Most of us take our smiles for granted. We think they’ll be there forever, and that’s why sometimes some us lapse a little on our duty to keep them clean and healthy. Not all dental problems are health related, though. And even in the worst of cases, it always seems as though dental science has what it takes to make miracles and bring smiles back the people’s faces.
Today, we’d love to share two amazing stories about hopeless cases that were turned around by great dentists practicing remarkable dentistry. These are the stories of two patients suffering from extensive tooth loss, who found new happiness thanks to the marvelous benefits of dental implants.
The Miracle of Milton Keynes
Alex Kerr was 20 when she was hit by a car while cycling home from work. Left in a coma, with many broken bones and without her six front teeth, she suffered from deep uncertainty the months following the accident. She found that Britain’s National Health Service wouldn’t cover a procedure to replace her missing teeth, because the type of treatment necessary was not considered “acute care” and was instead categorized as cosmetic.
“Nobody seems to understand how awful it is to have no front teeth at my age,” she said. Missing your front teeth is a big deal. Would you want to smile if you were missing a tooth in the front, let alone six?
Indeed, tooth loss can have a severe impact on a patient’s happiness. According to scientific data, those who are missing teeth and suffer from poor oral hygiene also tend to suffer from anxiety and depression. Being unhappy can cause you to neglect your dental care, but being embarrassed about your smile leads to self-esteem problems that feed into your mood as well. Whatever the case, the connection between one’s dental and mental health, or even overall health, is well-established.
That’s what so meaningful about what happened next.
After being told that the NHS would not pay for the treatment, Kerr was left heartbroken. This was when Dr. Wynand de Jager, a private dentist in Milton Keynes, offered her free treatment. By placing three implant fixture along her upper arch, Dr. de Jager was able to replace the six missing teeth with six implant-supported dental crowns.
Dental implants integrate with the underlying jawbone, which makes them incredibly strong and long-lasting. They also replicate many of the functions of a natural tooth root, and when coupled with a porcelain crown the entire system looks remarkably like a real tooth. In fact, if you look at Kerr’s smile now, you wouldn’t even guess she had been in an accident. This is what is so amazing about dental implants.
“My family just can’t believe how confident I am again. My smile is nothing like it was after the accident. I’m really happy,” Kerr said, after her procedure. It’s no surprise, dental implants truly are the new standard of dental care.
An Unlikely Tip: A New Smile in Wichita
Imagine losing much of your upper arch of teeth due to a dental-problem-riddled childhood. You may think that you just aren’t the kind of person who will ever have a gorgeous “movie star” smile. Put yourself in the shoes of Brian Maixner, a Doo-Dah Diner waiter living in Wichita, Kansas. Now imagine receiving a $25,000 tip. Except it’s not cash, it’s a brand new smile.
Maixner had been suffering from dental problems since an early age and had been in the process of saving up for dental insurance, to help treat some of the infections that were still damaging his teeth and gums. One day, he waited the table of a Mr. Boettcher, an Oklahoma attorney who had also experienced oral health problems as a young kid. Impressed by Maixner’s service and noticing that the waiter was hesitant to smile, Boettcher approached Doo-Dah’s owner, Timirie Shibley, and asked if he could pay for Maixner’s smile makeover.
“This young man, he just touched me. I’ve had a couple of restaurants in the past, and I know how important your appearance is. He was a clean-cut guy with a smile like an angel, and I thought, ‘I’ve got to help,’” said Boettcher.
Maixner’s tooth loss was treated in a series of steps. For immediate results, dentists created a complete set of dentures for him. This already completely transformed his facial appearance and his smile, but it was just the beginning. These would eventually be attached to a series of dental implants placed along both arches, fixing the dentures in place. By combining the two treatments, Maixner’s dental team was able to totally recreate his smile. The difference is simply astonishing.
“This has changed my life completely, and I’m still taken aback by it,” commented Maixner after his treatment.
It was a remarkable treatment made possible by a remarkable gift. And this story is especially touching because it reminds us all of the power of giving. They say that the only way to get more is to give more, because helping others is one of the most fulfilling things you can do. The story of Maixner and Boettcher is a lesson for us all on the beauty of being kind.
Your Smile Matters Too
Are you missing one or more missing teeth, like Kerr or Maixner? You don’t need to put up with a toothless smile. Dental implants can treat a wide variety of cases, and over the long-run they are a cost-efficient solution. You don’t need to make a decision now. Call our office to learn more about the treatment by scheduling a no-obligation consultation. You don’t need to commit to anything; just learn what your options are.