Everyone has their struggles in life, and this may sound strange to some, but my struggle has always been with my smile. To some people this will sound petty or superficial, but being self-conscious of your smile, having cracked, broken, and missing teeth, causes problems in life that many wouldn’t even consider – lower self-esteem, missed job opportunities, even lost friends.
Dr. Velasco and Uptown Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry changed my life with the All-on-Four procedure. In one day, I was able to smile like I was a kid again – it felt like a miracle. That is why I want to share my story with you – my journey to beautiful teeth.
Watch Mrs. Paxton’s All On Four Story on Great Day Houston.
When I was a child growing up, dental health was not stressed in my family. We went to the dentist when we could, but we didn’t have a lot of money and it just wasn’t a priority. That meant that we were also not eating the greatest food – junk food, fast food. As a result, as an adult, I ended up with some real dental issues. My teeth were
weak, cracked, and chipped or broken. When I did go to the dentist, it was a real nightmare for me. I became afraid to go to the dentist. I had to have a couple of teeth pulled. I had some partials and implants and I even had one dentist tell me to use regular glue to keep a partial from slipping!
I had to be careful about the food I ate, because I was afraid I might break my teeth, or that they might get stuck or come loose. That meant I couldn’t eat any chunky foods, and I couldn’t bite into anything with my front teeth at all. Eating became more of a chore and less of something that I enjoyed.
The worst part of all this, for me, was that I was never able to really smile. Even with my friends and extended family I felt like I always had to cover my mouth whenever I laughed. The most I could ever manage was a closed-mouth grin. I never wanted to be in any pictures because of this, and when I was in a picture, I alm
ost never smiled. I’m sure my friends all knew I was just trying to cover-up my teeth, but it’s such a terrible feeling, never being able to really laugh or smile. Just watching others really laugh and smile, brought me sadness and regret.
Having severely damaged teeth is more than just an inconvenience. It affected my career as well. I was passed over for job opportunities and advancements. Even though I am a friendly and outgoing person, it was hard to interact with coworkers as easily when I couldn’t offer them a genuine smile. My smile impacted me when working with customers as well. It’s hard to provide customer service with a smile when all you can offer is that closed-mouth grin.
I thought for certain, church was the one place where I could relax and be myself, where I would be accepted for who I was, regardless of what my smile looked like. But people care about your smile everywhere you go. I noticed people moving on to talk to others, quickly, whenever I went up to talk to a friend after church. I could see them looking at my teeth as I talked, judging me even though it should be a place of non-judgement. How can I blame them when it’s the only thing that was on my mind as well?
I was thinking about my smile nearly constantly. I knew something had to be done. It was affecting every aspect of my life – my friends, my work, my faith, my self-esteem – and then I met Dr. Velasco.
When I first heard about the All-on-Four procedure, it sounded radical. I mean, new teeth in one day? I couldn’t believe that in one day, all of these problems could disappear. Considering the problems I’ve had with dentists in the past, I was more than a little skeptical – I was afraid. But Dr. Velasco and his staff at Uptown Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry were amazing. They are so caring, they turned around my entire view of dentists. Not only that, they changed my life. Dr. Velasco really is one of the best dentists in all of Texas.
The All-on-Four procedure is much simpler than I thought it would be. I thought it would involve multiple procedures, but all this really does happen in one day. And the name pretty much says it all. Dr. Velasco secures four implants to your jaw and then the prothesis of 12 teeth is applied to the implants. This was done on both my top and bottom jaw. When the procedure was complete, I had a full set of beautiful new teeth and a wonderful and bright new smile.
The best part? Now I can smile! And trust me, I’m smiling all the time now. My self-esteem is through the roof. Having a beautiful smile has changed everything. I’m ready to jump into a picture with any friend now – I’ve even posted a few selfies! My coworkers have definitely noticed the difference, and I think my supervisor has too. I feel more confident to speak up in meetings and offer suggestions. I know my friends at church have noticed, because they’ve told me how beautiful my new
The most important thing to me though, is having newfound confidence. Being able to smile and laugh without having to cover my mouth, looking a friend in the eye and smiling while they tell a funny story, and just knowing that now if someone is staring at my mouth, it’s because I have this brilliant smile and not a mouthful of failing teeth.
The process of acquiring my new smile through the All-on-Four procedure has been invaluable to me. If I hadn’t met Dr. Velasco and his staff at Uptown Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry, I don’t know where I would be today. Now that I have this amazing and brilliant new smile, I can’t imagine ever going back to a life without it.