Marion has been our patient for years and we were thrilled when she booked a new patient appointment for her 72-year old mom, Gladys, who had relocated from another state after the death of her husband. Isn’t that the ultimate compliment? Marion mentioned that a dentist in Florida had suggested that Gladys should consider an upper denture, because she had a limited amount of upper back teeth.
At her new patient exam, I found that Gladys had good bone support around her remaining teeth but smiled self-consciously, trying to hide the missing upper bicuspids and molars. I showed her a model of the treatment that I recommended, “bridges” to span the spaces, which are cemented to her existing, healthy teeth. Then, I went through the differences between having two permanent bridges versus a removable upper denture, including the approximate cost of each. I wasn’t yet finished when she blurted out, “Despite what they think, I’m NOT an old lady, so I want to stay out of dentures if there is a different solution. When can we start?” I have to admit, people rarely act that eager to have dental care, much less to have it “soon”.
Marion brought her mom to her appointments, in an example of role-reversal. Gladys wanted to have new bridges as soon as possible and Marion had to explain, repeatedly, that there were specific steps that took time. We completed the bridge on the upper right side on December 10th and Gladys insisted that their Christmas photo had to pose her head to show only the right side.
Shortly thereafter, Gladys had a bridge placed on her upper left side, and a couple of fillings replaced. She told us that she’d made a great investment in HERSELF.
At every recall appointment, Gladys finds a way to state, “Despite what they think, I’m NOT an old lady”. She is now 81 years old with a warm smile and a spring in her step.
Contact Winterset Dental to schedule an appointment for an elder today!