Comprehensive dental care is when a dentist provides a full range of dental health services for diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, and rehabilitation of a patients smile. This will include thinking about not only a person’s smile as a singular item. It will include a person’s functional health as well as facial esthetics.
“We believe in a comprehensive dental care approach to restorative and cosmetic dentistry, that fully integrates health, comfort, and beauty.” – Marielaina Perrone DDS
The human body acts as a complex group of systems and never acts in isolation. In comprehensive dental care, it is very similar in how we look at the patient and their smile. The teeth may be the focus of our smiles but they do not work in isolation either. In comprehensive dental care, we look at the soft tissues as well as the hard tissues to create a treatment plan that is personalized for you. This can and will include the TMJ joint, the muscles of the face, and how the teeth fit together (also called occlusion). Often times, a deeper dental examination will reveal issues with the occlusion or over active muscles. This can show as uneven wear of the teeth which can be due to genetic issues or stress. A comprehensive dental care examination will reveal these deeper functional flaws that can affect the cosmetics of your smile.
Comprehensive Dental Care Personalized
A well trained dentist with comprehensive dental care experience will know to look beyond the issue at hand and ask why did that happen? If we examine the smile in a comprehensive dental care way of looking at things, we realize a tooth extraction is not a singular event. Once that tooth is removed, there will be changes to our occlusion as well as our esthetics. This can have long term implications to a person’s overall dental health. Treating “just one tooth” is often not the best interest for your long term dental health. Below are some dental procedures that are included in comprehensive dental care to treat function and cosmetics as one:
–Porcelain Crowns. This type of dental crown combines strength and beauty into one package. Porcelain crowns have the esthetics patients desire for their smile but the strength demanded by patients and dentists for function. When porcelain crowns are used properly, a patient will begin to see an immediate improvement in their occlusion and in the cosmetic appearance in the skin around the face as wrinkles will lessen. The wrinkles will lessen because the occlusion will be “raised” forcing the skin around the mouth to stretch slightly. Using dental crowns for this purpose is called bite reclamation.
–Porcelain Veneers. Known as part of the Hollywood smile. Porcelain veneers are sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics” because they have the ability to realign teeth vs wearing orthodontic braces. Porcelain veneers are more conservative than porcelain crowns and are purely cosmetic in nature and cannot be used to reclaim lost occlusion height.
–Dental Implants. Dental implants are highly successful for replacing one or more teeth. These would be an integral part of comprehensive dental care especially for larger scale smile restorations.
–Orthodontic Braces Or Invisalign. Many people see orthodontics or invisalign as a purely cosmetic treatment for adults. However, in comprehensive dental care your dentist will see that re aligning the bite will result in straighter teeth but it will also bring those teeth into harmony with one another. This will place less stress on the teeth thru their daily functions as well.
–Tooth Bonding. can be used to repair a tooth damaged by trauma or tooth decay. These tooth colored restorations can make an immediate improvement to your smile.
–Facial Asymmetry. In comprehensive dental care, your well trained dentist will evaluate not just the smile but also the entire face. By looking beyond the smile, they may be able to see certain asymmetry’s in the alignment of your face. The use of botox can be used to balance the facial muscles and bring them into harmony with your smile. An eyebrow lift or a depression of the brow can also be enhanced using botox applications.
–Gummy Smile. This occurs when too much gum tissue is exposed upon smiling. This usually is the result of the lip rising too high when smiling. Injecting Botox into the upper lip weakens the retractor muscles of the upper lip so that it won’t raise as high and your smile will appear better balanced. In comprehensive dental care, your dentist will see this immediately and factor this into your treatment plan.
–Crown Lengthening. This is a comprehensive dental care surgical process whereby your dentist will remove bone around a tooth to expose more of the tooth into the mouth. This is often needed in patients with a severe grinding issues to reclaim lost occlusal height.
–Gum and Bone Grafting and Recontouring. Both gum tissues and bone tissues can be grafted in to replace lost tissues in comprehensive dental care. These have both functional and esthetic concerns. Functionally, adding more bone will aid in support of teeth and adding gingival tissues can cover exposed roots alleviating tooth sensitivity and stop tooth decay from forming on the roots of your teeth. Cosmetically, these grafts can restore your smile to its youthful glory.
–Teeth Whitening. Many of our worn teeth are also dark and discolored. The color you desire to reach may require a dental whitening process, or simply a whiter color bonding restoration or a whiter colored porcelain restoration. Teeth whitening is included in comprehensive dental care because it will be usually a priority for most patients when trying to rejuvenate their smiles.
–Juvederm Dermal Fillers. These fillers can be used to turn back the clock and fill in areas that time has changed. Again bringing about a balance between function and smile is a hallmark of comprehensive dental care.
Comprehensive Dental Care Conclusion
A dentist who is well trained in comprehensive dental care will be able to spot problem areas quite easily. Some areas are hidden but a deeper look during a dental examination and they will be revealed. Some issues will not have longer term implications while others may. It is important to recognize the difference between the two so the proper recommendations can be made to the patient.