Sam was considered “stoic” when he first visited our practice. With a career in Criminal Defense, he had witnessed more than most. Perhaps that was why he never smiled?
When I first engaged him conversation, I noticed that his front teeth were so short that I couldn’t even see them when he spoke. The edges of a couple teeth poked out when he chuckled once. My oral exam explained it all. Sam had a nervous habit of rubbing his upper front teeth against his lower front teeth, so much so that they were shaped more like “boxes” than rectangles. He must have done this for years, but he claimed that he was only aware of the habit when he was really studying the details involved in a case. He saw no need to fix it because “it would just come back”. I could not convince him to wear a “nightguard” when sleeping, either.
Fast forward about 3 years, and his daughter was now engaged. She actually asked him to get a denture so he would look happy as he walked her down the aisle! That was his moment of truth.
He scheduled a consultation with me and, fortunately, I talked him out of a denture. I measured the gap between his upper and lower teeth that had been produced from his habit and evaluated the bone health. Instead of dentures, Sam had several crowns (often called “caps”) placed on his front teeth, both top and bottom. Because these teeth are girded in cast metal, the sensation when rubbing teeth together was very different, so his habit went away on its own.
Contact Winterset Dental if your smile isn’t the same as it used to be.