There are several factors that can make a Smile Makeover much more difficult to look good or great, and this was an instance in which pretty much ALL of them were in place, so this was quite a challenge for me; fortunately, I had the distinct pleasure of working with a terrific patient and an amazingly good dental lab to create a pretty beautiful smile in the end.
When Kat first came to us in August 2006, she’d always taken good care of her teeth, but she was ready for some real changes and improvements to her smile and wanted someone with experience in fixing real problem smiles. During my initial exam, I quickly realized there were several complicating factors that had been overlooked for years that had directly contributed to the problems she recognized. She knew about the significant gum recession, was unhappy about the dark metal lines around her dental bridge, and wanted to brighten/straighten her whole smile.
What I recognized as problems that she didn’t:
- Crowded lower front teeth that were banging against the back of the upper dental bridge
- She clenched her teeth intensely, pushing the lower front teeth powerfully against the back of the upper dental bridge
- A history of chronic migraines that did not respond to conventional treatment, and as she’ll tell you in a heartbeat, she tried EVERYTHING.
- The 2 teeth holding up the bridge had cracks in the roots deeply below the gum level.
- A very high smile line, meaning that – when she smiles big – her lip rises way up high so that even the gums show (most people don’t do this)
We spent quite a while talking about how all these things fit together, as well as discussing the possibilities to give her a beautiful smile she felt good about. Ultimately, we decided on extracting the 2 cracked teeth, placing 2 dental implants, Six-Month Braces to straighten the lower front teeth so they wouldn’t bang against the top ones, using the NTI-tss for resolving the chronic migraines (resulting from the incredibly intense muscle clenching), and finally a dental porcelain-to-metal bridge to replace the upper missing front teeth, supported by the 2 dental implants. The entire process took just under 2 years, but even Kat will tell you – it was worth it! She recently got married and says she felt so good smiling for her wedding photos with total confidence.
You know — this is the kind of thing that makes dentistry really enjoyable. We get to help people LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD, AND EAT THE FOODS THEY WANT. 🙂