By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert
How Did This Start?
Laurie had an existing bridge for her upper front teeth for 35 years and felt it looked dull and didn’t fit quite right. With her son’s wedding planned for April of 2017, she started looking into her options to improve her smile before the big day. Dr. Elizabeth spoke with Laurie about her concerns related to gum recession, bleeding, and darker margins with the existing bridge. They discussed the timeline needed in order to make improvements before the April wedding and decided that taking complete records and formulating options for treatment was the best way to start.
What Did Laurie Want?
Laurie wanted a brighter and more natural looking smile. She had considered implants in the past but had been happy with her existing bridge so the time needed to complete implants didn’t seem necessary. The existing bridge was causing gum related problems and the fit wasn’t quite right after the many years it had been in her mouth. Laurie had also been experiencing issues with migraines for years and was open to exploring options that might improve her jaw function and ultimately improve her health.
What Was Involved?
Dr. Elizabeth recommended that Laurie start with full records so that she could asses the current health of the teeth and gums, and the function of her jaw and muscles. After the records were taken Dr. Elizabeth was able to formulate the best available options to address all of Laurie’s concerns. Ultimately Laurie and Dr. Elizabeth decided the best option was to start with splint therapy, using an anterior deprogrammer. Laurie also wanted to have custom bleaching trays fabricated and then replace the existing bridge to match her brighter teeth.
Benefits of Splint Therapy with an Anterior Deprogrammer
Laurie wore her anterior deprogrammer for 8 weeks and started bleaching prior to doing impressions for the new bridge. She noticed after the first 3 weeks of splint therapy that her jaw felt looser and her teeth felt more in place. By the end of the 8 weeks, she noticed her migraines had decreased so dramatically that she hadn’t had headaches in a month and she was sleeping much better at night. Dr. Elizabeth took impressions for her new bridge and sent them to the dental lab for fabrication. Laurie then went in to Edgar Jimenez’s Dental Studio for a custom shade appointment so they could ensure she would be happy with the end result. After 4 months of planning, preparation, and treatment we were able to place the new bridge in time for her son’s wedding!
What Does She Think?
Laurie loves her new smile and said that it exceeded her expectations! She was skeptical about the splint therapy at first but now she has few if any migraines and has a hard time sleeping without her, now full, splint. The records process was an interesting experience and she enjoyed learning so much about the function of her mouth. Laurie says, “The doctors really know what they are doing. Dr. Elizabeth made it really easy.” Laurie feels much more confident about her smile and is surprised with both the improvement in her gum tissue and the natural, bright looking results we were able to achieve.
Congratulations to Laurie on her beautiful new smile! If you’re interested in tooth replacement options including bridges, please contact Eggert Family Dentistry today at 651-482-8412.