Mother, you can’t make me wear braces my Senior year of High School! And surgery too? Mother, you are ruining my life!
Rebecca ‘s mother called me to ask for my help. She and her daughter were very upset and needed my opinion on a serious dental problem . Rebecca, a beautiful young girl, was born with an impacted canine tooth, and was suddenly about to lose her baby tooth due to decay. Her mother is a friend and fellow equestrian who knew I was a dentist and needed my help to convince her daughter of what would be the best treatment.
Sometimes I function as a dental consultant and other times I am a counselor. My challenge was to evaluate Rebecca, explain all of her options to her, and help her to decide what would be the best treatment for her in the long run and the short run. Rebecca was emotional about losing a tooth and facing the embarrassment of a gap in her smile, and knew she had to make a decision right away. She was frightened and concerned about wearing braces for two years and undergoing surgery to either expose the impacted tooth or to extract the impacted tooth and have an implant. Her mother was upset that Rebecca was so concerned about her looks and not willing to do the treatment options the other dentists had presented to them.
After a full treatment plan work up and review of all past records I met with Rebecca and her mother. I prepared photos and case studies to show clearly what her options were and explain to her parents what the surgeries would be like. This helped Rebecca’s mother realize that although the surgery or implant options were dentally good choices, realistically and emotionally it would be close to impossible for a senior in high school to have to be without a tooth, have surgery, and continue with braces for two years into college.
Our treatment plan we worked out was a wonderful compromise. We had the tooth extracted and put her directly into Invisalign orthodontics. A false tooth was placed 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. This is a conservative bonded bridge that leaves the adjacent teeth only minimally altered. This treatment plan will allow Rebecca at any time in the future to go back and either have an implant or expose the tooth if she so desired.
How wonderful to find a solution that made everyone so happy.
“Dr. Smith saved me from years of awkward braces at the end of my high school & 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 braces or surgery!”