Kjeller Tannhelse: The dream smile can become a reality
By Hanna Margrethe Enger | Photos: Kjeller Tannhelse
Marilyn Monroe once said that a smile is the best make-up a girl could wear. Nothing transforms a face more than a smile, and a genuine one spreads happiness and is contagious. But not everyone has a smile they are comfortable with; they might be ashamed of the colour of their teeth, that they are a little misaligned or not healthy. Luckily, that can be fixed.
Kjeller lies 20 kilometres north of Oslo and this is where you find Kjeller Tannhelse. The dental clinic is today run by Trine Bjelke-Holtermann, but it was originally established by her father in 1970. She has worked hard to make what started out as a one-man practice into a clinic with 14 employees.
“Being an owner, dentist and colleague means that you have to wear many hats at all times,” Bjelke-Holtermann says. “It also means that you must have knowledge of how to build and run a successful business and be an employer. Most importantly however, I try at all times to be the best dentist and colleague I can be.”
A great smile starts with good dental health
At Kjeller Tannhelse, their work is close and interdisciplinary. They have a general practitioner section with dentists and dental hygienists. Having their own hygienist is crucial, Bjelke-Holtermann says, as she does an invaluable job in teaching patients how to take care of their own teeth or dental works they have received. This may sound basic, but according to Bjelke-Holtermann, this is absolutely essential for the longevity and success of good oral health.
Kjeller Tannhelse has many patients who want to improve their smile by replacing discoloured fillings, correcting “ugly teeth” or replacing part of a broken or worn tooth. Bjelke-Holtermann sees these patients often. “I am a specialist in oral prosthetics and work to replace lost and damaged tissue,” she says. “I make everything from various prostheses, crowns and bridges on the patient’s own teeth, fixed and removable prosthesis on implants, to rehabilitation of a collapsed bite. I also work at the other end of the scale with veneers and smile enhancement.”
The specialists at the clinic work with patients and perform complex treatments that general dentists don´t. They receive several referrals daily from other dentists, and many patients make contact on their own initiative. And Kjeller Tannhelse still sees patients who have been with them since 1970.
Teeth straightening is not what is used to be
Many of us might have memoires of getting braces for our teeth when we were teenagers. They are not very aesthetic or comfortable. But teeth straightening has come a long way. At Kjeller Tannhelse they offer clear aligners.
“Teeth alignment can today be carried by translucent aligners that are 3D-printed,” Bjelke-Holtermann explains. “They work by gradually moving the teeth into the desired position using a series of aligners that are replaced weekly. At Kjeller Tannhelse, we only correction minor crowdings in the front. If major movement of the teeth is necessary, we refer the patient to an orthodontist with whom we work closely.”
Cosmetics and ethics
Helping patients achieving their dream smile is something they do at Kjeller Tannhelse every day, but they recognise that there is a fine line between what is medically necessary and what may be felt necessary by the patient themself. “As a specialist, I receive many inquiries from patients who want cosmetic changes of their smile,” Bjelke-Holtermann explains. “At the same time, it is my job to say no to carrying out a treatment if I feel that it violates my ethical compass. It is precisely this that puts the ethics into aesthetics.”
This applies to other treatments as well. Over-treating is not something they do at Kjeller Tannhelse. “My aim when planning the treatment for a patient is that I will do as little as possible but as much as necessary. I always think: what would I have done if this was my parent, husband or daughter?” Bjelke-Holtermann says.
Keeping that smile healthy
Although technology and materials today give dentists the opportunity to treat illness and injuries in teeth and the oral cavity, the most important thing is prevention. It does not have to be complicated. “It is said that what is simple is often the best, and this also applies to the daily cleaning of your teeth,” Bjelke-Holtermann says. “A good toothbrush, preferably electric, that you use morning and night together with fluoride toothpaste without abrasives. In addition, you should use dental floss or interdental brushes. For the vast majority of people, this is sufficient to maintain good oral health.”
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