“In one day, in one surgery, in a few hours, all my painful, broken, decayed teeth were gone and I woke up with a full mouth of fixed teeth that look, feel and function like real teeth.”
My mouth was a mess of missing, broken, decayed shards of what once were teeth. And I had an underbite. And I’m a gagger. And I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the point of going into a full-blown panic attack just thinking about the dentist. So, I’m every dentist’s nightmare! Although most dental offices advertise as being “phobia friendly” what they really mean is that they can prevent and manage pain. They usually don’t have the first clue about what a debilitating phobia really is. I found this out during my quest for a dental team that could not only fix my broken smile but also work around my psychological issues in the process. Chrysalis listened to me, took my condition seriously, and did everything humanly possible to make my experience comfortable as they gave me back my smile.
Initially, I thought I had only two choices: A removable denture (gag!) or traditional dental implants. A removable denture was out of the question because I’m a gagger. A trigger-happy gag reflex and dentures do not mix! There was no point of getting a denture I could not wear. Traditional dental implants were also out of the question because I simply could not afford the outrageous cost. Then I learned about something in-between: an implant-supported denture. At first blush this sounded like a very good option — better than a removable denture and a lot cheaper than implants. But in order to place just two little implants in each jaw would require:
- A bone graft. A surgeon would have to remove some bone from my hip and put it in my jaw. Then I would have to wait several months hoping that the two would fuse together nicely. There was no guarantee. This sounded invasive and painful, not to mention time-consuming.
- A sinus lift. Apparently I had too little bone and too much sinus. So my sinuses would have to be surgically “lifted” otherwise the implants would puncture through the sinus cavity – not good! This surgery sounded even more invasive and more painful than the bone graft.
- If I wanted my underbite fixed, I would have to endure yet another surgery. An oral surgeon would have to break my jaw, cut out and/or extend some bone, reset my jaw, wire it shut, and send me home with a pair of pliers in case I needed to vomit…so I wouldn’t choke on it. Ugh!
All these surgeries, pain, time, money and at the end of it all I would still end up with a denture! A “snap-on/snap-off” denture, but a denture nonetheless. No thanks!
Then I went to Chrysalis. The only thing that impressed me more than the beautiful and very clean office, was how genuinely friendly, nonjudgmental and incredibly knowledgeable and helpful the entire dental team was. From the moment I walked in, and every step of the way since, I have been given the VIP treatment. I was very self-conscious of the condition of my mouth and embarrassed about my extreme phobia (a grown person terrified of the dentist!), but every person at Chrysalis has always treated me with the utmost dignity and respect. Not once have I felt judged or looked down upon. They care about me as a whole person – not just my mouth. They have gone way above and beyond to accommodate me, and have bent over backwards to work around my “issues” because they wanted me to smile again almost as much as I did!
After the initial consultation appointment in which I found out that I would not need a bone graft, sinus lift, or my jaw broken, a couple of pre-op preparation appointments were necessary: impressions, bite registration and try-in. Then I was ready for my new teeth! Dental implant surgery sounded so scary to me. The thought of someone drilling into my jawbone sounded beyond awful, and I expected the recovery process to be excruciatingly painful…at least as painful as living with the recurring infections of bad teeth had been. Boy, was I wrong!
The morning of my surgery began with Chrysalis sending a limo to pick me up at my home (part of that VIP treatment I mentioned earlier). Shortly after arriving at the office and everyone greeting me very warmly with big hugs as always, I was escorted to the surgery room. My blood pressure was taken and IV sedation started, and what felt like a 15 minute nap later, I was sitting in a wheelchair being wheeled out to the limo that was waiting to take us home. I felt no pain, had no bleeding (so my mouth wasn’t full of gauze, thank goodness!), and I didn’t feel that awful medicated hangover feeling one often gets from anesthesia. Nor did the sedation nauseate me – that was a big concern of mine. I just felt very comfortably sleepy. I had arrived at Chrysalis around 10:00 am and was resting very comfortably at home in my bed by 5:00 pm with a brand new smile, holding an ice pack to my face as per post-op instructions.
After a good night’s sleep, I woke up the day after surgery feeling really good! Still no pain, no swelling, no bleeding, no bruising. It wasn’t until the following day that I woke up at 3:00 am with some pain and swelling…and one lonely bruise on my chin. Not once did I need to take any of the prescription pain medication. Regular over-the-counter Advil and ice packs for a couple of days took care of things quite nicely. I had suffered so much, for so long, with the excruciating physical and emotional pain of bad teeth. I was expecting recovery from dental implant surgery to be at least as painful, if not more. But it wasn’t. Not even close.
Oh, and did I mention they fixed my underbite cosmetically? For the first time in my life I finally have a proper bite! I absolutely love, love, love my new smile! My teeth are beautiful, they look so real, and what a difference a nice, clean, white smile makes! I look 10 years younger and I feel good about myself again! When I look in the mirror now, I see “me” again. I can look at people in the eye and speak with confidence. I can smile big, laugh with my mouth open, chew properly and enjoy my food again! And I can wear lipstick again – something I had stopped doing a long time ago because I did not want to attract any attention to my mouth, not in that condition! The wrinkles that had formed around my mouth, due to the bottom half of my face collapsing (that toothless sunken-in look) from missing teeth and bone loss, instantly disappeared after my surgery! It’s as if I had a bonus mini facelift in the process! Now, if they could just do something about the wrinkles around my eyes….
I really wish I had gone to Chrysalis sooner. In one day, in one surgery, in a few hours, all my painful, broken, decayed teeth were gone and I woke up with a full mouth of fixed teeth that look, feel and function like real teeth. With the Chrysalis technique, there is no reason why anyone has to live with the embarrassment and discomforts of a removable denture or endure the invasive, time-consuming and painful surgeries necessary with other dental implant techniques.
So, if like me, you don’t want a removable denture and are looking for a more affordable, less-invasive, faster option than traditional dental implants, give Chrysalis a call. I promise you, you’ll be glad you did. They not only gave me my smile back, they gave me my life back. All the doors that having bad and missing teeth closed for me are now wide open again thanks to the caring, experienced professionals at Chrysalis.