A Great Smile and Great Health

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A Great Smile

Would you prefer having a great smile or great health?

Well, I personally prefer having both!

Let me tell you about a case I did 15 years ago in dental school. 

At the time, cosmetic dentistry was booming! Many young and aspiring dentist wanted to be part of the movement, and I was no different. 

I was excited when I was presented with a case where the patient needed serious cosmetic help!

Check out these pictures…

To help you know what you’re looking at, the first photo was taken at a new patient exam and the second after lots of work on the day of cementation of the upper veneers. A veneer is simply a very thin cover placed on the existing tooth to give you a great smile!

When I first saw the patient, he had only had one request, “I want veneers to close the space between my teeth.” It was my first full 8-unit veneer case (a complex and intensive process), and I was thrilled with the prospect of getting the experience.

On the day of the final picture we were both very pleased with the result, and I presented the results at our school Clinical Excellence Day. 

The teeth look so much better right??

Many years later I came across these photos but this time with different eyes.

Look again at the first picture:

This man certainly had cosmetic problems, but he also had major periodontal (gum) disease and a serious abscess.

Giving this man a great smile isn’t the only thing we did for him.  Through the course of treatment,  we also helped him  improve his health!

A Great Smile and Great Health

At that time, I was proud of the effort I had made with the dental work –  wax previews, handmade temporary veneers, accurate impressions, and well-crafted porcelain final veneers. The teeth and his smile ended up looking great cosmetically, but my opinion now is that the work we did other areas to improve his health was so much more important!

Not once in my presentation at the Clinical Excellence Day did I address the effort to heal this man’s uncontrolled periodontal/gum disease as well as the abscess.

Looking back on this patient and his story with more experienced eyes helped me realize that we dramatically affected his health through diet and lifestyle choices in addition to gum therapy.

That is what really matters! We helped him achieve better health.

This patient went through several visits to meticulously clean his teeth and learn follow up care to maintain health. He had to be taught how to effectively clean his teeth.

Many of us have the habit of brushing, but they are not really free of destructive bacteria when we are done.

Those skills often need coaching and intentional effort to develop. 

Getting rid of disease and helping him understand what it takes to stay healthy was the first success this patient had.

The secondary success was giving him a great smile. If he continued living what we taught after he left our clinic,  I am sure the last 15 years he will have had better health in addition to the smile he wanted.

Total Care Dental and Wellness

I am grateful to be part of the team at Total Care Dental and Wellness!

It has provided an environment that allows me to pursue optimal health and results for our patients.

I don’t have to choose between a great smile or great health. I can give patients both!

I am grateful for you, the patients that take their health seriously and come see us.

Let us help you achieve a great smile and great health!

Table of Contents

Dr. David Mishler

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