I have written many blogs recently about Covid-19. Many of us have adapted to a new way of life as we put many of our ‘normal’ work and social activities on hold for now.
I have been looking forward to writing again about the clinical work I love doing with our team. This is one of the last cases we completed before having the temporary closure due to Covid-19. It sums up our work wonderfully. It brings together everything that means so much to our patients and our team.
In this case we treated a lady who had upper teeth that were loose and failing. She had already lost a few teeth and was wearing a removable partial denture to replace these teeth. The denture was uncomfortable for her and she stated that it affected her ability to eat, chew and speak with the same confidence that she had before she started wearing the denture.
As with all patients in this situation, we provided a thorough clinical assessment and digital CBCT investigation to effectively diagnose the dental problems and provide the most suitable solutions. The cause of the tooth loss and continued loosening of the upper teeth was due to the patient having periodontal disease. This is where the gradual recession of gums and bone lead to the teeth becoming less attached and more loose, eventually drifting out of position and falling out.
We realised that the advanced nature of the periodontal disease in the upper arch was such that the remaining teeth were best to be removed. We proposed replacing the teeth with fixed dental implants to provide the patient with as close to natural teeth as possible.
We also diagnosed the presence of periodontal disease affecting the lower teeth however, this was not in the advanced stages like the upper teeth. We found that with effective treatment we could prevent the lower teeth from also becoming compromised and therefore, we could significantly improve the longevity of the lower teeth. Our aim was to keep the lower teeth healthy for as long as possible, perhaps for life? That is always the aim and, although we can’t guarantee this, we can certainly be sure that without this treatment those teeth would not have lasted long.
We placed 4 dental implants in the upper arch, carefully positioned with digital planning aids. The teeth were planned using our digital scanning, diagnostic try-ins and digital software to ensure every detail was planned as precisely as possible. The various stages ultimately produced a set of upper teeth that were strong, permanently fixed and natural in appearance for the patient. We aimed to closely match her existing lower teeth.
This case makes me both proud and happy. I am proud because it brings together exceptional skills from a team of passionate professionals to produce a bespoke full arch of replacement teeth in this way. I am happy for the patient because this had genuinely transformed her life. She can eat, smile and talk with confidence once again, without the problems of her old denture. This makes our whole team happy, it gives us a pure sense of job satisfaction to know that we have made a positive difference to our patient’s lives.
I miss doing this and I look forward to resuming the work I love again soon. In the meantime, I have hundreds, if not thousands of cases to reflect on from over the years to remind myself and our team of all the lives we have improved.
Thank you for reading