Digital Denture for a life-changing smile - Part 1
Part 1: Andrea and her vulnerable situation before the treatment
“You and your team saved my life. I can now go out in public and not be ashamed. I can smile in pictures with my kids. I finally get to live life again. There is no way I could ever express how thankful I am to you and your team” wrote Andrea. Digital Denture gave her a new lease of life. Andrea’s moving story is told in three parts. Testimonials by the patient, her mother and the team members supplement the technical descriptions and underline the very personal nature of prosthetic dentistry, which goes far beyond the process of providing patients with dentures.
DD Eric Kukucka, Canada | Facebook | Instagram
Andrea was 25 years old when she was referred to us by her dentist Dr Peter Siedlakowski. She presented to our practice in the company of her mother and told us about her ordeal. The young woman suffered from a genetic disorder, one of the symptoms of which presents as very weak tooth enamel. Furthermore, the patient was afflicted with a chronic pain syndrome also known as fibromyalgia. Over the previous few years, the patient had had to vomit three to four times per day on average. The resultant acid erosion had significantly damaged her already compromised dentition.
“In our professions as Dental Professionals, we often take for granted ¬– like many other people – our own natural healthy dentitions and the smiles they permit us to give. Andrea’s case has taught us to be more sensitive and insightful.” Eric Kukucka, DD.
The young patient suffered physically and emotionally from her severely damaged dentition.
“I would say tooth pain is the worst type of pain I’ve ever felt”,
... said Andrea and added that “There have been days when I’ve just sat in a corner crying.” Andrea’s mother confirmed her daughter’s ordeal, the unbearable pain and the multiple oral infections. In the previous few years, Andrea had to take “countless” courses of antibiotics, the effectiveness of which diminished over time. As a result of these infections, several teeth had to be extracted. Andrea’s grave oral health situation interfered with her ability to eat. The appearance of her teeth profoundly affected her emotionally. She did not dare to smile anymore. Her mental health and self-concept suffered. She ended up in a downward spiral. Often Andrea’s symptoms prevented her from leaving her home, which limited the spectrum of experiences she was able to provide for her children. She described her previous dentist visits as having been “horrendous” experiences. As a result, she was initially reluctant to agree to the suggested treatment. However, we were able to convince her of the necessity of the procedure in the course of very caring and empathetic conversations.
A close-up view clearly shows the unattractive appearance of her teeth.
The few remaining teeth were severely damaged and could not be saved. Because of her dental history Andrea was very anxious about undergoing major treatment.
Such a situation poses a challenge even to experienced clinicians
Despite the options available to us, identifying the ideal treatment modality was quite difficult in the absence of certainty regarding the longevity of any restorative measures taken. As a result, we planned an initial provisional solution for Andrea as an interim treatment step. After many discussions amongst the interdisciplinary team composed of the dentist, dental surgeon and the dental technician, an initial aim was determined.
The Digital Denture process offered a “convenient” treatment approach.
The remaining dentition in the upper and lower jaw could not be saved and therefore had to be extracted. The first priority of the team focused on improving the patient’s quality of life. We decided to create an interim denture using Digital Denture. Implants would be placed in a second treatment phase.
Digital Denture comprises a complete manufacturing process for the efficient production of removable dentures. This innovative process integrates digital manufacturing techniques in the dental lab with established dental treatment modalities. Exclusive design software combined with coordinated materials and specialized manufacturing strategies and the cutting-edge PrograMill milling equipment provide predictable and consistent results.
Digital Denture offers the patient a “comfortable” treatment modality and provides the dental team with high process reliability. The patient would not be without teeth for any length of time. The interim dentures were ready for insertion in the dental surgery immediately following tooth extraction. Digital Denture allows the dental team to work with a process-oriented, efficient approach.
Andrea’s story continues (the Digital Denture process). Read more in Part 2.