Kristi is not your typical “denture patient.” As a stay-at-home mother of four in Jacksonville, Florida, Kristi received her first set of upper and lower complete dentures at the young age of 26. Her story is unusual, not just because of her age, but that throughout her entire journey of full mouth extractions, placement of immediate dentures, and now with her new implants, Kristi has chronicled all of her struggles, accomplishments, and numerous dental visits on her blog and Youtube channel. Her videos and posts have provided a voice and string of hope for current and future denture-wearers. As easy as it is to watch the journey that Kristi has had over the years, doing a quick google search into something simple like Dentist Manalapan (if you live in and around this area of New Jersey) could help you make the journey of getting dental treatment a lot easier.
She is not a dentist, nor does she claim to be an expert or promoter of dentures. In fact, the purpose of this article is not to promote, but to depict the point of view of a denture-wearer, and bring to light the community of support that can be found online. Having suffered from severe tooth decay as a child, Kristi was told at the age of 18 by her dentist that she was a candidate for dentures. As a young, single mother, she was daunted by financial and self-image issues, as well as the thought of losing all her teeth. However, Kristi reports gaining support through an online group called Dentures “A New Smile,” (http://denturesanewsmile.ning.com/) that changed her perspective and inspired her to not give up on restoring her smile.
Starting her own blog called iWear Dentures (http://www.iweardentures.com/) and Youtube channel (KalinJax), Kristi takes viewers through her journey every step of the way, including the preliminary impressions, occlusal records, wax try-in, teeth selection, delivery, relines, and now implants. In January of 2013, she won a smile makeover contest hosted by Dr. Golpa’s Dental Implant Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sponsored by Nobel Biocare, Kristi received the All-on-4® dental implants, with winnings amounting to $54k worth of work. This begins a new journey for her, as she vlogs about her challenges with the implants, including screw loosening, inflammation, and hygiene issues.
As dental students, we can easily get fixed on the process, and often forget the person. As with any dental treatment, keeping patients informed of the various steps is crucial to the success of the treatment. Also, we must not forget to be compassionate and understanding of the patient’s perspective. Receiving dentures is a massive change in someone’s life, whether that be simply for aesthetic reasons or to significantly improve oral health. Either way, the results speak for themselves. So if you are looking into the procedure yourself, maybe you could take a look at some information on it here – https://www.dorow-clinic.de/zahnprothesen/.
Kristi vlogs about receiving her “permanent dentures”:
Learn more about Kristi’s new implants and about the evolution of Nobel Biocare’s All-on-4® treatment concept:
~Tiffany Hsu, San Francisco ’15, chair, Council on Communications