Sheila’s case study. A new life

When retired nurse Sheila got a new smile after a year of dental misery, husband Dave admits he too is now enjoying the changes it’s brought about for his life

When former specialist nurse Sheila Haycock finally found a solution for her failing teeth she quite literally received a prescription for a new life . . . and so did her husband, Dave.

Emotionally broken by a catalogue of dental disasters, for a whole year she suffered pain every day and her confidence plummeted. “Each day was a nightmare.

“Every day I’d have a new ulcer in my mouth. I couldn’t eat properly, stopped going out and couldn’t face looking at myself in a mirror – in fact, I’d cover them up.

“I’d speak and laugh with my hand in front of my mouth, avoid having my picture taken and couldn’t chew properly – if I did go out, I’d always have to order lasagne because it was soft food,” she recalls.

Terrified of dentist

Sheila’s problems began when her natural teeth became mobile and braved her worst fears, having a full clearance to make way for an upper and lower denture.

Terrified of the dentist, she adds: “I thought it was impossible for things to get worse, but nothing could have prepared me for the next 12 months. The first time I took my teeth out and looked in the mirror, psychologically, I was beside myself.

“I’d been so preoccupied with mastering my fear of the dentist, I hadn’t worked through the impact of losing my teeth would have on me. It was devastating.”

Initially, Dave confesses to “not being that helpful,” explaining her native teeth “needed to go and to deal with it.”
“I know, I told him,” says Sheila, “but they were mine!”

Even the loss of a single tooth is now clinically recognised as a potential precursor for a mourning process.

Adds Dave: “She was upset and I felt utterly helpless. The guilt of it all . . . I wanted to help, but couldn’t. I could eat what ever I wanted, but she couldn’t and every day – every day – there was a new problem to address.”

Shelia, who specialised in wound dressings, admits she felt trapped, having been assured her jawbone density would be too poor to support implants.

“My dentures seemed to be rotating and rolling around and I hated the denture glue. I’d use it and as soon as I’d try to eat something, within 15 minutes my teeth would be unstable again. I was mortified by having to use it over and over again. I was not coping.”

Taking advice from her daughter, who had received a recommendation from a work colleague that the Denture Clinic could help, Sheila headed for Dudley.

“Within 15 minutes of walking in to the surgery Steven [practice principal Steven Burchell DipCDT RCS(Eng)] was helping me,” she says.

As a temporary measure, an oral impression was taken and her painful dentures lined with a soft material that would help ease the discomfort and improve fit.

Sheila was prescribed a traditional top prosthetic and a lower over-denture, retained on two implants. The surgery was carried out under sedation by North Street’s clinical lead, Owain Rees BDS DGDP(UK) Dip Imp Dent (UCL) GDC61576.

‘Own teeth’

“All I can say is that it has completely changed my life. There’s nothing I can’t eat and the implant prosthetic doesn’t feel false. It’s comparable for me to my own teeth. When I first saw my new teeth in the mirror, I thought who’s this person? They looked natural, just like real teeth,” says Sheila.

Dave, a former civil engineer, adds: “She’s completely different. It’s been life-changing for me too and we can now get on with our retirement.”
Both keen gardeners, they agree the financial investment is in a quality life choice.“It’s the best thing she’s ever had done,” adds Dave.

case study Sheila and Dave after her treatment at the Denture Clinic

Shelia’s case study – Sheila  with husband Dave

Sheila’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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