A 28-year-old woman with a rare dental condition has only just got rid of her first teeth to secure an adult smile.
Six milk teeth stayed with Emily Cheeseman, from Tunbridge Wells in Kent, who suffers from hypodontia, the dental condition whereby a number of adult teeth do not develop.
Emily before treatment
Although she grew used to her baby teeth alongside her permanent set, she realised they were not designed for lifelong use and worried about eventually losing them.
Now, she has undergone extensive dental treatment to create a smile to last a lifetime at the Harman Clinic in Tunbridge Wells.
Emily, a travel agent, says: ‘I lived with milk teeth alongside my adult teeth until I was 22, when I decided that if I didn’t opt for some sort of solution I would have to deal at some point with my baby teeth perishing.
‘I qualified for dental treatment on the NHS to have them removed and preparatory work done on my gums to create ‘pegs’ for implants to be secured to, but then I went travelling to New Zealand and on my return the NHS would not fund the further work, so I had to fund the rest myself.
‘I had to undergo orthodontic treatment first to get all the teeth aligned correctly so that the implants would sit properly next to my other teeth, and also to create the right sized gap for the new teeth to sit in. I also had some whitening treatment and permanent dental implants.’
Emily had to create a ‘teeth fund’ to pay for the on-going treatment.
She explains: ‘My relatives have been great in terms of contributing to the teeth fund for birthdays and Christmas and my parents have helped with the cost. Also, I was able to pay for treatment in instalments at the clinic so that it was more manageable. It’s a lot of money but to create a smile to last is worth it and the confidence it’s given me is brilliant – I never used to smile in photos and now I smile with pride.’
Oliver Harman, has appeared on Extreme Makeover and is lead clinician at The Harman Clinic as well as a board member of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
He says: ‘Hypodontia is rare and is thought to be linked to genetic factors, although the actual cause of the condition is unknown. Although many patients can live with the look of their milk teeth, the reality is they are just not strong enough to stand the test of time. Dental implants have advanced which mean that strong teeth can be implanted which will last a lifetime and look real.
‘Emily feels she’s been given a new lease of life and bags of confidence as a result of her treatment. Emily came to see us following 18 months of Invisalign braces to align her lower teeth and open space for implants to replace her two upper canine teeth. The lower teeth had been moved very successfully but unfortunately, owing to her lack of jaw width and the splayed roots of adjacent teeth it had proved technically impossible to create enough space for her implants.
‘Her general dentist was therefore unable to help her and so we were able to devise a plan to remove the old ones and replace them with pairs of teeth fitted to each implant post.’
For the first time in 28 years Emily is looking forward to parties when she can finally smile for the photos.
The Harman Clinic offers the full range of cosmetic dentistry services including veneers, tooth whitening, cosmetic bonding, orthodontics and dental implants. The practice is based in Tunbridge Wells. Visit www.theharmanclinic.com.
If you are seeking 21st-century dental care carried out by one of the country’s foremost dentists then look no further. Not only does Dr Oliver Harman have full British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Accreditation, he backs it up with 25 years of hands-on experience. Instead of single-tooth dentistry, he approaches each patient’s mouth with a long term co-ordinated plan of minimally invasive dentistry. They can then choose whether to complete their smile makeover over a few months or several years. Dr Harman achieves his stunning results using the very latest techniques and finest materials from around the world combined with drill-free laser technology.
The Harman Clinic is based at 27 Dudley Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1LE. Patients wishing to make an appointment can call 01892 539899 or visit www.theharmanclinic.com.