Dental Implants Newport News VA dentist Dr. Griffin shares a personal story about a previous patient that changed her life with dental implants.
A few years back, I had a patient that got in a horrible car accident. Michelle was 24 and visiting her friend for her birthday. They were driving home on a Monday night, coming back from the mall, when a drunk driver slammed into them from behind and threw their car into a pole. The driver blew a 3.2 and even had drugs in his pockets when the cops arrested him. Michelle’s best friend, Casey, was instantly killed from the physical contact with the pole, that had only missed Michelle by a few inches. Unfortunately though, the impact from the pole caused Michelle to knock her entire head into the windshield and destroy her upper row of teeth and lips. She had glass in her lips when the paramedics got there and was completely unconscious. I remembered reading about this horrific incident in the paper, just months before she came into my office.
After she woke up, Michelle had to receive plastic surgery to fix her lips. She had to recover for at least 4 weeks from this before she could come see to fix her smile. Finally, after she had healed from that surgery, she decided that she wanted to get dental implants. She was actually a dental student at VCU School of Dentistry and knew the wonders that dental implants could provide.
Unfortunately for Michelle, her jawbone made physical contact with the windshield. In fact, one of the first things she said to me when she came in was “I am going to need a bone graft.” I was quite impressed and she was right. I performed the bone graft a week from our visit, during which I administered a heavy sedative and performed the complex bone transplant on her upper jawbone. I replaced her damaged bone with new, donor bone and in just a few hours, she was finished. She woke up a bit groggy and I told her that everything had gone extremely well. Considering she needed quite a significant amount of bone, I gave her 4 months to heal from the procedure and scheduled her re- examination appointment, to see if she was going to qualify for dental implants.
Four months later, she returned looking amazing and very healthy. She told that she was eating a very healthy diet, limiting her exercising and getting a good amount of rest. I thoroughly re- examined her and approved her for the dental implants. I, again, administered a strong sedative and gently placed the titanium screws into the 5 spaces she was missing teeth in. This began the process of osseointegration, where the implants naturally fuse into the jawbone in order to function and perform just as the patient’s real teeth. Following this I sewed her gum tissue back up and awoke her with the good news. Michelle needed a decent amount of implants so I scheduled her the final appointment 6 months from that date.
When she came back in for her final appointment, she seemed ready to get it over with. I understood and attached the tooth- colored, porcelain crowns onto the dental implants to complete her smile. In the beginning, I could feel her anxiousness to complete the process, but once she saw her beautiful, natural and complete smile with the dental implants in, she was the happiest I had seen her. I was more than happy to put a smile on her face since she lost her best friend and I am happy to report she is now a dentist with her own practice in Virginia.
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Dental implants possess the ability to restore oral and dental health, as well as instill a lost confidence in patients. This is the leading tooth loss solution due to its permanent and comfortable placement and can provide healthy, beautiful and complete smiles to patients that need them the most. Call us today to schedule your dental implant consultation with Dr. Griffin at (757) 745-1003.