Kristi: A personal journey ends with a beautiful smile
Throughout her childhood, Kristi always had very sensitive teeth that made hot and cold food and drinks unbearable, and brushing her teeth was always painful. As a child, her gums frequently bled, often leading to fear about brushing her teeth. As a teenager, she was plagued by cavities and fillings, and the frequent abscesses she developed were only treated when she was in pain. When she was 15, two molars were extracted because other types of treatment were not financially feasible.
As she grew into adulthood, Kristi’s tooth decay continued and worsened during her pregnancies. During her third pregnancy when she was 26 years old, her front tooth chipped off. Three months after her baby was born, she was trying to get back into shape, changing her hair, and refreshing her overall appearance, but she couldn’t look at herself in the mirror because of her teeth.
“I was always self-conscious about my teeth and never smiled,” Kristi remembers. “I wanted to enhance my appearance and improve my health, and that’s what motivated me to make a change and start looking for denture options.”
Discovering What’s Possible
After facing a lifetime of dental complications, Kristi wanted a healthy and beautiful smile. Filled with anxiety and uncertainty, she started her journey and discovered that she didn’t have to just settle for what everyone thinks of as dentures. She learned that today, it’s possible to have dentures that could give her a complete full-mouth smile makeover.
She began by finding a dentist who could provide economical dentures, because she knew cost would be one of her biggest challenges. Filled with anxiety, she remembers that during the first appointment, her dentist was very sympathetic, recognizing that extractions and dentures were a monumental ordeal.
“I was very emotional and couldn’t process all of what he was saying, but I understood that I needed to have all of my teeth extracted in order to improve my health and have a more esthetic smile,” Kristi admits. She knew she would be receiving the lowest quality dentures available, since the option she could afford was transitional dentures that would need to be replaced after one year.
“These were flat dentures, with very little life-like character,” Kristi describes. “I knew the other options available were higher quality, but I didn’t completely understand the differences and why the higher quality materials made for better looking and better functioning dentures.”
Around the time she received her “final” set of dentures, Kristi learned about the benefits of implant-supported dentures, and that her journey with dentures was just beginning. Although she was glad to have her dentures and felt more comfortable smiling, mobility issues resulted in constant awareness of the something “foreign” in her mouth, and she missed having the bite force to be able to chew and eat comfortably and confidently.
A New Perspective & Greater Confidence
Kristi was introduced to another dentist who helped her discover that implants could give her the sensation of having teeth, with no mobility issues—only her dentist would be able to remove them! Kristi faithfully visited her dentist for several appointments over a few months to have the implants placed and new dentures made, which she now admits changed her life for the better.
Although she was happy with the look and feel of her new implant retained (hybrid) denture, she still felt her smile did not look totally natural. So Kristi continued to research options that would give her the natural smile she dreamed about. This led her to a dentist who presented her with other material options that could create an even more lifelike appearance. The dentist chose Phonares II denture teeth from Ivoclar Vivadent, and worked with the dental laboratory to create a new hybrid denture with the ultimate esthetics and function.
“I’m more confident than ever and proud of my attractive smile,” she admits. “When I started on this journey, I had no idea about how different materials made dentures look natural, or how the quality of the materials and how they’re made affects denture esthetics, cost, and comfort.”
Today, Kristi shares her inspiring story and experiences online on her own website -- www.iweardentures.com -- and YouTube channel to help other people who need dentures. She encourages them to ask questions, share their stories, and learn as much as they can about the options that are available.