"No Bottom Teeth For 33 Years - I've Been Through Hell"

February 7, 2020

Read Rich's Story

When I was growing up in the 70s, teeth were not much of a priority. By the time I was 8, my teeth were bad, even though I went to the school dentist every 6 months; I hated going, crying and screaming, as I knew there would be pain every visit.

At the age of 19, I was advised to have all my teeth out as they were hopeless. So, I had all my teeth out in hospital, this was a very difficult and painful experience, and the next day I walked out with a set of dentures. However, my teeth were white teeth for the first time in my life, and that made me a very happy chappy…for a week. Then it became clear that the bottom denture was cutting into my gum and I was in extreme pain. I was told I would need a second surgery to have the bone filed down so the denture would fit comfortably. However, the NHS waiting list was 12-18 months, so I accepted I could manage without the lower denture.

I had no bottom teeth for the next 33 years.

For those years I struggled to eat good, healthy food - I could not bite an apple, which to a person with their own teeth must sound ludicrous! Eating a steak was very difficult.  I was always conscious of people looking at me when I was eating, as I knew I looked different. And I was also embarrassed of talking with people as I struggled with my upper denture. This seriously affected my confidence.

I have been through hell for the past 33 years.

When I reached the age of 50, I received a pension from my old job and it literally gave me the opportunity to change my life.  I paid my mortgage off, then started looking into dental implants.

First I went to Thailand and South Africa to see how much they would cost abroad and I also looked into treatment in Bulgaria and Turkey.  The price of all these places was cheaper than in the UK, but the two massive issues were the guarantee and the after-care service: none of which impressed me in any of these countries.

I then looked all over the UK and had seen two other dentists before I met Adam Glassford.

Adam discussed that having implants in my lower jaw was a relatively simple procedure.

However, the upper jaw was a different story. There was so little bone left in my upper jaw, that even bone grafting couldn’t be done– there just wasn’t enough bone to attach more bone onto.  However, a different procedure with ‘zygomatic implants’ was possible, however a more invasive procedure.

I decided I was taking enough on with my bottom jaw, so I would leave the top jaw.

The surgery was straightforward. I had four lower implants and took 3 days off work. A few appointments later, I had my bottom jaw full of fixed teeth for the first time in 33 years! The result was incredible. The teeth were rock solid. You cannot imagine how much it changed my smile and improved the way I could eat.

A year later at my yearly check-up, Adam asked how I was getting on. I had already decided I wanted the same in my top jaw as I had in the bottom. There was no hesitation.

Now, in my top jaw I needed zygomatic implants as unusually there was no direct jaw bone left. I won’t tell you a lie – this was a very different to having the first implants.  After the 4 hour operation, I was really sore and, as expected, needed 2 weeks off work. After the healing period of 3 months, the fixed teeth were placed, and the result of my implants is absolutely incredible. I can laugh and smile without ever worrying that my teeth are going to move or slip around as they used to with the denture. Totally worth it.

It is mind-blowing how amazing I feel now.  

It is incredible to be able to talk to anyone without the embarrassment of my old denture moving. People look me in the eyes when I’m talking, instead of watching my loose denture.

My friends say I’m a different person and that they’ve not seen me laugh as much.

I can eat apples. I can easily eat steak. I am now experimenting with foods to see what I like! I ate a raw carrot the other day for the first time in decades.  I can eat anything!

The taste of foods is incredible, now the roof of my mouth doesn’t have a denture plate covering it - red wine tastes twice as good! My whole face looks better and fuller, and I have a lot more confidence in myself. I just have to smile now!

My advice to anyone in a similar situation to me is, meet your fears head-on and get it done.

This is the best thing that I have ever done in my life. I have not regretted my decision to have implants for one moment since. I’d do it again 100 times.

 

Rich from Scarborough.

 

Learn more about dental implants here. For a FREE consultation with Dr Adam Glassford, call 01904 639667 now.