Carol R. (Source: Zocdoc)
Two years ago, my dental problems became pronounced. My smile started to look snaggle-toothed and uneven and somehow the upper teeth were breaking all the crowns and fillings in my lower jaw. I was told by a dental clinic that my bite had collapsed and that the entire jaw, upper and lower arches, must be realigned so the teeth would meet properly. They would have to crown every tooth in my head – on both the upper and lower arches. Otherwise, the problem would only get worse. When they told me the cost of opening my bite, I was horrified. Then I got mad and after that, sad. It was impossible. For that price, I could have moved back to the Midwest and bought a decent house. So I was just going to have to be a witchy old lady with bad teeth. But then a pair of trusted friends suggested going to see Dr. Ladani for a consultation. He did an examination and agreed that I had a vertical bite collapse that was likely to get worse. Reconstruction would be needed, using crowns at strategic points to open the bite. Then he did something truly extraordinary for most doctors and dentists: Dr. Ladani listened! He listened to my concerns about cost and time involved. He heard that I wanted to take care of this health problem but didn’t have the resources for full reconstruction and the crowning of every single tooth. I had some questions and several ideas about ways to tackle the problem. He considered those ideas, accepted some and told me why others wouldn’t work. Together we agreed on a general plan. Then Dr. Ladani, almost like an architect, thought through and laid out the plan, tooth by tooth. He explained each step and its purpose to me. He was going for a full upper arch reconstruction, using this more limited approach to open the bite. He also strategically employed a limited number of lower crowns to accomplish the goal. I won’t kid you: the cost was far less than the original clinic had quoted, but it still wasn’t a minor dental bill. But Dr. Ladani made it a manageable cost. And he and his team were unbelievably supportive all the way through the process. The dental associates, Betty and Ellie, were always there to give me a second opinion on tooth color and any other question that arose. I felt taken care of by medically wise and highly experienced people on every side. Now I can even smile for my Daddy, although he’s no longer here. It used to make him sad that I didn’t like to smile in pictures. When the reconstruction process was complete, Dr. Ladani remembered that I’d told him that. Now you can smile for your Dad, he told me. So I did.