Multi-Disciplinary Smile Makeover Team Approach
Using a Team Approach to Create a Smile Makeover
A Smile Makeover Team Approach is the best solution for any smile makeover that requires skills outside my range of expertise. Sometimes, patients who desire a smile makeover need services that extend beyond cosmetic or restorative dentistry. This means that I may team up with plastic surgeons when facial surgery is needed, oral surgeons when major bone surgery is needed, or periodontists when extensive grafts have to made. Sometimes these folks are part of our team at Alamo Dental Health, sometimes they are in another facility.
The goal of any multi-disciplinary smile makeover team is to give you the advantage of everyone’s expertise so that you, the patient, get the best possible outcome. A beautiful smile isn’t worth much if you don’t have the health to keep smiling!
A Multi-Disciplinary Team of Experts Goes Beyond Jaw Surgeries.
We also build multi-disciplinary teams to address some general health conditions. Did you know that so much of what happens in the mouth affects the whole body. And so much of what happens in the body affects the mouth? It’s true! Because of this, we use a team approach by working with specialized physicians for patients with sleep disorders, hormone imbalances, diabetes, cancer, joint replacement, and eating disorders. Working together with other medical and dental professionals enables us to create a San Antonio team of medical professionals that is committed to one thing – helping our patients get healthy – because that’s the best smile makeover of them all!
When Smiling is a Team Sport: Meet Michael!
If a picture is worth a thousand words, Michael’s pictures are like a graphic novel. A phenomenal local orthodontist started Michael’s smile makeover and asked me to join her multi-disciplinary team to help create Michael’s dream smile. The orthodontist was in charge of putting the teeth in the right place and my job was to create his new teeth. It was awesome to see his smile develop as we went through the steps of whitening, prepping, and crowns. For the final touch, we recruited a gum specialist to our team to help with gum resculpting. As you can see in these pictures, Michael’s new smile looks stunning!
Not Sure If You actually NEED an Dental Extraction?
Hearing you need an dental extraction when you’re not sure why it’s necessary. How can you know if the tooth truly needs to come out or if it could actually be restored? Isn’t it best to keep your own teeth as long as possible?
We meet new patients all the time coming in for a second opinion and feeling frustrated that another dentist wanted to take a tooth out that the patient is pretty sure could be saved. What we’ve discovered is that about 5% of the time, there was a restorative option available that was overlooked. However, about 95% of the time, the tooth needs to be extracted and the diagnosing dentist simply didn’t take the time to adequately explain why.
It’s easy as a dentist who “does teeth” all day long every day, to forget that patients don’t “do teeth” all day long and that they need extra information in order to feel comfortable making decisions, especially about losing teeth. Dentists also have different personal guidelines about what “saving a tooth” means.
Here are my personal guidelines for when teeth should be extracted:
- If the tooth has an untreatable level of infection inside the tooth
- If the tooth has an untreatable level of infection in the surrounding gums
- If the bone around the tooth has dissolved and can’t support the tooth
- If the tooth has broken or decayed to the point that it can’t support a crown
- If the tooth has already been root canaled twice
Why these guidelines? Because I don’t believe that fixing a tooth just to have it break again in a month counts as “saving a tooth.” Every one of these scenarios could be patched, but would explode as a toothache, dangerous infection or deeper trauma within days or weeks, further risking your health. I’m not willing to put my patients’ health at risk for convenience.
If you’re not sure why your tooth “needs an dental extraction” come see me for a second opinion. We’ll take a look and a 3D-CT radiograph give you a clear explanation of what is going on either with that one tooth or in your whole mouth depending on how much you’d like to know.