Dental implants give woman new smile, new confidence

Andrea Crookston

Dental implants give woman new smile, new confidence

For Andrea Crookston, taking photos used to mean hiding her smile. Fear and anxiety kept Crookston from going to the dentist every six months as recommended. Instead, she’d only go when the pain was too much for her to bear.

“I’d been in pain for a long time, but I was afraid of the dentist,” she said. “The sound of the drill gives me cold chills.”

Unfortunately, this fear led to many of Crookston’s teeth breaking and needing to be extracted. Eventually, Crookston began having difficulty eating certain foods. She decided to make a commitment to her oral health. This meant major treatment, including either dentures or implants.

Getting treatment

Shortly after she began working at UK Good Samaritan Hospital, Crookston made an appointment with Dr. Ted Raybould, chief of Adult Dentistry at UK Dentistry.

Fillings would not correct the breakdown of Crookston’s remaining natural teeth, Raybould said, so he enlisted the help of two of his colleagues at the College of Dentistry, Dr. Steven Tucker and Dr. Wes Coffman.

Tucker and Coffman used digital technology to show what Crookston’s teeth would look like after an implant procedure. Together, the trio of doctors decided an All-on-4/All-on-X procedure would help achieve the appearance that Crookston desired.

An All-on-4/All-on-X uses four to six titanium dental implants to anchor the bridge of teeth to the jaw. This provides a strong foundation for prosthetic teeth. This procedure is a viable option for patients who are at risk for losing so many of their teeth that they will otherwise need dentures.

Not all oral surgeons know how to perform the All-on-4 procedure, but thanks to the education Coffman is providing to his colleagues and to UK College of Dentistry students, more providers in Kentucky will be able to offer it to their patients.

Looking and feeling better

For Crookston, the doctors decided that the All-on-4 procedure was the best option. Unlike more traditional implant procedures, which require months of healing between treatments, the All-on-4 is done in one session and requires a short recovery time. Crookston missed less work and had fewer treatments.

“I look better and feel better,” Crookston said.

A few months after her procedure, Crookston is happy to take photographs.

“I don’t have to cover my teeth when I smile anymore,” she said.

Although some of her anxieties about going to the dentist have not subsided, she will admit one thing: “The doctors knew best, and everything is fine now because I listened.”

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Topics in this Story

    Patient Stories-Dental Health