Current thoughts…

As I sit down to write, I’ve been trying to convince myself not to write about the pandemic. People are sick of it. People want to think about anything other than that for a minute. People just want to feel like life is returning to normal soon. Yet, here I am unable to think about anything else.

There was life before this. I mean, we’re talking about a few weeks ago when we all laughed at the Corona beer memes because we didn’t think it would ever hit close to home. We “cared” what happened in China, but let’s be honest, it really had nothing to do with us so let’s just move on to some other news.

Then there is life now. Quarantine. Panic. Sickness. Death. Unemployment. Homeschooling. Boredom. Uncertainty. All of a sudden, it’s like the rug was just ripped out from beneath us, and here we are trying to figure out how to navigate through such a strange and unprecedented situation. I asked my grandfather the other day if he had ever been through anything like this, and his response was not “just” like this. I think that’s what makes it so uncomfortable; we don’t know who to ask for advice. We need a grown up to tell us what to do!

To be honest, I’m currently most focused on what life is going to be like once this is all over. Will it all be over? How will the kids adjust to a normal schedule again? What about my small business? When can I go out to eat again? How can I help those who have suffered the most from this? It seems like everything in the future is in some way or another colored through the lens of the pandemic.

There are a few fundamental truths I am holding on to as I look at the future.

  1. We are resilient by nature. Through the course of history, the best stories out there are the ones of perseverance and determination. Everyone loves a comeback story, and I am sure that we each will have our own version of a comeback to write.
  2. My faith in God assures me that none of this is “unprecedented” or surprising to Him. He wrote this into our lives when He created us, and there is not one single thing He does not have under His control.
  3. Have you ever experienced this much free time in your adult life? I know I haven’t! So instead of filling my days with worry, I’m choosing to utilize that time and see it as a gift. My house may never be this clean ever again, but I can feel good about myself for finally accomplishing some tasks I’ve put off for years.

I hope as you navigate through all the feelings, emotions, stress, and anxieties that are unavoidable during our present circumstances, you hold on to hope. There is light at the end of this tunnel. We have time on our hands, so make the most of each day. We have a community, in this case a nation, which will persevere, as it always has, through the most trying times. Hang in there, friends!

Options for Denture Wearers

Let’s face it- not everyone is able to maintain their teeth forever. Whether it be a history of poor dental care and periodontal disease or illness and family history, I see patients every week faced with the prospect of losing their teeth. As a lover of all things teeth, I greatly empathize with those facing this daunting inevitability. Just like losing a limb, it’s emotional, uncomfortable, clumsy, and sometimes painful to go from natural teeth to a prosthetic piece of plastic in your mouth. Thank God for dentures, but it’s about time they get with the times with all the changes taking place in dentistry!

Good news- there are SO many available options with dentures today that can not only make the process less dramatic but can also improve quality of life to a greater extent than before the teeth were ever lost! The answer lies in dental implantology, an area of dentistry I’ve studied, learned, and become quite passionate about over the last multiple years. With the technology available within my practice, I can now precisely plan the placement of implants using 3D x-ray technology. That information can be correlated with computer assisted design (CAD) software to design a surgical guide that ensures that, on the day of surgery, the implants are placed exactly where they were planned. My 3D printer makes this guide in a matter of hours, and the entire process remains completely under my control. Talk about technology changing dentistry!

By incorporating implants into your denture’s future, you now have a couple of options:

1) The Overdenture: a denture that simply clicks into place, removing the need for denture adhesives and eliminating the fear of the denture coming loose. This can often be accomplished with as few as 2 implants.
2) The Hybrid Denture: a denture that is completely affixed to implants, meaning you never have to take it out and you simply brush as you did your natural teeth. This often requires 4 or more implants but creates the closest thing to your natural teeth as possible.

For some, the thought of implants seems either too invasive or too expensive. Let me assure you that the surgical implant procedure has never been smoother. With the incorporation of surgical guides (as described above) and advances in surgical techniques, patients are often left shocked that the procedure was so quick and painless. I often tell patients that losing the teeth is the hard part- the implant placement is simple. As far as the cost is concerned, more and more dental (and medical) insurance companies are paying toward implants. At GFFD, we file both dental and medical insurances to help you get the most savings. In addition, we offer multiple payment options that may surprise you. Don’t let the financial aspect be a deciding factor before you consult with your dentist about it!

Finally, I’m going to share a couple of cases that have been life changing for these patients. If you know you’re headed toward dentures (or you’re already there), PLEASE know that there are options for you that can get you back the quality of life you deserve!