“I’ve always had poor teeth. I grew up in a place without fluoridation in the water supply. I feel like I’ve spent my entire life in a dental chair! As an adult, my teeth would crack and then they would have to be extracted. Chewing food was difficult, as I only had one place in my mouth where my molars matched up. It finally got to the point where my remaining teeth were in such bad condition I had to do something,” begins Steve H., a dental implant patient of Alaska Center for Oral + Facial Surgery.
Steve’s story is not uncommon. Many adults suffer from poor tooth strength, making them susceptible to cracking, chipping and breaking from what most would consider normal daily activities. Dental implants can be a solution for most of these patients, whether a full bridge or single tooth is needed.
“One of my bottom front teeth was missing and I was very self-conscious when I smiled – I was constantly aware of trying to contain my smile. I was always the last one to finish a meal because I had to chew so slowly and carefully, which made me feel uncomfortable in social settings,” explains Steve. “I was aware of implant technology and had been keeping an eye on it for years. My parents had lots of trouble with their dentures and I resolved never to go that route. Instead, I consulted with Dr. Nordstrom and together we chose implant bridges.”
Steve chose to have his remaining natural teeth removed since they no longer provided him with function. He opted for multiple upper and lower implants to support bridges that looked and functioned like natural teeth, and that were not removable. This is referred to as a hybrid prosthesis. These are bridges that are attached to implants by your dentist, and will only come out when your dentist takes them out for routine maintenance.
“I felt comfortable with the procedure because Dr. Nordstrom and the team have a very professional and compassionate atmosphere right from the start,” details Steve. “Dr. Nordstrom was very personable and quite capable, which helped me feel at ease. I have a pretty good understanding of anatomy and would consider myself more critical than most, so the fact that I felt like I was in good hands was a big indicator for me of just how competent Alaska Center for Oral + Facial Surgery is.”
After his procedure, Steve was back in action after only a few days of downtime. “I anticipated some discomfort, but was surprised that I didn’t even need the pain medicine after my procedure; I just used ibuprofen and rested,” remembers Steve. “My mouth felt a bit unnatural at first, but I got used to it quickly. I believe that a person can get through temporary discomfort and emerge better for it on the other side, and this is definitely the case here. I smile a whole lot more and no longer have to think about covering up my mouth. I get compliments on my teeth and smile all the time. That one week of mild discomfort was totally worth it.”
Steve shares that if someone is considering having teeth implants, he or she should absolutely go visit Alaska Center for Oral + Facial Surgery. Says Steve, “In addition to being very adept at what he does, Dr. Nordstrom has a great bedside manner; he’s very pleasant to talk with which made the whole process much better and more comfortable. It certainly helps a lot, especially for people who might be nervous.”