Let’s Get Things Straight!
Dr. Taylor Shares a Malocclusion Case
Meredith felt a bit panicky. As she brushed her teeth one morning, she noticed yet another chip in one of her front teeth. Discovering chips in her front teeth had become all too common and she knew she had to do something before her teeth got any worse. She was so happy she had been seeing a dentist for the past few years whom she really trusted.
The Cause of Her Chipped Teeth- Malocclusion
Meredith’s dentist, Dr. Will Taylor, explained that in dental terms Meredith suffered from a condition known as malocclusion, which is when teeth do not line up properly. In Meredith’s case, her top front teeth tilted slightly inward which caused them to touch the top edge of her bottom front teeth instead of overlapping as they should. This is specifically known as an edge to edge bite. Over the years, her teeth hitting in this way had caused them to chip and wear down. She was embarrassed of her smile and she noticed the damage had gotten progressively worse over the years.
The Solution – Aesthetic Realignment
But Dr. Taylor had great news! Meredith’s teeth could be totally restored and she didn’t need a full mouth rehab or jaw realignment. He could provide an aesthetic realignment using crowns to permanently solve the edge to edge bite problem she had dealt with her whole life.
The Process of Restoration
Here are the steps they took to address Meredith’s malocclusion, prevent further damage to her teeth and give her the smile she always wanted.
- During the first appointment they did an initial work up. Dr. Taylor assessed the situation, the stability of Meredith’s teeth and her overall oral health. Dr. Taylor took impressions and photos of her teeth to record the starting point.
- Using the initial impressions as a baseline, Dr Taylor then created a mockup or wax-up of what the teeth would look like in the end. The purpose of this wax up is not only to give Meredith an idea of what the final results could look like, but it also to give Dr. Taylor a working model as he planned the steps he needed to take to achieve the final look.
- A week later when Meredith came back in for her second appointment, Dr Taylor presented the wax-up to her which showed Meredith what her end result could be. At this point she could have decided to proceed or not, but when she saw what could be done, she excitedly agreed to get started. In Meredith’s case, Dr. Taylor sent her home with a whitening kit as her first step so that in the end her new whiter crowns would match the color of her remaining teeth.
- Dr. Taylor started planning the steps he would take to change the look, shape and angle of Meredith’s existing front teeth in order to achieve the final desired look. He decided to realign 5 of Meredith’s front teeth using crowns, angled just right, in order to solve her malocclusion.
- During her third visit , Dr Taylor prepped Meredith’s top 5 front teeth so they could accommodate the crowns. Comparing her existing teeth with the wax-up mold, Dr Taylor used guides to see exactly where and how much each tooth needed to be reshaped or reduced to allow room for each crown. After prepping the teeth and taking a final mold, Dr. Taylor placed temporary crowns for Meredith to wear for a week. This allowed her the experience of how her new teeth would feel and what the final look would be.
- After wearing the temporary crowns for a week, Meredith went back into Dr. Taylor for her fourth visit to see if they wanted to make any adjustments. In Meredith’s case the temporary crowns did not need any adjustments, so Dr Taylor was able to order her permanent crowns. Meredith did say it took her a bit of time to get used to her new teeth, but that was understandable since she had become so accustomed to the way her teeth felt prior to Dr. Taylor’s work.
- At her last visit, Dr Taylor placed Meredith’s final crowns. The results were amazing. Not only was the problem of her misaligned teeth solved, but aesthetically her smile looked great. Meredith was beyond pleased, as was her husband. In fact, she is so pleased she is asking Dr. Taylor to put crowns on her bottom front teeth as well!
In Meredith’s case, the entire process from beginning to end required 5 visits in 6 weeks, which is fairly typical. Of course the determining factors would be the extent of the work needing to be done, the stability of the teeth involved, and any needed adjustments at the end of the process.
Dr. Taylor says the best thing to do is just come in for an initial assessment to see what would be involved in your particular situation. Patients are even given the opportunity to see how the proposed changes would look and feel prior to starting the actual process.
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