False expectations in dental treatments
When we talk about solving complex dental problems, it is very important to know the patient’s side of the story, and what they expect to achieve from our treatment. As professionals, we have to be able to predict how far we can go with a patient’s treatment, and for this reason we must have sufficient data available (occlusal analysis, study models, X-rays, photos, etc.)
Once we have studied the case, if our goals do not coincide with those of the patient, we have to know when to say "no", especially if what we are proposed does not coincide with reality. There is nearly always a solution, but it is not always the ideal one.
False expectations are always the worst enemy in any relationship. It is evident that, if a mouth is in a very advanced state of periodontal disease, no matter how much we make an aesthetically ideal prosthesis on top of those teeth, it will be a failure in the medium term, since the foundations will end up failing.
If a person is toothless and with large maxillary bone resorption, it is highly probable, even in spite of the grafts, that we cannot create an ideal volume for the crowns over dental implants to emerge from the right place.
In this case, it may be more appropriate to make an implant-retained overdenture than a totally fixed prosthesis, since it will provide us with more adequate aesthetic-functional results.
If we talk about orthodontics, each case is also different, and in many situations a perfect smile cannot be achieved.
There are many variables that must be taken into account and for this purpose, previous studies are used to make a correct diagnosis. A problem of dental crowding is not the same as a problem of bone discrepancies between the two jaws.
There will be cases in which to achieve a good occlusion an orthognathic surgery combined with orthodontics will be necessary.
Even to perform teeth whitening, a correct diagnosis is essential to be able to explain their particular case to each patient. Severe tetracycline staining (the typical grayish bands on teeth) is not treated in the same way as the effect of color change due to aging of the dentin.
It is important to remember that each case is unique and must be analyzed in an individualized way. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
As much as a patient would like to have the smile of a Hollywood celebrity or her favorite model or singer, the characteristics of each one will indicate the limits of the treatment.
With the growing increase in easy access to information nowadays, it is common to find a multitude of news, tips and recommendations on dental treatments, which in many cases dont have any scientific rigor and can pose a serious danger to the patient’s dental health.
We should not trust the supposed results of treatments carried out without any medical supervision and how fashionable they are on social media.
The health of our teeth is not just seeing a seemingly pretty smile or white teeth. It is much more than that, and it involves the gums, oral mucosa, tongue, joints, muscles and bones, which must be healthy for an aesthetic and functional result to last over time.
Before starting a treatment or recommendation, consult any doubts you may have with a medical professional, and avoid unnecessary damage to your oral health.