From A Patients Point Of View

First a little back story to explain how we got to this point!  I’m Mandi, and I am missing 2 teeth.  When I was a kid, I lost my baby teeth, and there were no adult teeth to take their place.  For a while I went without them.  Then when I started to become self-conscious about it, I had two false teeth put on a flipper (a retainer used to just hold the teeth, not to retain anything).  The plan from the beginning was to do implants, but my jaw had to finish growing first.  At about 13, I had braces to straighten the teeth that I did have, and to make room for the implants.

periodontic patient before losing teeth
Before losing any baby teeth – about 5 years old
missing teeth
With braces and missing teeth.















Fast forward to the age of 21.  I had just moved to Vegas and went to the dentist for a cleaning.  He said that I was done growing and could get permanent tooth replacement (YAY! No more flipper!)  He said that implants would not work because the roots of my teeth had moved too close together – implants would not fit.  Instead of getting another opinion, I took his word for it and proceeded with 2 bridges.  I wish I would have checked with a periodontist first.  But back then, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

periodntal patient with bridge
Current photo – before periodontal treatment.


So now here we are 16 years later (you do the math for my age ;o)  and I have some bone loss where the teeth are missing.  I have also been told that the lifespan of a bridge is about 11-14 years…yep passed that already.  Dr. DeAndrade sat down with me to explain my options.  He was very encouraging, and very clear about the next steps.  The best part for me, was that he never talked over my head.  He made sure I understood everything before making a decision.

The plan we decided on is:

  1. Braces to move the roots of the adjacent teeth, to make room for the implants. This is being done by Dr. Truman in Summerlin.
  2. A bone graft and Wilckodontics a few weeks later. The bone graft will create enough bone for the implants to be placed.  The Wilckodontics will create little holes in the jaw bone, which will make it less dense.  This will allow the teeth to move faster with the braces.
  3. The implant post will be placed after the bone graft has healed.
  4. Braces come off! And new crowns are made for all 4 of the teeth that previously held the bridge, and the 2 that are
another current "before" photo.
another current “before” photo


The plan is for this to be completed within the next 1.5-2 years.  I will give updates as we finish each step of the process.  I’m excited to get started – but I’m not going to lie, the whole thing was a little overwhelming at first.  I’m disappointed that the original dentist didn’t go over this with me when I was 21! I wish I had done it this way in the first place, and I would have avoided a bone graft, but here we are.  I am super confident in the team that will be doing all of the work, and ready to get going!