I have worked in the Dental Industry for over 30 years and often, when you work in a particular industry, it is what you focus on in your personal life. So, my teeth have been healthy, sure through the years I have had some minor teeth issues but nothing too major. I talk to patients every day that have lost several or all of their teeth. When we talk about treatment options, I hear their stories about how they lost their teeth and the pain their teeth have caused but really, I had no idea… until I had someone in my family go through it.
My father struggled to keep his teeth for over 20 years. He hated the look of his teeth his entire life time. Teeth needed to be removed, until he had to have an upper and lower partial. These partials hurt him so much and felt so foreign in his mouth, they were out more than they were in. The only time the partials were “in” was in public. More extractions led to a complete upper denture on the top and then all remaining lower teeth became infected. Cleanings for the lower teeth were performed every three months, but in the end, the lower teeth required extraction and a lower denture was made. That is when it became really difficult for him.
He couldn’t wear either denture and he couldn’t eat with them at all. I thought he was just exaggerating until he would no longer come for lunch with me anymore. He had to take his dentures out to eat and he wouldn’t take them out in public so all of our Father/Daughter lunches were over. He also was uncomfortable taking pictures, so no more family photos were taken. This went on with his upper and lower dentures for a year!
I knew about dental implants because I worked at ECDC. My father had so much Dentistry done through the years that had bad outcomes that he was nervous to come to a consult. He didn’t know if he could go through anymore, which I could completely understand. However, after he had his consult, we talked and talked about it because I knew what implants could do and I wanted my Dad back.
His surgery was in 2008. From the first day of surgery, he had a temporary fixed bridge on his implants and there was no turning back from there. No more dentures! No more taking his teeth out to eat! He looked great, too! Everyone in the grocery store, bank and even medical doctors were shown his teeth that they “were screwed in” (his words) . So much so that he carried a copy of his x-ray around in his wallet to show everyone
Needless to say Father and Daughter lunches were back on!