Feeling confident about your smile can be a life-changing experience. Here is one women's cosmetic dental success story.

AGE: 56
Gum reshaping, crowns & porcelain veneers
PERFORMED BY: Dr. Joshua Charlat

As told to Liz Bruckner


ELEVATE: Why did you decide to undergo these dental procedures?

Trisha: I'm what you call a textbook grinder. I've been grinding my teeth for as long as I can remember and I've done it with such determination and force that I've not only damaged my teeth, but their roots as well. When I went to see Dr. Charlat, my molars were in such bad shape and were so tiny that I didn't have the structure in my mouth to retain my real teeth for the rest of my life, and I wanted to do something about it.

ELEVATE: Why did you choose him as your dentist?

Trisha: I'd moved to the city a few years prior to meeting him and up until then had been travelling back to my old dentist who's office was an hour away. One day I had some floss stuck in my teeth and couldn't get it out, so I went to Dr. Charlat's office, which is in my building. After he helped remove it, I asked him a few questions, explained my issue and he offered suggestions on how we could save and rebuild my teeth. I knew then that I wanted to have him handling my dental issues.

ELEVATE: How do you feel about the results?

Trisha: I liken it to going from a Ford Focus to an Audi! My teeth admittedly felt a little different at first—the veneers are much thicker than my natural teeth ever were—and I was a bit worried that my speech would somehow be impeded or that they wouldn't look real. Neither has been an issue, and I've even had people who knew I was getting them done comment on how real they look. I honestly couldn't be happier with the way everything turned out.

ELEVATE: Would you recommend others to Dr. Charlat?

Trisha: I already have! I'm a huge advocate for him because he's truly amazing. His technique is state-of-the-art, he knows what he's talking about, has a wonderful chair-side manner and doesn't take his patients for granted. He's truly wonderful all around.

Ask the Doctor

Dr. Joshua Charlat, DMD
Composium Dental Centre

ELEVATE: How did you develop a plan for treating Trisha's concerns?

Dr. Charlat: I like to think in terms of getting my clients healthy by addressing any concerns regarding their teeth, gums, bite and smile. The position and appearance of our teeth is dynamic and that changes over time. Like so many of us, Trisha had a history of clenching her teeth, and subsequently observed some shifting and spacing. My goal was to come up with a solution to address both issues.

ELEVATE: What procedures did you recommend and why?

Dr. Charlat: With the shifting of the teeth, part of the solution is to create more balance and stability in the tooth-to-tooth relationship and the bite. Addressing the appearance of the smile relates not only to tooth position, shape and colour, but also the ratio of tooth-to-gum revealed while talking and smiling at a conversational distance. I recommended that she have her bite adjusted to balance the contact between the upper and lower teeth, to have the upper gums reshaped, and to address the spacing issues using a combination of crowns and veneers.

ELEVATE: Once the procedures were finished, what upkeep did/does she need to perform at home?

Dr. Charlat: In addition to wearing a specially crafted night guard to protect her teeth, she simply needs to floss, brush and rinse. Because she grinds her teeth quite severely, routine dental hygiene appointments are also recommended to monitor her mouth guard and bite.


ELEVATE: Is there an ideal candidate for these procedures?

Dr. Charlat: This type of treatment isn't suitable for everyone. If the teeth are not in a suitable position, then orthodontics become part of the solution. If there are irreversible changes to the bone support or if the teeth are beyond being salvageable predictably, then alternative treatments—like implants—are considered. Most patients can be helped by getting them back on track and returning things to a state of good health and function.

ELEVATE: What's the approximate cost of these types of treatment?

Dr. Charlat: The approximate cost of services like Trisha's are as follows: To balance a patient's bite, $400 to $800, to add veneers, $1,100 to $1,500 per tooth, for crowns, $1,300 to $1,600 per tooth, to do a gum recontour or full gumlift, $850 to $4,000, and for a night guard to protect the teeth, $600 to $1,000.