Jan’s case study

Dream Caribbean wedding pics are missing a mum’s proud smile

The sun shone, the sea was as blue as the cloudless sky and a small, family group celebrated a wedding on the shoreline of paradise.

With the warm, golden sand beneath their feet, they toasted the happy couple and made memories that would last lifetimes.

Runaway Bay, one of the jewels of the Caribbean, had it all – magic, romance, a spectacular setting and the ultimate backdrop for wedding album pictures – and there were plenty to be taken.

But one person was noticeably absent from the captured images of the smiles, laughter and celebrations on that special day.

Only a single frame – a group shot and not a close-up – featured the groom’s proud mum. Jan had travelled more than 4,600 miles to embrace the Big Day moment with five others in the wedding party, but in her own words, “I didn’t feel right.”

Everything was perfect, everyone was happy and “it was a lovely, lovely day,” but Jan deliberately melted into the background every time the cameras clicked.

“I wouldn’t have my picture taken,” she confesses. “I know it seems strange, but I did not want to spoil the day for my son. That’s the way I felt.

Everything was lovely, I’d taken some lovely clothes, the setting was lovely and you couldn’t have wished for better . . . the people, the ceremony in the pagoda, the beach bungalow where we stayed and the way the locals were so friendly to us.

“But my teeth were a mess. When I smiled you couldn’t see any of my teeth and I was so embarrassed at the way they looked, I not only spoke with my hand in front of my mouth, I ate like that too,” Jan, from Kidderminster, recalls.

As the groom’s mum, the focus of attention was emotionally crippling. Now in her 60s, Jan’s troubles began some 40 years ago. Suffering with a gum disorder in her lower jaw, her dentist carried out a full clearance.

“I had four lower teeth in the front where the trouble was, but I was told I had to lose them all. In those days you just accepted it.

It was a horrible experience and those experiences stay with you,” she says. Jan tolerated a catalogue of prosthetic prescriptions which never “felt comfortable or looked right” and for 15 years her food choices were seriously compromised.

“I couldn’t eat apples, or pears, or steak and every time I went to a restaurant I’d have to order fish. My gums were always sore and I couldn’t chew properly,” she adds.

Jan’s self-esteem hit rock bottom until she saw an article in the newspaper about Steven Burchell’s work at the Denture Clinic in North Street, Dudley.

“My husband said I should book an appointment and I told him that he needed to get laser surgery on his eyes. He said ‘I can live with glasses, but you can’t live without your teeth.”

It was true: Meeting Jan now is an engaging experience and she loves her new look.

“On the picture from the wedding my face seems so small, but my whole appearance has changed since meeting Steven. My only regret is that I didn’t meet him earlier,” she adds.

Steven CDT DipRCS(Eng) says: “Jan came to me with dentures that were not really helping here. She had a lot of gum and bone erosion – a natural ageing process – and her dentures were not stable.

“She was not a suitable candidate for implant-retained over-dentures to address the stabilisation issues, so we make her some high quality, traditional dentures, ensuring a precise fit with the cutting-edge technology we have a the clinic. The clinical outcome was remarkable.”

Says Jan, who has now taken her 85-year-old mother for some new teeth at the Denture Clinic: “All the way home after my new teeth were fitted I kept looking in the car’s vanity mirror and smiling at myself. I was so chuffed.

“I’m planning to go back to Runaway Bay with my husband in 2016 for our 50th wedding anniversary and guess who won’t be frightened to have their picture taken then?”
As for her experience with Denture Clinic: “Simply the best! I can’t thank Steven and his team enough.”

denture clinic case study jan

Jan’s case study – Jan after her treatment at the Denture Clinic

Jan’s case study at the Denture Clinic is just one in a series of informative articles. Read the rest on our case study page.

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