The Journey to My Fully Functional Smile – Gary’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?

Gary was a long-time Dr. Furey patient who transitioned care to Dr. Elizabeth in 2017.  At that time, Gary had been talking to Dr. Furey about the need to restore many of his teeth.  With Dr. Furey, Gary completed orthodontics as the first phase of his treatment plan.

Gary wanted a better smile and wanted to repair a lot of the worn edges that had occurred because his teeth had been in a non-ideal position for so long.  Dr. Elizabeth wanted to help Gary improve his esthetics, but she was also concerned about how his teeth functioned.  With the worn edges, teeth still weren’t hitting ideally.

Dr. Elizabeth brought Gary through the Records Process in order to determine how his bite was currently functioning.  She used models, photos, and x-rays of Gary’s teeth along with our thorough muscle and joint evaluation results to present Gary with the current status of his teeth, gums, and the function of his jaw and muscles.  The details of the records process revealed that Gary still didn’t have a consistent bite after his orthodontics due to muscle involvement and worn teeth.  It was recommended to undergo full-time Splint Therapy with an anterior deprogrammer because if we restored his teeth and his bite wasn’t consistent, we would be setting Gary up for failure.

What was recommended?

Gary agreed to the Splint Therapy.  We also explored Gary’s sleep pattern during this phase and found that he should consider working with a doctor because testing we did in our office indicated he may have sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea can be a major cause of tooth wear.  The Splint Therapy helped Gary’s muscles relax so we could build a bite to a consistent position.  Gary no longer had neck aches after using his anterior deprogrammer.  The next step was to plan which teeth we needed to restore to build his bite back and which teeth needed to only be adjusted with equilibration.

Gary had 17 teeth where restorations were recommended due to decay, fracture, wear, or in order to put his bite back together.

What did he want?

Gary’s goals were to have straight, white, and fully functional teeth while mitigating future issues.  He also really didn’t want his teeth to look fake.  Gary wanted to try to phase his treatment as much as possible because he wasn’t sure he could commit to 17 teeth all at the same time.

What was involved?

Even though Gary was phasing his treatment, Dr. Elizabeth completed a wax-up of all restorations recommended for Gary so that we had a “blue print” of the final outcome.  Gary wanted whiter teeth and because not all teeth were going to be restored, he also underwent the Zoom bleaching treatment.  After bleaching, Gary completed restorations for his front upper and lower teeth, but it wasn’t until over 2 years later that he finished the back teeth.  He noticed that his bite felt much better after all teeth were restored.

What does Gary think?

Once the restorations and bleaching were all completed, we asked Gary what he thought about the procedures.  “It would be nice to feel my bite from before in order to compare, but it feels really good and I am very pleased.  I love that nothing looks worn down anymore.”  Gary noted that if he had a friend needing the same type of treatment, he would tell them to “definitely do it!!  It is a journey, but well worth it!”

Congratulations on your amazing results Gary and thank you for putting your trust in us!  We were delighted to help you through this journey and look forward to working with you and your family for many years to come!

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