We recently attended the annual meeting of the American College of Prosthodontists in Baltimore, Maryland. My staff and I were impressed by the esthetic restorations, beauty, functionality and honesty from presenters. The presenters were focused on how prosthodontists tranform people’s lives – scientifically, prosthetically, and emotionally.
Case after case were presented and how it affected the patients’ real lives over many years. They discussed how it affected life, work, home and self esteem. Many people were touched by the scientific presentations.
There was one general theme of the annual meeting…
The patient changes underneath the restoration from the time it is inserted in the mouth.
To elaborate, many patients think that a dental restoration lasts forever and does not change. These restorations many include dental implants, fillings, inlays, onlays, ceramic veneers, crowns, bridges, and dentures.
Here is my synopsis and information to improve communications to the patient:
Understanding Your Body Changes Daily for the Rest of Your Life, Need for Adjustments, Repairs and Replacement of Dental Work
We want you to understand that the cells within your body are changing daily – bone cells, gums tissue cells, and tooth cells. We cannot control the fact that these cells change. Therefore, please understand that if you decide to treat dental conditions in your mouth such as cavities, periodontal disease, cracks and missing teeth, you will be required to maintain or retreat those areas periodically throughout your lifetime.
For example, treating broken teeth with crowns or bridges will require to maintain the ceramics and edges of the crowns (margins), for they are prone to excessive mouth forces and acid damage from food, drink, stomach and other chemicals.
Crowns may need to be repaired with resins, adding new ceramics or replacement. Teeth can move, gaps can form that will require repair periodically. Your mouth may feel different from having dental work and procedures completed. These changes may also occur with resin fillings, inlays, onlays, crowns, fixed bridges, removable dentures, bite guards, and dental implants.
There may be additional fees associated with repairing dental work completed after one year of service or if the patient has been negligent in following recommended treatments and time frames for follow-up visits, hygiene re-care and adjustments.
Because bone cells can move, dental implants, natural teeth, crowns, bridges and dentures can also move. Movement does not mean failure, but it may mean adjustments, additional procedures and treatments in the future. This may also require additional costs associated with the changes in the body. Dental work cannot prevent these changes in any way.
Hope this meeting review and tips about dental work are helpful to you! Let us know if you have any questions, as we’d love to hear from you and schedule a visit if you need one.
All the best,
Dr. Joe Kravitz
Dentist, Prosthodontist, Author, Researcher
Rockville, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC