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Fri, Jan. 24

How could you possibly know what I am going through? You are the dentist, not the patient

Often patients head to the dental office and receive the devastating news that there is a detriment in their mouth that needs a complex reconstruction to be restored. Upon receiving this information, they may feel remorse and frustration and think to themselves, this dentist has no clue what I am going through! I am just another patient, another number! How could a dental provider possibly know the pain, struggle and financial burden of all my dental concerns?! Well, I am here to share with you that while this may be the case for some other dentists in the business, it is not the case for me. I actually do know what you are going through when you receive distressing news about the state of your teeth, and would like to share a bit of my own story with you.

In my family, there is a genetic disorder that leads to an individual being born with missing and/or abnormally small teeth. When my permanent teeth came in, I only had 20 out of the 32 teeth that most people normally have. The size and shape were also substantially different than those of my peers. Not only did this lead me to be self-conscious, but it also led to oral difficulties, jaw pain frequent headaches and many other uncomfortable symptoms. I underwent my first major dental reconstruction at 27. During this procedure I had to have several dental implants placed. Since numerous family members also have this genetic predisposition, I always knew that my children would most likely be afflicted with the disorder as well. This was a motivating factor for me wanting to become a dentist; not only to be able to provide my kids with the dental care and procedures that they would inevitably need, but also to help countless other patients struggling with a complex oral condition or dental demise.

The predisposition in my family is severe. Therefore, it inspired me to not only complete dental school, but also has led to me completing additional complex trainings in implant placement, bone and tissue grafting, IV sedation dentistry, TMJ treatments, and many other techniques. I did this to not only help my family members feel better, but also to offer comfortable and affordable options to other patients suffering in the community. This especially came in handy in the summer of 2019 when it was time for my 18-year-old daughter to have her fourth major oral surgery before she went off to college. She was born with just 12 of the 32 teeth that most individuals have; and was missing bone in many areas of the mouth that made placing implants difficult. She also had to have orthodontics for many years to correct the alignment of her teeth. Once the natural teeth were in proper position, it was time for the surgery.

This was, hands-down, one of the most difficult reconstructions I have ever had to complete. Not just because she is my daughter and I hate seeing her suffer, but also from how extensive and rigorous the procedure was. The surgery involved multiple appointments, tricky techniques, bone and tissue grafting, placement of implants and countless hours to get her to completion and a place of healing. However, it was all worth it to know she is getting closer and closer to having a more functional and beautiful smile.

The reason I am sharing this with you is because I want you to know I empathize with each and every one of my patients and their oral struggles. I have been there. My family has been there. I know it is expensive and frustrating. I know it is painful and discouraging when things do not work out as planned. After my first reconstruction at 27, I have had so many failures of my own, do-overs, follow-ups and surgery after surgery. In the fall of 2019, I had two of my natural teeth fracture due to the disorder, and had to undergo major procedures to resolve the issue again.

Even I, the dentist, have oral ailments and struggles. I want you to know that every patient in my practice, I treat like my own family. I will offer you the same exact attention, care and advice that I would offer to my own children or parents. While it is unfortunate this predisposition runs through my family, it is a blessing in disguise because it has offered me a unique vantage point, and the drive to want to successfully provide options that work for others. If you or someone you know is struggling with a complex, complicated or difficult oral condition or concern, my team and I would love to help you. My mission is to provide you and your family with comfortable and precise care that focuses on your unique concerns and needs. My team is highly educated and proactive. We work on your behalf to prevent dental health issues, disease and decay as early as possible to keep your smile healthy.

I would love to invite you to come take a complimentary tour of our office and to meet the friendly staff. We are always accepting new patients, emergencies, and are open five days a week to accommodate your busy lifestyle. Please call us to make an appointment or schedule a tour at: 928-776-1208. Since it is the beginning of a new year, I would also like to offer you a free CT scan and consultation with the office. We hope to see you soon and we are excited to get to know you better and be able to give you the smile that you have always dreamed of.

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