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Dental Tribune U.S. Edition

The patient Michael Boyd, a 55-year-old male, lived a life of many challenges. By age 52, Michael had a diabet- ic medical emergency and upon recovery was relieved of his job. At that point his diabetes had already caused him to lose one foot and a portion of his other foot. Getting around was a challenge, but it didn’t stop him from helping others. While assisting an elderly woman in getting her social secu- rity check cashed during an ice storm, Michael fell and injured his leg, further complicating his health. Additionally, Michael struggles with high blood pres- sure, lupus erythematosus, failin- ghip replacements, arthritic knees and a variety of other medical challenges. In spite of his own disabilities, Michael makes a point of visiting patients at the Veterans Affairs Hospital, almost daily. Although not a veteran, he wants to show his appreciation to our soldiers, and word has it that he never fails to succeed in bringing them comfort and laughter each time he visits. He knows that many of them have no other visitors except him, a thought he can’t bear. Michael also extends a daily helping hand to his elderly and/or disabled neighbors by cooking for them or taking them on errands to fill their prescriptions, purchase groceries or go to the bank. Some- times he just spends quality time visiting with them. Every day, a visit to his mom is first on his list. His disease Although always interested in bringing a smile to others, Michael remained self-conscious about his own smile. He was frequently in pain, and relied on over-the-coun- ter medications for his severely decayed teeth and aggressive peri- odontal disease. His oral disease was most certainly complicating his systemic disease, especially as it related to his diabetes, joint issues and propensity to heart attack or stroke. Sadly, none of his physicians had established a concern over the severity of his dental disease. It was his sister who encouraged him to come see us. She had learned of the life- enhancing care we provide by reading stories about how we had helped others with similar health complications. Life-changing surgery boosts selfless patient’s quality of life The diagnosis of severe, gen- eralized periodontal disease with spontaneous purulence and bleed- ing combined with severely cari- ons and abscessed teeth, left us no option but to remove all of Michael’s teeth in short order. He accepted treatment and we sched- uled him within days for his full- mouth surgery. The treatment We performed the surgery, uneventfully, with only local anes- thesia. Michael remained relaxed, comfortable and enjoyably conver- sational during the entire experi- ence. All teeth, including root tips, were removed, sockets thoroughly By Lisa Marie Samaha, DDS debrided and granulation tissue excised. Biopsies, laser ablation, bone grafting and guided tissue regeneration were performed. We placed Michael on antibiotics and a targeted, periodontal nutritional regimen immediately. Postoperative Throughout his healing period, Michael was comfortable and healed uneventfully, needing only one 800-mg dose of Motrin for pain on the day of treatment. When Michael returned for suture removal one week later, we saw a much healthier man in every way. In spite of his diabetic history, he healed remarkably well. Fig. 2 Fig. 3Fig. 1 Fig. 6 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 We delivered his complete maxillary and mandibular den- tures and he received them with tears in his eyes — and a big, bright smile on his face. He said they felt just like he had had them all his life. Remarkably, the first words out of his mouth were spoken as though they had been his all along! Michael looked and felt exceptionally well. Summary This life-saving makeover pro- vided Michael with a healthier and happier life with fewer com- plications from his diabetes and other systemic health challenges. Not surprisingly, his mom was the first one he wanted to share his new smile with the day he received his dentures. As soon as that visit was over, Michael returned to spend time and spread some cheer with the sol- diers at the VA and then, escort his neighbors on their errands. His new smile was met with disbelief by all! DT Figs. 1–4: Patient Michael Boyd on the day of the surgery. Fig 5: All teeth, including root tips, were removed, sockets thoroughly debrided and granulation tissue excised. Biopsies, laser ablation, bone grafting and guided tissue regeneration were performed. Fig. 6: One week later the patient received complete maxillary and mandibular dentures. (Photos/Provided by Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha) DENTAL TRIBUNE | December 2011 Clinical 7A Life-saving treatment includes complete maxillary and mandibular dentures About the author Lisa Marie Samaha, DDS, FAGD, graduated from the Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry, Virginia Commonwealth University, and has been in the private practice of general dentistry in Newport News since 1982. Samaha is the founder and director of the Perio Arts Institute, which is nationally recognized for teaching and research. The institute’s mission is sharing diagnostic and treatment protocols for the betterment of oral/systemic health. She can be reached at