More Than Just Dentistry: Personalized Smile Solutions for Every Patient
Oftentimes, I serve as more than just a dentist to my patients. When Rebecca came to my office (her mother being a friend and fellow equestrian), I had to evaluate her difficult dental problem in which an impacted canine tooth was causing her to lose her baby tooth to decay. Instead of simply giving her my best recommendation for treatment, I also served as a counselor. I knew this decision was a critical one for Rebecca who was emotional about losing a tooth and the potential embarrassment of dealing with a large gap in her smile. She was frightened and concerned about the prospect of having to wear braces going into college and even undergo surgery to either expose the impacted tooth or extract the impacted tooth and then have a dental implant.
I wanted to give Rebecca and her parents the best, most in-depth look at her options so I prepared photos and case studies to show her examples of treatment plans and what the surgeries would entail. After reviewing these options, Rebecca’s mother realized the intensity and emotional impact of this range of work just was not realistic for Rebecca at her young age.
Instead, we found a wonderful compromise to minimize discomfort and Rebecca’s insecurities about her smile. As soon as the tooth was extracted, we immediately put Rebecca into Invisalign adult orthodontics, specially made to include a false tooth in the tray so she never appeared to be missing a tooth. The teeth were straightened and repositioned over the next 8 months. Just in time for college we made her a Maryland Bridge, a conservative bonded bridge that leaves the adjacent teeth only minimally altered.
Rebecca couldn’t have been happier and we were so pleased have found the ideal solution for her dental issue. She explained, “Dr. Smith saved me from years of awkward braces at the end of high school and the beginning of my college experience. She offered me a resolution to my dental problems that no other dentist was able to offer. I visited a variety of other dentists and orthodontists, all of which said that I only had one option. Now I have perfect teeth and I never had to get metal braces or surgery!”
– Dr. Jill B. Smith, DMD