Theresa’s case study. London, Budapest, Dudley

Newspaper cutting finally ends dental tourist’s quest for smile

When Theresa Reardon from London set out on a mission to fix a longstanding dental problem she never imagined it would take a lifetime’s search before finding the answer . . . in Dudley.

Even a trip as a dental tourist to a Budapest clinic delivered only disappointment.

Remarkably, she never lost hope that one day she’d stumble upon a happy clinical outcome, despite decades of false dawns.

Even more exceptional was that that although in her senior years her singularly determined endeavour was not diminished by the passing of time or the catalogue of dental failures that charted her life.

“I was determined to find an answer and I found Mr Steven Burchell at the Denture Clinic,” she declares.

Her breakthrough came eight years ago while looking after a doctor in Wolverhampton, but never realised a story she was reading in the local newspaper would have such an impact on her daily living.

The devout Catholic from County Cork in southern Ireland, who moved to London when she was 25, adds: “I’d come to Wolverhampton and in a quiet moment was reading the free paper, The Chronicle. I saw a story there about a lady who couldn’t eat properly and how Steven had sorted her out, so I kept the cutting.”

Eight years passed before she was prompted to look at the narrative again after her denture prescription from the Hungarian capital broke.

“I read it over and over again, booked an appointment, got on the train and made my way to Dudley,” she recalls.

Theresa suffered all her denture life with a protruding lower bite where the bottom teeth are more prominent than the upper. This can sometimes make chewing difficult and patients self-conscious.

“I could never bite an apple and had to chew very carefully. My bottom dentures were so unstable my diet was always restricted,” she says.

Staff at the clinic in North Street were shocked to learn she had travelled alone to her appointment and was returning to her Golders Green apartment in London the same day.

“Nothing was going to stop me,” she added. “The teeth I’d been made ten years before in Budapest were useless and they hurt like hell. My new ones don’t hurt at all and for the very first time my top teeth can come over my bottom teeth.”

On the day her new prescription was fitted she decided to celebrate with a meal out at the Miller & Carter steakhouse in Penn.

“I was advised to take it gently, but my teeth felt so good I thought I’ll have a steak,” she says.

It was the first time Theresa could tackle such a “difficult meal”. With schoolgirl laughter she adds: “I loved it. It was worth waiting for.”

Admitting to a regular tipple of red wine (Shiraz and Merlot are her favourites) she’s determined to carry on celebrating her new teeth and making the best of her restored confidence.

“I may even manage the odd glass of sherry,” she jokes. “It’s been a long time coming and I’m so grateful that I don’t have to put my hand over my mouth any more. I was always afraid to smile, but now . . . look at me, all thanks to Steven.”

Theresa’s problems began when at 18 she took at job as a doctor’s receptionist in Cork. She was advised to have a full clearance after gum disease was diagnosed.

“The bite on every set of teeth I had was never right until now,” she says.

Theresa left Cork with two other girls to stay with an order of nuns in Harrow.

“I was helping at a nursing home. The Reverend Mother sent my two friends back home but encouraged me to apply for a job with the Queen’s Household and I worked as a deputy catering supervisor at Buckingham Palace.”

Reflecting on her colourful life, she adds in a beautifully musical Cork accent: “Every year I get a Christmas card from the Queen.”

Theresa's case study

Theresa’s case study – Theresa with Principal Steven Burchell

Theresa before her treatment at the Denture Clinic

Theresa before her treatment at the Denture Clinic

Theresa after her treatment at the Denture Clinic

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