Case Information (in patient’s own words)
“I was born with a few conditions having to do with my jaw and teeth. One was that there was no enamel on my teeth when I was born. This is called Amelogenesis Imperfecta, which made my teeth yellow from the start. Another condition was that my baby teeth did not come out by themselves and my adult teeth did not grow in naturally either. Because of this, I grew up as a kid who was never smiling or talking. When I did have to talk, I would cover my mouth. I realized from a very young age that I had abnormal looking teeth. School kids were mean and insensitive to my condition; everything that was said to me still effects me when I think about it to this day. I went through all of elementary school being bullied. Kids would come up to me and ask me to say certain words that would make me show all of my teeth and other incidents such as that.
To start aligning my teeth and get them to look somewhat normal, I was put in braces when I got into middle school. I had the braces until about two years ago (10 years total). During middle school, I also had my first surgery to remove the rest of my baby teeth that hadn’t come out on their own. During this surgery, the surgeon also put little link chains onto my adult teeth that were still really far up in my gum tissue and the chain went all the way down to hook on to my braces wire. This was meant to help my adult teeth come in. This was all done when I lived in California. Overall, I had went through a lot by the time I moved to Idaho in 2011 and was referred to Dr. Gurney a year or two after I had moved here.
When I first met Dr. Gurney, he was very understanding and clearly had a lot of experience with conditions like mine. He gave me a few options, one being that he could make me dentures that I would keep forever. Another option was that I could get implants. I decided to go with the second option which would last longer overall. I had to wait for about two years for one of my front teeth to come down into position before we could start the surgeries and the rest of the process. I had my first surgery with Dr. Nelson and Dr. Gurney in 2016. The Doctors removed all of my adult teeth and did socket preservation for my implants that were going to be put in during the next surgery. After the first surgery, while my gums were healing, I had dentures to wear and I was a little worried about having them just because of what I was told about dentures in general, but I was very comfortable with them. They looked completely perfect and they fit amazing. While I had them in, I learned how to talk with them and went to work. I could finally go out and not be worried about what people were thinking when I opened my mouth. I got so many compliments from everyone and it made me feel a lot better already even though the whole process wasn’t finished yet.
In 2017, I had my last surgery. This was probably the hardest surgery because it was overall hard on my mouth and took a while to recover. I got thirteen titanium implants placed throughout my mouth. During this surgery, Dr. Gurney fitted me with a set of teeth that were “permanent” in my mouth. In other words, not like dentures that I had to take out all the time. They were kind of like a bridge that screwed into each of my implants. They felt very sturdy and it was an awesome feeling being able to bite down on things with more strength than I had with any of my other teeth. This model was also acrylic, which was a lighter model, making it easy on my healing implants. Dr. Gurney and I had also made this model specifically with what we both thought would look the best. This model made it possible so I could see the dentures and decide which ones I liked better, allowing us to start designing the final models that I would eventually have. There were numerous appointments during this stage to measure and fit different prototypes to get a perfect fit for the final model.
In 2018, I got my final teeth. They are made out of zirconia with a porcelain coating on the top to protect the color. They look absolutely perfect and I love everything about them, especially the color. There is nothing I would do differently about the treatment process. Dr. Gurney made sure I got everything I needed for the best possible results. I can talk normally and I smile all the time. I still continuously get compliments, which makes me feel that much more awesome about everything I’ve been through. Dr. Gurney and his team are the kindest people and always make me feel welcome whenever I’m at the office. They put so much work into making sure that I have a perfect smile that will last. I feel like a completely different person with my new teeth. Everything that Dr. Gurney has done for me has absolutely changed the quality of my life everyday and I can’t imagine having a better treatment process with anyone else.”