“I have a hard time with dentists because I'm one of those people who are not affected by local anesthetics,” custom upholsterer Erik Lindstrom said. “They just don't do anything for me.”
Plus, Erik’s teeth were so large even routine dental procedures were challenging. For example, his former dentist could only remove one of his wisdom teeth because the roots were so large.
“It’s like the roots are bigger than the teeth,” Erik said.
Erik was only in his mid-30s when a front tooth that previously had a root canal fractured and had to be removed. Charleston, S.C., AAID credentialed implant dentist Olivia Palmer, D.M.D., FAAID, DABOI/ID, recommended a dental implant.
The technique would preserve Erik’s healthy, natural teeth on either side of the implant unlike a bridge, which required the adjacent teeth to be cut down so the bridge could be attached to those teeth for support and stability. Another alternative, a removable partial denture, could be held in place using metal clasps but it wouldn’t look, feel or function as naturally as a dental implant.
Erik chose the dental implant option and to have his three remaining wisdom teeth removed at the same time. The procedures were all done in Dr. Palmer’s office using intravenous (IV) sedation, often referred to as conscious sedation.
“I thought, 'Let's get it all done at once and never have to worry about it,'” Erik said. During the procedure to remove his wisdom teeth and the fractured root, Dr. Palmer also performed a bone graft to fill in the socket where the large tooth root had been. Artificial bone supplemented Erik’s natural bone and allowed the dental implant to be placed.
Erik wore a removable denture with a temporary front tooth while the artificial bone integrated with his natural bone. Once the bone was healed, the implant was placed and his implant-supported crown was made.
Corn and chewing gum? No problem!
“I love the implant and I can't say enough about how Dr. Palmer worked with me," Erik said.
“With the implant, you floss and everything is normal. It looks just like a natural tooth. Nobody knows that it's not a natural tooth. The gum seats on it perfectly,” he said. “Going to a denture or a bridge I would have always had to worry about stuff sticking in there.”
Another reason Erik said he chose a dental implant over other options was to be able to eat what he wanted. “I wasn’t going to forgo chewing gum, eating apples and corn on the cob,” he said. “I can eat all of that now, no problem.”