To understand his joy, one must fully understand his pain. This patient, whom we’ll call John, had reached a level of unbearable heartache – not just a toothache – that drove him to the dentist.
“I was deteriorating from the outside in,” said John. “At about age 50, my gums began receding, my teeth began loosening, then falling out. Physically it was awful, but the feeling I’d get when people looked at me or talked with me, like I was a stupid or lower-class person, was the worst of all.”
Over the course of seven years, both his teeth and self-esteem were severely faltering. John wasn’t seeing a dentist, in part, for the same reason he didn’t want to see anyone else – embarrassment and condescending reactions. “For the better part of my life, I was peachy keen,” he reflected. “Yet somehow I’d ended up in a state where I couldn’t even laugh without putting my hand over my mouth. I didn’t want to be in a picture, and smile, because I felt like I’d ruin it. My happiness was diminished.”
John’s condition, combined with limited insurance coverage and financial constraints, created a further sense of helplessness. “I knew in the back of my mind I had to do something, but was afraid to face my worst fears. My grandfather wore false teeth, and he’d sneeze and they’d fall out. I didn’t want to be gumming it and I didn’t want to be like that!” he said resolutely.
Searching for solutions in solitude, John found the reassurance he needed on the Internet. “I couldn’t go to just anyone. I needed a true professional, someone who wouldn’t look down on me, someone who would build me up – someone I could trust. I read the patient reviews about Clear Creek Dentistry and felt hope,” he said. “On my initial visit, I went in probing – thought I’d get my teeth cleaned, ask a few questions and go from there. But I can honestly say I’ve never met anyone more caring than Dr. Haws, as I voiced private concerns about my situation and personal desires for the future.”
After being thoroughly educated about the All-on-4 dental implants procedure, John knew this was both a treatment and turning point for him. “In only five hours, I was a whole new me. It was restorative in every sense of the word,” he said. “My wife says I smile now even in my sleep. From the inside out, I’m back to my best self.”
Permanent Teeth in a Day, Really?
The All-on-4 procedure typically uses four dental implants per arch (upper or lower). Occasionally, depending on an individual’s mouth, one fewer or one additional metal abutment may be necessary (as in John’s case) to fully secure the bridge. The implants in the back are placed on an angle to take maximum advantage of the existing bone structure. New teeth are engineered to achieve the best function and esthetics, while matching the contours of a patient’s mouth.
Historically, the only option for restoring a full set of teeth would involve bone grafts, more implants, and as many as 18 months of treatment. This meant that a patient often would be without any teeth, or with ill-fitting temporary dentures for more than a year.
The real appeal of the All-on-4 procedure is the ability to have new teeth customized in advance, then fitted and adjusted – permanently – in a single appointment (even if extractions are necessary). A patient can literally come into the office in the morning with unhealthy or missing teeth, and leave in the afternoon with fixed, functional, natural-looking and feeling teeth.
An Optimal Solution for Who?
Trauma, decay and disease are the underlying factors in tooth loss. Like John, more than 100 million people in the United States alone are missing 11-15 of their permanent adult teeth. By the age of 60, almost 70% of these people are completely without teeth and in desperate need of oral rehabilitation. The state-of-the-art implant replacement option has become nothing less than a miracle for those missing a single tooth, multiple teeth or in need of a full dental arch.
Different than a Denture?
A denture or partial denture is a removable appliance, and should be taken out every night for cleaning. Additionally, since it is not secured, dentures will often slip or sometimes fall out in normal use. For this reason, a massive market for denture adhesives has developed to try to hold dentures in place. Even with adhesives, many people find eating, laughing, being active and talking are a challenge with dentures.
Conversely, the All-on-4 arch is solidly fixed in place, eliminating worry and enabling regular brushing.
Experience You Can Trust
For more than three years, Dr. Beck and Dr. Haws have been placing implants in their practice. This past year both doctors attended the Las Vegas Maxi Course – a full 12 months of study in all phases of implant dentistry. This course required 300 hours of lecture, lab and hands-on training. In June, Dr. Beck and Dr. Haws took a written examination to become Associate Fellows in the American Academy of Implant Dentistry – an oral examination will complete this specialized credential next spring.
“Implant technology has revolutionized dentistry,” said Dr. Haws. “It helps us offer better treatment options than ever before and not only restore beautiful smiles, but give patients the ability to chew healthy foods and live fuller lives. It’s incredibly rewarding to see this kind of outcome.”
We encourage you to schedule a private, no-obligation consultation if you have questions about dental implants and whether they’re right for you. “I was really, really scared about what it all might entail physically and financially,” John said. “All I can say is you don’t have to continue fearing the unknown, Clear Creek Dentistry is a place you can trust and get workable solutions. They could help change everything for you!”