Mary* 58

Procedure: Dental reconstruction

Performed by: Dr. Jack Slome, DDS

*Patient name has been changed

Elevate Mary
Why did you decide to have this procedure? "Many of my teeth were over–filled and were breaking down. As well, several of my teeth required root canal work, which contributed to discolouration and a weakened structure."
How did you choose your dentist? "Dr. Slome was referred to my family through my brother–in–law who is in the same industry. He had been my dentist for a few years before this work began."
How long did the process take? "I had several visits and treatments were completed in sections lasting a half day. When my front teeth were done it was an entire day in the office. For obvious cosmetic reasons, it was important to have them done in a day."
What was your recovery like "Recovery time was pretty automatic, as I really had very little discomfort. The positive results were immediate. I just remember feeling tired by the end each treatment."
How did the reconstruction affect your quality of life? "My quality of life was greatly improved. Now I have a really even bite. I can chew my food efficiently. My mouth and smile appear much straighter. I have a beautiful smile with white teeth, no spaces and a natural look to my teeth."

 

Ask the Doctor

Dr. Jack Slome, DDS
Accolade Dental Centre, Toronto Accoladedental.com

Elevate Dr. Slome
When is dental reconstruction necessary? "It varies. Sometimes it's when a person has really bad teeth, they need a lot of restorative work, and I want to get it done comprehensively and properly. Another scenario is when a person's bite is not correct, and they don't want orthodontics or it's not possible. Or, for cosmetic reasons."
How do you prioritize each procedure as part of the reconstruction? "It's all about planning and deciding what the patient needs. Generally, we first make sure that the mouth is as healthy as possible from a hygiene point of view. Then we look at orthodontics or long–term maintenance and plan either braces or a temporary phase, where some changes to the mouth will occur. Sometimes we'll open somebody's bite a bit or put in temporary fillings to get the mouth used to a temporary position. We also use models to see what any cosmetics will look like, and the last thing is generally the crowning or veneers. There can be some refinement after, so the whole process can take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years, depending on what needs to be done."
What is the recovery period like? "Unless there's a surgical requirement, it's just the discomfort of going through the procedures. There may be a day or two of post–op discomfort. And depending on what needs to be done and the prior condition of the teeth, there may be a need for some temporary changes (like orthodontics) that can be slightly uncomfortable."
Are there any risks involved with full mouth reconstruction? "Teeth aren't always predictable, and sometimes a mouth that seemed healthy may need a root canal. Or, sometimes you may need teeth extracted. If a reconstruction doesn't work out well, you can end up with jaw problems and discomfort."
Who is the ideal patient? "The older, the better, because you do it so you don't end up with problems down the line. We do tend to find a lot of patients are people who are older than age 50, because teeth are worn down over the years from wear and loss of fluoride."
What is the average cost? "$6,000 to $60, 000."