Modern technology never ceases to amaze me- I am currently writing this from 34,000 feet on board a Southwest 737-700 returning to Baltimore from Scottsdale, having finished another stint of teaching some very smart dentists at Spear Education and the Scottsdale Center for Dentistry. I left at 6:30 AM this morning so I could get back to the office and see patients at 2PM- what a country!
One of the patients I will be seeing today is a new patient that I saw as an emergency last week. She had veneers placed on her teeth 6 months ago and now they look like the picture to the left. Several of the veneers show fracture lines and chips and one is off completely- and remember, these are barely 6 months old!! This situation clearly demonstrates the importance of understanding the concepts of Complete Dentistry. Anyone can slap veneers on front teeth and, sure , they will probably look great as the patient walks out of the office but how they feel, chew and how long they last is directly related to how well they were designed.
Yes, I said designed because, in truth, every patient’s mouth is different and so a cookie cutter approach will never work well. In my office, I have studied over many years just what aspects of cosmetic dentistry need to be evaluated and designed properly so that those beautiful veneers/ crowns/ tooth colored bonding look and feel amazing and last for a very long time.
So later today, I look forward to spending time with my new patient where we will do a Complete Exam to evaluate just what went wrong. I will start by getting a thorough history of what her teeth used to look like, why she went for veneers in the first place as well as how she would like them to look ; included in this history will be noting any habits such as clenching/ grinding/ nail biting, that could potentially damage any new work. After the history, I will note the condition of all her teeth and take digital pictures to better assess her smile and bite. After all this, we will sit down and create a plan, together, that will satisfy all her goals and provide her the most gorgeous, long lasting teeth possible
Now that’s a good day! I will write later about what we decide and document as we go through the case. Gotta go- I hear we’re getting ready to land……just amazing!!