The process of seeing a Prosthodontist involves having an initial consultation to discuss the main areas of concern and assess the patient’s desires and expectations.
An impression is taken of both the upper and lower teeth, as well as a record of the way the teeth bite together, so that a set of study models can be made.
These study models represent the structure of the teeth in their present state and allow the dentist to assess their condition and the relationship of the upper teeth to the lowers.
They also allow for a visual explanation of the problem to the patient and help with showing what needs to be done to correct it.
Once the models are made, a report detailing the findings of the assessment and options for future treatment will be sent to the patient. This will also include an initial estimate of the timescales, number of potential visits and costs involved.
In such complex cases, it is important to carefully plan the stages and timings of treatments to limit potential problems and ensure a successful result for the patient.
On a copy of the study models a version of the desired finished result is made from wax. (A so called “wax-up”) This wax-up is then used in the detailed planning of the treatment to ensure that the desired result is achieved.
The “wax-up” can also be used to show the patient what their teeth will look like at the end of the proposed treatment plan, and give them a chance to comment on anything they may like to have changed.
This process where the patient, prosthodontist and laboratory technician discuss and create a replica of the desired result is called smile design.
Once the dentist and patient are happy to go ahead with the treatment plan, the treatment will begin.