Alice* 60

Dental reconstruction

Performed by:
Dr. Vasant Ramlaggan, DDS

*Patient name has been changed

Elevate: Why did you decide to have this procedure?
"He talked me into it! (Laughs). Actually, I should've had more work done 20 years ago. My teeth were not great looking teeth from before. I did need bite correction and the rest was esthetics, so I'd have a better–looking smile."

Elevate: How did you choose your dentist?
"Dr. Ramlaggan's office is close to where I work. The first time I saw him was because I had an emergency. And I decided to continue seeing him, because he's a very good dentist."

Elevate: Why did you and your dentist decide on this particular treatment?
"He eventually refilled every filling in my mouth, which was an awful lot of fillings and then said, 'Wouldn't it be nice if we corrected your bite?' So we did Invisalign and then he asked me if I'd like a better smile, and I agreed. It was a gradual, step–by–step process, and I liked the work he was doing. I would never have continued if I didn't. "

Elevate: How many treatments did you have?
"There was the replacing of old fillings with new ones, Invisalign to fix my bite and massive ceramic restoration for beautification. My teeth are bright and twice as large!"

Elevate: How was your recovery period?
"Invisalign was actually quite OK; there was hardly any discomfort whatsoever, and I had that for more than a year. What was interesting with the restoration is that when they were first finished I didn't think I'd be able to eat anything again—even a hamburger seems hard! It was three months or so before I could chew without being aware of my teeth and there was no sensitivity left. With massive work like that you need to start with soft foods and take your time."

Elevate: How did these procedures affect your quality of life?
"Well, actually I must admit it was probably worthwhile. Once I looked so much better toothwise, I decided to lose 40 pounds! That was a direct consequence of having a better–looking smile!"

Ask the Doctor

Dr. Vasant Ramlaggan, DDS
Midtown Dental Centre, Toronto,

When is dental reconstruction work necessary?
Dr. Ramlaggan:
"There are two reasons: aesthetics or function. Some patients want whiter or straighter teeth or easier cleaning. Others are concerned about their bite or chewing. Sometimes patients are unaware of any problems and have come to see their condition as normal, and I diagnose after an examination."

How do you determine and prioritize each procedure as part of the reconstruction?
Dr. Ramlaggan:
"Priorities for treatment are based on a comprehensive exam. From this, a treatment plan, including alternative treatments and based on the patient's desires, is formulated."

Are there any risks involved with full mouth reconstruction?
Dr. Ramlaggan:
"Risks are few but must be understood before treatment is started. When straightening and/or opening a bite, a patients' bite will go through a changing process. When teeth are broken down, they may need further treatment, like a root canal."

Who is the ideal patient?
Dr. Ramlaggan:
"Adults of any age driven to change their smile and who understand that cosmetic enhancement can be done only if the function and preservation of teeth and gums are kept at the forefront. They should understand the importance of ongoing dental maintenance."

What is the average cost?
Dr. Ramlaggan:
"Full mouth reconstructions
can typically range from roughly $15,000 to $40,000, depending on the nature and amount
of treatment involved."