Karen’s Brand New Smile
I recently met Karen; a beautiful lady in her 50’s, who never smiled. She described a consistent decline in her teeth over the past 20, her teeth were moving, becoming wobbly, and her gums had started disappearing, giving her the appearance of terribly long and gangly teeth.
Many of her teeth have been removed, resulting in a gappy unpleasant smile. Unfortunately, Karen had taken to putting her hand over her mouth when she spoke; leading to difficulties in her work and social life. She used her remaining front teeth to chew, so they were also wearing down and chipping.
After a thorough examination and history, we were able to ascertain the main problems. Karen suffered from periodontitis. Periodontitis is a disease of the gums. Most often, we see it in patients with poor oral hygiene, who eat an inflammatory diet, diabetes, smokers or a combination of the above.
Periodontitis is a severe condition which affects the bone and gums around the teeth. The tissues react to the bacteria in your mouth, as the bacteria builds up, you develop plaque and tartar, which sticks to the teeth like barnacles to a boat. The more bacteria, the more severe the reaction. The gums and bone, which are the support structures for teeth, begin to disappear. Your teeth will become wobbly and sore, need to be removed.
If caught early, periodontitis can be treated and managed. This involves daily brushing and flossing at home as well as regular dental visits to remove the plaque and tartar which you can’t reach on your own.
Periodontitis is an inflammation of the gums which has been linked to heart disease and many other inflammatory diseases of the body. In short, we know that a diseased mouth will lead to an unhealthy body.
Unfortunately for Karen, her condition had never been diagnosed, and she had never had a regular dentist. Karens condition had deteriorated to the point where she only saw a dentist when she was in pain. She was too scared to get checkups and had not had her teeth professionally cleaned in over 10 years.
A very kind friend of Karens had referred her to Smiles of Ryde to see either myself, Dr Josine Ferlito or my husband, Dr Danilo Strumendo. Karen had made the best decision of her life the day she made an appointment with us. She had taken the first step in the direction of a healthy mouth and body. We are always so pleased when patients take that first step, it is the most difficult one. Once we understand the concerns you have, we can come to a solution together.
Karen’s main concerns were that it was becoming more and more challenging to speak and eat. She was having problems at work and could not go out and have a meal. She wanted to resume her active social life, but her teeth had become her limiting factor.
Karen did not have any back teeth left, the front ones were wobbly, and she hated their appearance. She wanted a brand new smile with realistic teeth that would not need to sit in a glass at night. After a thorough analysis, we found that though Karen has lost her back teeth, she still had a good quality and quantity of bone remaining.
The next few months will involve placing implants and making her a temporary smile. The temporary smile is made out of durable interim material; it is like training wheels for new teeth. They allow us to be sure that Karen is happy with the size and shape of her teeth. We can make sure that the teeth will function in Karen’s mouth. The interim material can be adjusted until we are sure that the final product will work long term. Once we are confident that the implants are strong and we are happy with the final design and fit, we will upgrade Karen to porcelain teeth.
The interim teeth ensure there is no guesswork for the final product. We can be confident that the porcelain teeth will work harmoniously for Karen and be the teeth she always wanted.
Karen is excited, and we are thrilled! Together we are going to create a smile which looks natural, is comfortable and will make Karen smile.