John’s case study. They said they’d restore my smile, but they gave me back my life

John is now enjoying a fresh outlook on daily life

With a memorable manly handshake, John Clews exudes quiet, deep-seated confidence.

Articulate, transparent and at times philosophical, he’s sharply focussed on why he’s agreed to do this interview: “I want to give people like me hope,” he declares.

The die-sinker knows a thing or two about clever engineering. He’s been helping to construct specialised aircraft parts for more than 46 years – but with multiple failing teeth, instinctively knew that he too required the kind of skill that sets him apart as an experienced factory problem-solver.

Crippling fear of the dentist

For years, gum disease had insidiously invaded his mouth until toothache had become part of his daily routine. Intellectually, he knew he needed a dentist – and a good one – but gripped by a crippling fear he’d “pop the paracetamol” rather than face his demons.
“Fear is a terrible thing . . . I remember sitting in a dentist’s chair and gripping the armrests so hard I pulled one of them off,” John says.

“I came here and they promised to restore my smile, but they gave me back my life. It’s true,” he adds.

Practice principal Steven Burchell Dip CDT RCS Eng GDC 108353 explains: “Periodontal disease is the biggest single cause of tooth loss in the UK and John’s case is not unusual.

“There is plenty of study that examines the psychological impact of troublesome teeth on our lives. But like the insidious nature of gum disease, it can happen slowly as we make small changes to accommodate oral decline. Eventually, however, as things become more acute we are less able to adapt.”

Matters came to head three years ago when John’s family booked a weekend break at the Brecon Beacons to do a waterfalls walk.

Adds John: “We take so many things for granted. We’d been walking a good few hours and we were all ready for something to eat.

“We came across a cafe serving bacon sandwiches. But they hadn’t got any normal bread and the bacon was served with baguettes.

There was no way my teeth could have coped with the crusty bread so I ended up with a piece of cheesecake. I just so wanted a bacon sarnie, but my teeth had restricted my choice.

“That was it. At that point, I decided to sort out my teeth.

“Too many times I’d go to a restaurant and look at 20 things on the menu and was only able to manage four of the choices. I’d really want steak, but I couldn’t chew it; sometimes I just wouldn’t go and eat out and I was always on my guard about smiling.

“And the toothache, the impact on daily living . . . it just drags you down and confidence wanes,” he says.

A life without teeth worries

After having six implants in his upper jaw to support a complete arch of teeth and undergoing other remedial work, John is now able to live his life without teeth worries.

“The implant teeth are great and I can eat what I want, go out for a meal when I want and more than this . . . I’ve got my life back,” says the keen carp fisherman.

Explaining he could have changed his car, John adds such an investment would be lost very quickly. “This [the implants] has been a lifestyle investment for me and the difference it’s made to my life is remarkable. It’s a new kind of freedom,” he says.

And his dental phobia? “All the staff were fantastic, I felt so much at ease.”

The surgery was carried out by North Street Dental’s implant dentist Owain Rees BDS DGDP (UK) Dip Imp Dent (UCL) GDC 61576. Owain was in the vanguard of UK implant dentistry, placing his first in the late ’80s.

Case Study - John after his treatment

John after his treatment at North Street Dental

John updates us on his new teeth during his two year check up

Case Study - John quote