Vicki’s case study. Vicki’s new smile

Former midwife’s smile reborn

Meeting Vicki Ball is all about the smiles – lots of them. She’s generous with her compliments, can’t wait for her next holiday adventure and has the most infectious of laughs.

Her company is light and she’s gushing with the praise about her new look.

A retired community midwife who was based at the former Wordsley Hospital, the bubbly 60-something-year-old is quick to affirm: “I love my new teeth and they look natural, don’t they?”

Adding: “You can’t tell they’re not my own,” Vicki admits her smile has not always been her favourite attribute.

“I’ve always had trouble with my teeth; even as a young girl they crumbled and my gums used to bleed. Even though I was diligent about looking after them, they still let me down,” she adds.

Two years ago, Vicki finally lost her remaining teeth. “I really don’t know why my teeth were so bad, but I was the youngest of eight children and I understand my mother’s priorities did not include teaching me how to brush my teeth. She had more pressing priorities of how she was going to put food on the table,” Vicki recalls.

A teenager by the time she had her first toothbrush, she is convinced she couldn’t have done more to save her teeth.

Sore Gums

“For the last 18 months, I’ve put up with ill-fitting and badly made dentures. My gums were always sore and the bottom denture was unstable.

“My top teeth I could secure with a fixative, but for the bottom, it was a waste of time – as soon as I had anything to eat the stability was over,” says Vicki.

Her diet became restricted, avoiding beef and crispy fruits like apples.

Frustrated by the appearance and function of her teeth – they seemed to be set too far back, Vicky says – she started researching her options.

“I’d grown tired of living my life around my teeth. I never really stopped going out, but when I did, I was always thinking ahead where I could go to take my teeth out. They were just so uncomfortable.”

A self-confessed lover of travel overseas – “it’s my hobby” – Vicki saw an article in her local newspaper about Steven Burchell Dip CDT RCS(Eng) and his work at the Denture Clinic at North Street, Dudley.

“I’d seen a piece about suction dentures and implant retained dentures and there seemed to be a solution for me,” she says.

After seeing Steven and implant surgeon Dr Owain Rees BDS, DGDP (UK) DIP IMP DENT (UCL), Vicki’s treatment included two implants to stabilise a lower overdenture and the prescribing of high quality traditional upper dentures to help support her facial features.

Worth the wait

“From start to finish it took 14 weeks, but it was worth the wait. When I first saw my teeth in the mirror, I thought they looked just like real teeth and . . . they feel like my own teeth.

“My husband, Terry, couldn’t believe they were so good. Not to have to keep thinking about my teeth when I’m out is such a relief,” she says.

Steven says: “Vicki needed dentures that would offer proper support to her facial features.

“These days the term ‘facelift’ dentures is banded about. The claim is spurious, but with the correct setting of teeth, the effect is to lift the facial structures in the same way natural healthy gums and teeth support tissues and muscles.

I’m very pleased to have been part of giving a new birth to Vicki’s smile.”

Case Study - Vicki after her treatment

Vicki after her treatment at North Street Dental

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