Most days, the business of a dental office is fairly routine: drilling, filling…and billing! But every so often, a case comes across your desk that makes you feel like you can possibly change the course of someone’s life…make a difference in someone’s world.
This happened to me recently, when I accepted the case of a young man—27 years old—who had never been to the dentist. Years of soft drinks had taken their toll on his teeth, and the multiple abscesses in most of his back teeth were so extensive, they were affecting his overall health as well.
The patient is a good-looking guy, pleasant—but very reserved. Hmmm. Smart, but no education past high school. Wonder why. Check out the photos: with teeth this badly deteriorated, there was little hope of him succeeding in any endeavor that would include meeting with the public.
I’ll cut to the chase: I removed all of his upper back teeth, performed root canals on several upper front teeth before crowning all of them, crowned and/or filled a few lower teeth, and made him a precision-fitting removable appliance to replace the missing upper back teeth. I chose to do all of this work at no charge.
You can see in the “After” photo that he is still learning to smile, but I understand he now has a budding lawn care and pressure
washing business, and is engaged to be married. He’s starting to win in this world.
Like the inspirational story of the man on the beach throwing back starfish, I can’t save every starfish; can’t make a difference in everyone’s life. But, as in the story, I like to think I made a difference in this one. And for now, that’s alright by me.