speaking, the issue with wear is that it can be self-perpetuating. Your bite can change over time which causes the wear to get worse. Once you wear through the more protective layer of tooth–the enamel, the softer layer of tooth becomes exposed. This is the dentin. Dentin wears at a much greater rate than enamel. So after a certain point, the wear on your teeth can accelerate at a more rapid rate. If caught early on, the treatment involved can be more conservative. However, once there are bite changes as a result of wear or if the tooth position is less than ideal, then a partial or full mouth rehab becomes necessary.
So with this patient, his original bite did not have the teeth in an ideal position to protect his teeth from premature chipping. Since orthodontics was ruled out by him, he needed a partial mouth rehab in order to re-design his bite as well as lengthen his upper teeth. So here you can see the before and after photos of the teeth.
These are porcelain and zirconia restorations which are custom made by a dental lab. When you look at his crowns, we make them appear as life-like and as natural as possible. The lab ensures that the teeth are the appropriate shade, shape and contour for our esthetic design.
His before smile really was as though he had no teeth on top. Below is his after photo and as you can see, he definitely shows teeth now when he smiles.
The process of getting to this end result involves testing out his new proposed bite with provisional crowns. These are temporary crowns, made of acrylic, which are easily changed. Both the patient and I were able to make sure that we were happy with his tooth display and his bite even before the lab fabricated the final restorations. This testing phase went very well overall and we were able to proceed with his final crowns.
So, This is an example of a really transformative case which demonstrates what we can do to help patients either with tooth wear or for patients who have teeth in a less than ideal position.
Your smile really impacts your quality of life in so many different ways. You absolutely deserve this type of dentistry because it is an investment that has the power to transform your future.