A Crowning Achievement

May 2005

By: Dr. Scott R. Harden

He expected this to happen sooner or later, but there was no more inopportune moment than this. Sitting across from the CEO of one of his largest commercial accounts, why now? Bill had planned this lunch meeting with great detail. Following the misfortune of this disfiguring event, Bill’s smile literally left his face.

Holding his front-tooth bridge in his hand, Bill came into my office, and explained that he had a problem. “I’ve been too busy to visit the dentist and get this taken care of, but it just won’t stay in with home remedies any more”. A clinical examination revealed Bill’s bridge did not just come off, but his natural teeth used to anchor his bridge had fractured. Bill’s problem just became a lot more serious.

Talking with Bill further revealed he has broken one back tooth after another and not found time to get these teeth restored either. As a result, he lost the support of his back teeth, which added a lot of force on his front tooth bridge ultimately causing his teeth to fracture off at the gum line.

“My bridge has been loose for six months”, Bill confessed. He reflected . . .
How could I have gone so long with a loose bridge and not visited a dentist?
This is my busiest time of year and I sure would have chosen a better time for treatment.
I was more focused on my smile and did not take care of my back teeth; now I understand the importance of keeping them healthy too.

Bill had significant medical findings as well, which included his heart. The dentist explained that his back teeth were abscessed and producing tremendous amounts of harmful bacteria that directly affect his health and especially his heart. Further infection was also present from active gum disease that he did not realize was present.

Information was shared with Bill and his wife to examine opportunities and avenues of care. A very personalized diagnosis and treatment plan was developed including models and photographs to display how he would look after treatment. “The wisdom and experience of Dr. Harden gave me confidence to get my treatment performed. He explained things in a concise manner I could easily understand, and my choice to receive implants and a new bridge was the answer for me”. Bill has already started treatment to correct his smile and eliminate infection. “I’m glad I stopped ignoring my dental problems”, Bill shared with his wife and the entire team. “Now I can conclude my pending meeting with my client and have confidence that it will go without any unexpected interruptions”.