I Made a Patient Cry, and
It's Not the First Time…

Adult baby teeth. A common problem.

I finished a veneer case about a week ago. A full row of upper front teeth to cover this patient's adult baby teeth. Today, the lab manager gave me the news -- it was a huge success!

The dentist called the lab after fitting the case and said the patient was so happy, she cried.

It's not the first time I've made a patient cry with happiness, and this is always a great feeling for the patient, the dentist, and for me.

This patient, an adult, had a mouth full of baby teeth. This is more common than you may realize. Not everyone loses their baby (or milk) teeth and has adult teeth grow in.

As a result, with all the small baby teeth in her adult sized mouth, her smile had many gaps. Below is a close up the upper and lower teeth. (The lips are pulled apart to get a good look at the situation, this also happens to make it look worse than it was)

adult baby teeth

The "before" picture below is not terrible looking. And luckily in her case, this didn't cause any health issues. But it was a nagging concern that undermined her confidence. It probably also made her self-conscious about her smile and what others thought about her.

The veneers made a big difference in her smile. It's almost like we're looking at a fashion model's smile.

adult with baby teethBefore: Adult with baby teeth
teeth veneer transformationAfter: Veneers cover baby teeth

Veneers are nearly always used for cosmetic reasons. This is different from dental implants, since implants may offer improved dental health over other options. (Implants may also come with the side benefit of better aesthetics when used for the front teeth.)

But vanity does not always need to be empty and superficial.

It's important for people to feel good about themselves, feel comfortable around others, feel confident, and hopeful of the future. Cosmetic dentistry does a tremendous job in this area. I've seen my share of positive and powerful transformations as an aesthetic dental ceramist.

This patient was looking for a solution to a problem that concerned her for many years; most of her adult life. It was something that probably held her back in many small (or big) ways.

After consulting with her dentist, they decided on a treatment plan that included a full row of veneers for her upper teeth.

Why only the upper teeth?

I'm not privy to the confidential information. However, here are two common reasons:

  1. It's less expensive, since less teeth are involved;

  2. The top teeth normally cover the bottom teeth when you smile, so focusing on veneers for the top row is sufficient to make a positive transformation;

By matching the dental impression I received from the dentist with the natural features of her mouth and face, I was able to create a set of authentic looking, aesthetically pleasing, and healthy "adult" teeth.

Now she can gleam with pride.

Something she's been held back from doing for a long time...

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