Worth the Drive

In need of a better bite, patient finds a distant dentist close to her heart.

The unique ability to fluidly speak several languages, including English, French, Dutch and Hebrew, has served 74-year-old Elise quite well since she moved from her native Belgium to America 47 years ago.

Photo courtesy of Elise.

Elise is all smiles after her treatment by Regency Court Dentistry.

“Since I moved to the United States in 1973, I have worked as an interpreter and a translator for the United States government, for the federal court system and at a number of national and international conferences,” Elise explains.

“I mostly worked as a freelancer that whole time, and I’m fortunate that my job has taken me all over the world. I’m also fortunate to have interpreted for all kinds of people, including some heads of state and several celebrities in the political arena.”

For convenience, Elise spent the first several years of her career as an interpreter and translator living in New York City. She eventually moved to Florida, and for more than 30 years, she and her husband have happily called Palm Beach home.

Unfortunately, while relaxing at home one Friday last year, Elise’s husband began to suffer greatly from a bad toothache. When the problem persisted into the next day, Elise went in search of a dentist who would see her husband on an emergency basis.

The dentist she found was Aurelie Huyghues-Despointes, DMD, of Regency Court Dentistry in Boca Raton. Elise was so impressed with Dr. Huyghues-Despointes that she decided to also make an appointment for herself.

“She did such a great job taking care of my husband, and she and her staff were so nice and friendly, that even though it’s a long drive from my home, I wanted to become her patient,” Elise confirms. “So I made an appointment to see her for a checkup.”

Elise’s timing could not have been better. She wasn’t suffering from any pain when she returned, but had she waited a few more days she might have needed an emergency visit.

The reason: an abscess, or bacterial infection, had developed beneath her upper left eyetooth. That, though, was only one of several problems Dr. Huyghes-Despointes discovered.

“We did a comprehensive exam of Elise and discovered that in addition to the abscess, she was also missing a lot of teeth, mostly in the back, and had been fit with several bridges,” Dr. Huyghues-Despointes reports. “She also had a problem with her bite.

“Because many of the teeth she was missing were back teeth, she was putting all the force of her bite on her front teeth. She was putting so much force on those teeth that she actually had fracture lines running through them.

In treating Elise, Dr. Huyghues-Despointes addressed the abscess first. To do that, she removed the bridge and performed a root canal on Elise’s left eye tooth. The next step was to put new crowns on the teeth that had previously supported the bridges.

Dr. Huyghues-Despointes recommended single crowns for the previous support teeth and dental implants for the teeth that were missing because that combination offers patients far better support than a bridge.

“What happens when you have a bridge is that when you bite down on it the bridge acts like a trampoline when you jump on it,” she says. “The pontic, which is the false tooth in the middle, sort of depresses a little bit and the adjacent teeth move around.

“Over time, that can result in breakage and fractures around those teeth, so the best thing to do in that situation is to get rid of the bridge, clean up the decay around the adjacent teeth, crown those teeth and place implants where teeth are missing.

“That way, the adjacent teeth won’t shift and the alignment will be better. And because the alignment is better, the patient will be able to chew better. This approach gives the patient much better function than they had previously with bridges.”

Long Distance Relationship

In taking on Elise’s restoration, Dr. Huyghues-Despointes committed to putting crowns on five teeth and placing implants where seven teeth were missing. After beginning her work in late 2019, Dr. Huyghues-Despointes completed the crown work in March.

Dental Implants

The final phase of the reconstruction is the placement of the implants, which are screw-like bodies that are surgically placed into the jawbone. They become the foundation for replacement teeth.

Including the implant placement, a task taken on by Naved Fatmi, DMD, all the work on Elise’s reconstruction was done at Regency Court Dentistry. The fact she traveled 30 miles from Palm Beach to have that work done didn’t bother Elise.

“It’s a bit of a drive, but we’ve continued to visit Regency Court Dentistry because we like the people there and because they all do such great work,” Elise confirms. “Everyone from the receptionist to the dentists is just so nice.

“They smile when you come and make you feel at home, and that makes you feel better the minute you walk in. I like that, and of course I like that they can do all the work right there and that I don’t have to go anywhere else.

“What Dr. Huyghues-Despointes has done for me and my husband is incredible. She got my husband out of pain, and by replacing the bridges and giving me these beautiful new crowns, she’s taking great care of me.

“I could not be happier with her or the work she’s done. She’s a wonderful dentist, very up to date on everything, and she makes sure you’re never in pain. That’s why I highly recommend her and Regency Court Dentistry to anyone.”

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