How are you all doing?! I promised this blog WEEKS ago, and I have finally sorted out all the trimmings and clippings to actually bring it to life. Please bear with me, because it is a little on the dental heavy side – but it’s so cool, I have to keep it that way.
While the reality is that it’s neglectful on my side, the delay on publishing this has turned out to be perfect timing, as we have just become a certified DSD clinic! This is HUGE. We are one of the first clinics in England to achieve this, and we are so proud of it. I can hear what you’re thinking though – what on earth is it? DSD is ‘Digital Smile Design’, and is an incredible and unique approach to planning dental treatment.
DSD embraces the concept of digital dentistry in a way that has never been done before, which runs so beautifully with the direction we have been steering The Briars in. When we were first introduced to the concept, someone likened it to how a house is built. Builders don’t run in all guns blazing with a quick guess as to the amount of bricks and mortar needed – an architect plans the final build before the project is even started. They discuss what they want to achieve – what do they want the house to look like? They work out the size of the build, what materials are needed, which experts are required to make it a success – then they present it to their client. With DSD we do exactly the same thing. We gather information, we work out what we want to achieve from the current starting point. We work out the necessary treatments involved, the experts we will need, the materials we will use – then we present it to our patient. Our patient can experience the final design in person, trial their new smile, talk through the treatment and the options available before they’ve committed to it. For us, being able to walk you through treatment in this way is such a novelty – it’s consent like it’s never been done before, allowing patients to understand the elements of treatment in a way we’ve never been able to do before – complete with amazing visuals of the ‘after’ result.
As a team, we experienced some pretty intense training to ensure we are up together with all elements of DSD – from understanding the concept, to the assessment stages, right through to the planning. We even got to experience it first hand with a ‘live patient’ – and I was that patient.
Without boring you with long drawn out details of my aesthetic dental woes – I have teeth that fit the criteria for DSD perfectly. I have had a gap between my upper central teeth since the day they came through, which are accompanied by two very small teeth either side – peg laterals. I have very small teeth generally (some have wondered how this is possible when I allegedly have such a big mouth…) and the reality is, Invisalign isn’t going to fix all the problems I have. This is a relatively common issue – Invisalign will move teeth into the right place, but if they are not the right size, or shape – the best aesthetic result won’t ever be fully achieved. I’ve always known that Invisalign, or any orthodontic treatment, would need to be followed up with either composite bonding or veneers – but I’ve always been extremely hesitant to go down a road without knowing what will await me at the other end. My gap is me – but I have had a very love/hate relationship with it.
I was given the opportunity with our DSD introduction, to be the ‘live patient’ and experience the journey as our patients will. I had the same scans, photos and information gathering that our patients would experience. We chatted through my treatment goals and what I would like to achieve – close the gap, address overcrowding on my lower front teeth, make the size of my teeth more uniform, and get back on top of whitening. Not much to ask, I know…
Victoria lead the charge with my treatment, and collaborated with the incredible DSD team in Madrid. They worked together to find the most suitable smile option for me – they created my ‘ideal smile’ ready for me to trial in person, and crafted me a personalised treatment plan to help me understand the steps to get me to my new smile. My appointment was carried out in front of all my dental buddies, so was a little different to the norm – but it was so much fun. We took lots of before photos, and videos, ready for a direct comparison with my trial smile. We had music playing, a makeshift photography studio – it was like something out of a magazine shoot (minus the professional model!)!
I then had my trial smile put on. This is a temporary addition, made for photos and videos – not one to try out for date night! I had two different types of trial smile put on – this was for education purposes, so our lovely dentists could see the differences between the options we have for trial smiles, as some patients will be more suited to one than the other. One was placed by Nicola, the other by Richard – both completely painless experiences – just a little strange more than anything! The photoshoot then resumed, complete with new smile – lights, camera, music – and so many compliments!
My new smile was then taken off, and the team disappeared to create the presentation of my treatment plan, complete with my newly taken before and after photos. This took them virtually no time at all – and I was then presented with my new smile and all the treatment options that come with it. I was totally thrown by the results – I looked so different without the gap! The smile is absolutely beautiful, and one I would be very proud to have. The course of treatment for me is as I expected – Invisalign, with options for either composite veneers, or ceramic veneers – possibly with a little bit of gingival surgery. Whitening would come into the treatment plan before any restorative work, and there were a few different options for this within the plan. It was so well built, and so comprehensive, that I am still in disbelief that this is something we can now do in dentistry. There will be so many people like me, who have disliked their smile for one reason or another, who haven’t taken the plunge for fear of what the final result will be – and this has those people written all over it.
I won’t be starting my journey just yet – baby takes priority at the moment – but I am excited to return to the plan, it’s just too good to leave it sitting and waiting forever!
Let me know what you think of it all – is it something you’d consider? What do you think of the before and afters?
I will catch up with you all soon, until then – look after yourselves!
Love, Amy xBack to blog
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