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Overcoming her fear of dentistry

by: Frederic Love

The widespread use of implants from Nobel Biocare in posterior locations is not only based on favorable long-term documentation, but also on the biomechanical benefits they provide and the vast improvement in the quality of life they offer for patients such as Martina Rosenauer.

Martina Rosenauer is in her mid-forties and the mother of four daughters. As a child, she was subjected to a traumatic incident at the dentist’s office. Since then, she has struggled with a profound fear of dentistry.

“When I was young,” she explains, “I had a tooth removed by a dentist who did not bother to tell me, or my mother, what she was doing. One, two, three — and the tooth was gone! I was really in shock.”

Ever since then, she has suffered from severe dental phobia, which has had far-reaching effects on her overall dental health and self-image.

“As a child,” says Martina, “I would hide under the bed when it was my turn to go see the dentist. As a teenager,” she continues, “I couldn’t hide anymore and had to go to the dentist to have my teeth fixed. He did what he could, but I haven’t had anything else done since then—at least not until recently.”

She describes her posterior teeth at that point as broken and in disarray. “The gums were inflamed. And I had nightmares.” In short, it wasn’t possible for her to eat properly. Steak and many other types of foods were out of the question.

“As the situation deteriorated,” she explains, “I ate mashed potatoes and soft vegetables, but no meat, which I had always enjoyed, but could no longer manage to chew.”

Sometimes when she was at the farmers’ markets, she would encounter elderly people who were without teeth, which made her think seriously about her situation and what she should do about it. “I was afraid to end up like them,” she says simply, “so I sought treatment.”

Taking the big step

She made an appointment to meet Professor Werner Zechner whose approach to patients is featured in greater detail on page 4 of this issue of Nobel Biocare News.

“When I first visited Dr. Zechner, I was embarrassed to even open my mouth to reveal the ruins which had once been my teeth, but he was very understanding and explained what needed to be done using visual aids.”

Zechner remembers that initial encounter. “When she first came to me, Mrs. Rosenauer was anxious and under great strain. Some of her posterior teeth were missing, others were damaged beyond repair. I told her she would need posterior implants in all four quadrants and explained immediately that we have methods such as NobelGuide, which simplify the treatment procedure significantly.”

Despite her lingering anxiety, Martina says that “in the end, my desire to once again have teeth in my mouth surpassed my fears.”

The results of her treatment include four well-anchored prostheses, one in each of the four quadrants. She can now bite and chew properly on both sides of her mouth.

“This is really great, nothing gets stuck anymore,” says Martina, “and in every significant way, these new teeth feel like my own teeth.

“My quality of life has improved significantly. I can eat again, laugh again and — not least of all — I feel whole again.”

More to explore:

For some insights on how to involve patients like Martina early on in the treatment process, please see the article Informed Patients make Satisfied Patients.

To learn more about the NobelGuide treatment concept, please click here.

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