I absolutely love what I do and this is just one example of what makes my job so satisfying. I catch a lot of grief from patients and colleagues alike because of how much continuing education I do, even going as far away as Brazil to study with the worlds best clinicians. But I point to cases like this to confirm its value.
Kate has been a long time patient; a fifty something very successful professional with a dazzling smile…. sort of. Her lower teeth were very crowded and her upper front teeth were uneven. Much to my surprise, she came in one day and said that this was her time and she wanted to enhance her smile. She subsequently used Invisalign to unravel the lower teeth and even up the upper teeth. She was so pleased at the end of the treatment— except for that yellow front tooth that was short and ragged. We talked for awhile about various treatment options. We could do bleaching to get the teeth whiter and then maybe some porcelain veneers to create an amazing result- but first we might have to do some gum surgery to lift the gum up on her right lateral incisor to make everything symmetrical…….
Except, when we reviewed Kate’s ultimate goals, none of that stuff was really necessary. Her teeth were already a beautiful color and the shapes of her teeth, while not perfect and symmetrical, were naturally attractive- a much more desirable effect than generic looking porcelain . Really, if we could just make that one front tooth match the others, we’d be there. Now let me tell you that it is no easy task to use bonding material to match a single front tooth with neighboring natural teeth. The shade has to be correct obviously but it’s imperative to match the other teeth in terms of translucence, depth of color and texture.
But we were up to the task!! Kate came in and in little over an hour, we had removed the old yellow filling and layered various bonding materials to match and mimic the other front tooth. And what a difference! It is so awesome to be able to meet and hopefully exceed a patient’s expectations while staying conservative in treatment. That’s what we’re all about- customizing treatment to the individual patient, creating solutions no matter if the challenge is one tooth or a full mouth reconstruction.
So I think I will continue traveling to take courses with other dental Masters to be able to provide the very best dentistry possible. And that means going back to Brazil this February…. But that’s another Blog for another day!