It’s impossible to go through a dental career without continuously encountering cases that challenge our clinical skills. Nor do I think that would be a good thing, as stagnation and complacency can lead down a slippery path to less optimal dental care. Even an expert has something more to learn.
The case I’m going to discuss here is a perfect example of why collaboration is so important in the dental practice. No matter how much I think I know about the techniques for tricky restorations, I’m always surprised by how much there truly is left to understand or adjust.
It’s important to rely on our peers and lab partners for case breakthroughs and insights. They can see things from a different perspective and give you exactly what you need to provide an exceptional outcome for patients. Even just the act of talking through impressions on a patient’s circumstances can lead to unexpected realizations.
A Case of Fracture, Wear, and Parafunction
This case frustrated me for quite a while before I understood how to solve it. The patient presented with upper and lower implant hybrids from another dentist. An examination revealed the problem she had visited my office for, which was fracturing of the upper right lateral denture tooth.
She was no stranger to the irritation of fractures. She shared with me that she had a long history of wearing down and fracturing her teeth. I was immediately interested in taking the time to understand the cause of this consistent fracturing.
The patient had multiple single unit implants placed for replacement of individual teeth. Her condition then worsened to the point where she had her remaining teeth removed. Implants were used for dentures with locator attachments, but this didn’t last long. The problem persisted and resulted in the need for more implant placements.
Upper and lower hybrids were created, yet still she went through 4-5 replacements of upper lateral and canine denture teeth. After seeing me, she and I had to replace upper anterior denture teeth several times over the course of a year. That meant removing the hybrid and replacing the screws each time.
To be continued …