Dr. Jeff's Diary

My Passion for Dentistry

“Braces made all my teeth fall out”

Believe it or not, it’s true. This was the case with one of my patients.

Even though braces are considered to be one of the safest treatments in dentistry, there are a few occasions when something goes wrong, a dentist can make a bad call and a case isn’t studied properly.

Today marks the end of a life changing treatment for one of my patients.

What started out as a dream, with braces that gave her the perfect smile, soon turned into a nightmare.

How it all started!

Two years ago, I received a phone call from a patient of mine who was in Australia, she had just removed her braces after having worn them for several years. She was panicking and upset about how her teeth were moving, and had just spoken to her local dentist who told her that she was going to have to remove all her teeth and wear a removable denture for 3 months before placing implants. I told her to send me her X-rays by email, in order to evaluate her case more closely. What I discovered was that indeed she had to remove all her teeth because of  the severe bone loss around her teeth and there was no other solution to save them. Her main concern was that she was a 20 hour plane ride away, and didn’t have enough holidays from her work, as all she had was two weeks off.

mayssa before smile

The day she arrived to our clinic

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Even though her teeth didn’t look so deteriorated at first glance, she had actually a severe bone and gum disease

mayssa-pano

If it happens that you know how to read a panoramic, you can evaluate the severe bone loss around all her teeth

A solution, a plan and a treatment 

I informed her that there were faster solutions, and that what her dentist told her was not necessarily true. I then gave her an approximate price for what the implants would cost and explained to her, how if she managed to make it to Beirut, we could fix her problem within 24 hours. The only thing required was that she would have to come back in 6 months for the second and final part of her treatment. This quick and efficient process is also known as SameDay Dental Implant, a technique which consists of removing the teeth, placing the implants and attaching the temporary teeth in just 24 hours. (click here to learn more).

So you might be wondering why she had to come for 2 weeks, when the process should only take 24 hours.

What happens is that there needs to be an initial first consultation, in which we properly evaluate the case and schedule in the day of the surgery, which usually happens a few days later. And after the surgery, which generally takes a couple of hours, the patient can go home, but needs a follow up, generally 10 days after the surgery so we make sure she is healing properly and no complications have arisen.

 

immediate full mouth loading Lebanon Beirut

Fixed temporary teeth in place 24 hours after implants placement. “Teeth in a day ” treatment

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Final ceramic crowns after 6 months

pano-after-

Final panoramic after 6 months. You can see the 12 implants in place

So what really happened to her teeth?

Before putting her braces, her orthodontist in Australia didn’t notice that she had gum and bone inflammation. Just for you to know, that moving teeth in an inflamed environment will worsen the case and provoke more gum and bone resorption. And this is what happened to my patient. To make matters worse, during those two years, she told me that they didn’t give her a regular cleaning, which, if they had properly done from the beginning, her case wouldn’t have been so bad.

It was seriously shocking that something like this could happen, considering that my patient was living in a developed country.

A slice of advice

I completely understand that it is important for everyone to have beautiful teeth, with the perfect alignment, but neglecting the health of your gums and bones before any treatment, is imperative, if you want to avoid any serious and costly complications.

Always get checked by a specialist in bone and gum disease before starting any treatment that requires advanced techniques and technology. Doctor’s orders :)

Cheers,

Dr. Jeff

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