Last weekend I had a very unique patient in the chair.
He was a typical patient for our practices – a older gentleman, who had his remaining teeth removed and replaced with immediate dentures. In a few months we’ll place maxillary and mandibular Implants.
My patient was a retired farmer by trade. Born and raised four hours away in southern Illinois, where according to him, they have better soil quality than my hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. His soil rich hometown – Newton – has a population of 3000 if you include the cattle – it is the county seat of Jasper County, Illinois. Newton is a place where they grow corn and soy beans and play basketball on Friday nights.
My patient is now retired and has spent many long, arduous hours farming, in order to raise four daughters and a son, all who went on to became wonderful, caring people.
Unknowingly, my patient chose our premium dentures, the strongest and most natural looking teeth as well as our strongest and best fitting acrylic. The delivery and surgery were both seamless.
With five kids there are usually many grandchildren, and then years later, a great deal of great grandchildren – so many in fact, that remembering their names can become difficult and frustrating.
In a genius move, my patient began referring to some of his grandchildren and great grandchildren as simply, ‘dude’ – as in ‘oh hey Dude how are you?’ … Naturally, with his familial penchant for humor, he gained and embraced the nickname ‘Grandpa Dude’ …
Unfortunately a few years ago Grandpa Dude suffered a stroke, and as it typically goes, his oral health began to decline. It happens, a lot. I see it every day. It is all that we do and there are many Grandpa Dudes.
My patient, Grandpa Dude, is my grandfather.
On Saturday morning, with the help of my college roommate Dr. Will Schaefer, who operates a private practice in Robinson, Illinois, I was able to give Grandpa Dude his smile back. It was a wonderful experience and something that I will cherish forever, it was more than just dentures to me.
Being able to use my gifts alongside the help of our amazing laboratory technicians Ellen and Teresa, and my ‘right hand man’ office manager Kelli – to help my grandfather meant the world to me. It was a blessing and all 3 generations of the Keller family cried tears of joy afterwards. It was amazing and special.
For my dental friends reading the blog, surgically speaking, it was a very easy case and only took five minutes of chair time – but with great dentures, I was able to change Grandpa Dudes life in a positive and meaningful way. We made a huge impact on his appearance and at the same time, improved his ability to eat, speak and occasionally take a sip of whiskey and reluctantly curse again.
Most importantly – we improved his overall health.
This was a truly memorable case for me and I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to help Grandpa Dude with more than just dentures.
Yours in better dentures,