What you see is not always what you get! It is like an iceberg. What shows is only a small part of the total reality. It is what is underneath that is critically important.
And so it is with teeth…
A patient comes in with a problem that needs solving but a deeper look is always needed. They may not know that besides the immediate problem, they have other issues like impacted wisdom teeth; a failed root treatment; dental decay or even a failed implant. The list may go on.
Our patient lives in East London. She consulted the dentist there wanting to improve her smile. Her teeth were crooked and one tooth was missing. It was affecting her self-esteem. He said the problem could not be treated!
After having done a Google search, she flew to Johannesburg. We were certainly able to help her. Excited with the prospect of having her smile corrected, she agreed to adult orthodontics and implant dentistry.
Treatment extended over 18 months. She had to fly up and down many times.The result is fantastic.
She is now as happy as a lark.
In her words, “ It was all worth it”
CASE 2 – What the patient does not know: a total surprise
This patient presented for a routine professional cleaning. He was unaware of any particular problem in his mouth.
The teeth on the upper right hand side were in perfect condition as was the rest of his mouth except for one particular tooth on the upper left hand side.
The premolar tooth on the upper left-hand side has been filled with a tooth coloured composite. The filling is badly placed and is very difficult to floss.
Note how the gum bleeds on flossing. This is a result of a faulty restoration. Patients are never aware of these problems unless they are pointed out in the course of a professional consultation.
If left alone now, the inflammation will progress causing further gum disease and possible bone loss. The filling should be replaced with a proper restoration, being either a ceramic or gold inlay.