Show Your Work: Composite Case by Dr. Terry Shaw

Dentaltown Magazine
by Dr. Terry Shaw

This 33-year-old patient's bulimia had devastated her dentition; her upper posterior teeth were missing a ton of tooth structure. She had seen several dentists in her home state of Florida but the treatment plans ran up to $80,000, which she couldn't afford. (Who could?!) Many of the treatment plans included root canal treatments (RCTs) on most of her upper teeth, and crowns on all her teeth.

The patient had already undergone typical rehab treatment (RCTs and crowns) on her four front teeth, and because she could not afford more of this conventional treatment, she used the internet to research dentists who use direct composite to restore badly wrecked dentitions. One was in Italy, another in Poland; because I was (relatively) nearby in Canada, she called and we talked about her teeth. She sent photos and X-rays, and after multiple discussions, I decided that I could restore her teeth with direct composite. She flew up to Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, and stayed for four days while I worked on her teeth. The procedure took two days and about 15 hours. She requested no anesthetic, so I didn't use any. Tough lady!

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If you've got a case you think might be a great study for Show Your work, email Editor Sam Mittelsteadt: Be sure to include a sentence that sums up why the case is so special to you, to help us review and select the best contenders for publication.

Author Dr. Terry Shaw practices in Perth-Andover, New Brunswick. He graduated from Dalhousie Dental School in 1976 and has a chronic affection for composite dentistry. He is the continuing education chairperson for the Atlantic Canada Academy of General Dentistry.

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