Transforming a Smile: Stephanie’s Journey of Phased Dental Care
Stephanie had a difficult childhood. As a young girl, her peers constantly teased her about her smile.
This left her feeling self-conscious and embarrassed for years.
However, Stephanie’s dream of a better smile had to wait in line behind her family commitments.
It wasn’t until later that she could take control of her dental health and seek a solution to improve her smile. By the time she was able to seek care, however, her issues were more complicated than a cavity or two.
Fortunately for Stephanie and patients in similar situations, there’s no smile we can’t improve!
This article will dive into Stephanie’s journey to achieving a confident, radiant smile through phased dental care.
Whether you’re dealing with similar dental issues or simply looking to improve your smile, Stephanie’s story will inspire you to take action and pursue the smile you deserve.
Stephanie presented with several distinct problems. After her initial assessment with Dr. Volker, we determined that treating her issues in phases was best for her oral health and personal situation.
Let’s look at what the issues were.
1. Misaligned teeth
Misaligned teeth refer to teeth that are crooked, crowded, or otherwise not correctly aligned.
Stephanie’s misalignment detracted from the overall beauty of her smile and resulted in some decay.
It is difficult to properly clean misaligned teeth, leading to tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems.
2. Missing adult canines
Stephanie retained her baby teeth, so we also needed to treat this.
When a person is missing adult canines, it’s typically because the teeth never grew in or were lost due to injury or other factors.
This can cause problems with biting, chewing, and the smile appearance.
Building a Personalized Treatment Plan
Stephanie’s plan was always going to be an extended process, given her dental issues and personal situation. Our goal was to ensure we addressed all of her dental and financial needs.
Before we devised a plan, a full examination with various X-rays was needed. Once we had those, we led by having a full and open discussion with Stephanie about her treatment options.
Together, we settled on a plan that included three main phases:
- Phase One – Alignment
- Phase Two – Crown lengthening
- Phase Three – Placement of crowns & veneers
Stephanie’s treatment was divided into multiple phases over several years.
This approach is often taken when the patient requires a comprehensive treatment plan that involves multiple procedures to achieve their desired outcome.
The Treatment Process
We started by aligning Stephanie’s teeth with clear aligners.
Aligners are clear, removable plastic trays custom-made for each patient to gradually and gently move their teeth into the desired position.
These work like traditional braces, but many patients find aligners preferable since they’re discreet and can be removed for eating and cleaning.
In general, alignment (when necessary) is always the first step of phased dental treatment because aligned teeth are much easier to clean and treat.
Once Stephanie’s teeth were aligned properly, we could move on to the next phase.
Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure in which the gum tissue and bone around the tooth are reshaped to expose more of the tooth’s surface.
Stephanie required “Canine to Canine” restorations to address the decay and create the look of adult teeth.
Exposing more of the tooth made it possible to create a better foundation for the restoration, improving its longevity.
After the procedure, the tooth was restored to look like an adult tooth using a dental crown (or veneer), improving Stephanie’s bite and smile.
Crowns and veneers are both types of dental restorations that can cover and protect damaged or discolored teeth.
Crowns typically cover the entire tooth, while veneers cover only the tooth’s front surface.
In preparation for this phase, we performed a complete dental cleaning and prepared the teeth by removing a small amount of the enamel to make room for the crown or veneer.
As seen from her final image, the procedure produced a beautiful and worthwhile result.
Stephanie underwent a comprehensive dental treatment plan divided into multiple phases over several years.
The treatment involved using aligners to straighten the teeth, crown lengthening to prepare the teeth for restorations, and combining crowns and veneers to improve the appearance of the front teeth.
At Smile Connections Family Dental, we work with each patient intentionally to create a plan that works for them and ensures better oral health.
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