For the past ten years, I have had the honor and privilege to be an Instructor at the Aesthetic Advantage Hands-On Symposium, at the NYU College of Dentistry in New York, as well as an Instructor at the General Practice Residency at Morristown Medical Center. During this entire time, the most asked question from students and residents has been “How can I do more of the big cases in my practice?” I feel that in today’s world of economic uncertainty, the answers to this question are significantly different than even several years ago.
There was a time not that long ago that I would have answered by using examples of advertising and marketing to draw patients to the office specifically for esthetic treatment. There was a buzz about cosmetics, and the primary goal was to attract those people who had already made the decision to have these procedures done. The times have obviously changed, however, and the answers that I now give to the above question are very different.
The keys to being able to attract the large restorative cases in today’s world are communication and treatment planning. The number of patients coming in exclusively for esthetic dentistry has declined significantly in most practices, but the need for restorative care continues to grow as our baby boomer generation (myself included) continues to wear and break their dentition. This is the patient population that needs comprehensive, and thus esthetic dental treatment.
Porcelain veneers within reason allow for the alteration of tooth position, shape, size and color. They require a minimal amount of tooth preparation – in this case reduction (approximately 0.5 mm of surface enamel) – and are, therefore, a more conservative restoration than a crown, which requires significant removal of sound tooth structure. Although not the only alternative for all esthetic abnormalities, they are truly a remarkable restoration when they are the treatment of choice.
In this day and age, dental professionals are exposed to many complex esthetic, restorative and functional challenges. Fortunately, there’s an equal number of dental procedures and materials available to accomplish treatment of these complex challenges. Treatment alternatives are either termed traditional or nontraditional. For dental professionals who are dedicated to providing state-of-art solutions, treatment outside of “traditional” must be considered every now and then.
One of the most challenging esthetic restorations are the replacement of congenitally missing lateral incisors. When a clinician is presented with the replacement of congenitally missing lateral incisors, they must consider the types of treatments available, along with the possible outcome. The traditional treatment options include orthodontics, traditional 3-unit bridge, single tooth implant, or Maryland Bridge.
If you would like to continue you dental education, contact Aesthetic Advantage at 212-794-3552 or visit www.aestheticadvantage.com for more information regarding our comprehensive aesthetic dental program.
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