Every successful dental case begins with a conversation.
A Case of Great Dental Expectations
“So what should we do next?” my patient asked. I rolled my chair beside him, excited about the challenge of achieving his preferred future.
I looked him in the eye. “Do you really want to know?”
“Yes!” he said.
I responded, “I don’t know right at this moment. However, may I take some models, photographs, and study your mouth? Taking time to study your mouth with this information will allow me to develop viable options for you to decide what you would like to do next.”
This conversation came after my patient lost #12 and had an implant placed. He had never asked this question before and his past dental history was single tooth dentistry.
Once the records were gathered, I spent some time in my office lab opening up his vertical according to the principles that Mike Fling teaches in his worn dentition course as well as the Pankey restorative footprint and clinical sequence taught in our Essentials 3 curriculum.
From my patient’s diagnosis, I discovered that he had two options: ortho plus restorative treatment or restorative treatment without ortho. Space was needed and form and function would definitely improve with improved space. We met for a conversation.
We looked at photos and models, then discussed the options. He explained to me that he would prefer to do the restorative plan without the orthodontics. My team and I invited him to experience a mock-up of the potential outcome from a wax-up by our own John Lavicka of Dental Ceramics. The patient immediately replied, “Let’s do it!”
Even though the patient understood why I wanted to do the orthodontics, he wanted to attempt treatment without it. I was happy to move forward with a restorative-only treatment with one agreement: If it did not work, I could initiate orthodontics. He agreed.
To be continued …