How a drastic dental makeover boosted the confidence of one woman.

NAME: Margaret

AGE: 60

PROCEDURE: Bone and gum grafting, dental implant surgery (and full upper jaw prosthetic reconstruction performed by Dr. Daniel Isakow, D.M.D)

PERFORMED BY: Dr. Herbert Veisman

13 03 smile makeover cosmetic dentistry before and after implantsfemale 1

ELEVATE What made you decide to undergo these procedures?

MARGARET: I come from a family of 16 and when I was growing up, dental pain was resolved with the removal of the problem tooth. Because of that I’ve worn dentures since I was 18 years old, and they’ve bothered me every day of my life since. Two years ago I decided to do something about it.

ELEVATE How did you choose Dr. Veisman as your specialist?

MARGARET: I had been thinking and talking about having something done for a long time, and my daughter, who lives in Ontario, started doing a bit of online research for me. There were a few dentists she found and thought would work, and after sending notes to each of them, Dr. Veisman was the first to respond and to do so in person. I was impressed that he took the time to get in touch, and after talking with him on the phone, I flew to Toronto and met him. As soon as I was in his clinic and was presented with the options he’d devised with for me, I knew he was the dentist for me.

ELEVATE What were your procedures like?

MARGARET: Because I had such severe bone degeneration, I needed surgery to correct it, and once my upper jaw healed, I went back for implant surgery. Both processes were minimally painfully, surprisingly, and the total time from start to finish for my procedures was about 13 months.

ELEVATE How do you feel about your results?

MARGARET: I just feel so great. I used to stay pretty quiet in social settings because I lacked self-confidence and was worried that people would notice my dentures, but since the surgeries I’ve become a bit of a chatterbox. I laugh a lot more, am more confident and even though having these procedures done wasn’t easily affordable for me, I’m delighted with my decision. The end result is absolutely worth every penny.

ASK THE DOCTOR

Dr. Herbert Veisman, B.sc., DDS, FRCD(C), Periodontal Specialists, torontoimplant.com

ELEVATE Why was Margaret a good candidate for these procedures?

DR. VEISMAN: Margaret was an ideal candidate because she was missing all her upper teeth for many years. She came to my office in 2010 when her daughter, who was living in Toronto, found me online and suggested she come for a consultation. Her chief complaint was that she wanted to improve the quality of her life because she couldn’t eat or smile confidently with her full, ill-fitting dentures. She was hesitant to smile in public and would only eat what she could versus what she wanted. Ultimately her quality of life was poor.

ELEVATE Was her treatment out of the ordinary?

DR. VEISMAN: Because she lives in Newfoundland, her travel schedule was sometimes challenging to accommodate, but since I’m one of the only dental surgeons in Canada who can perform the procedures she needed–and because she needed to see Dr. Daniel Isakow, a prosthodontist specializing in crowns and bridges who is also in the Toronto area–we found a way to make things work. We set up contingency plans with colleagues in Newfoundland who were on standby in case she had any difficulties during the healing stages, but, fortunately, Margaret never had any problems throughout the entire treatment process.

ELEVATE What steps do these procedures involve?

DR. VEISMAN: Because Margaret had been missing her teeth for many years, her jaw bone receded over time. Since dental implants require bone to anchor them, we had to rebuild the density in her entire upper jaw with very routine, straightforward and relatively pain-free treatments using space-age technology. After six months of healing time we placed eight dental implants in her upper jaw and after three months of healing time (and wearing her own dentures in the process), Dr. Isakow made her final crown and bridge out of a resilient and cosmetic material called Intellidenta.

ELEVATE Are there any at-home steps patients should follow after procedures like these?

DR. VEISMAN: All the work is performed by the surgeon or dentist/prosthodontist, so very little is done at home other than routine oral hygiene, brushing and flossing of their natural teeth. Of course, following surgery patients need to take their antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, but otherwise there’s not much for them to do.

ELEVATE What is the average cost of these procedures?

DR. VEISMAN: Because Margaret had to have her entire upper jaw reconstructed and was treated by two dental specialists, the cost for treatment was around $80,000. A patient with missing teeth but good bone density could expect to pay about $50,000 per jaw.