2013 was a record year for the All On 4 Clinic in Melbourne, measured not only by the number of patients that we have successfully treated using methods that we pioneered but also by the level of patient satisfaction with our service and results.
In association with All-On-4 Plus® Laboratories we have implemented into our clinical routine CAD-designed milled Zirconia restorations, in both monolithic and Porcelain layered designs, as an affordable upgrade to the standard All-On-4 restoration (see below).
But more than anything else, the year will be remembered for the introduction of Zygomatic Implants to our ‘All-On-4 Plus’ dental implants system. The new ’Zygoma Plus’ is a modified approach that reflects our never-ending quest for improved outcomes, minimising risks and offering contingency, all whilst optimising patients experiences through a streamlined process.
The introduction of Zygoma Plus meant that we were able to offer immediate rehabilitation to more patients, and specifically to those with little or no jawbone.
Of the numerous Zygoma Plus cases we treated, none have left an impact on our team as a 21-year-old boy, who had a condition called Ectodermal Dysplasia. He was born with no teeth (or tooth buds), and as a result, his jawbone didn’t develop at all. He was unable to wear dentures, and instead adapted as best he could as he was growing up. He ate soft foods and chewed them by pressing the food with his tongue against the palate. Functionally he didn’t know any different. He was a survivor. But where his edentulism affected him most was social. It was difficult growing up and he never smiled, …except in his dreams. In his dreams, he said, he always had teeth!
As one of our last cases for 2013, we undertook All-On-4 Plus rehabilitation for that boy involving the new Zygoma Plus surgical approach and inserted his new permanent fixed teeth the very next day. …The rest, as they say, was history.
Emotional as this was for the boy and his single mum, seeing this boy smile, apparently for the first time ever, was the best Christmas gift for our team. A gift that no doubt will motivate us for years to come.
But we have performed many oral rehabilitation with dental implants and witnessed many hundreds of transformations in patients who have lost or were about to lose their teeth, using our ‘All-On-4 Plus’ treatment. There is always an emotional moment. Why was that one case so special?
The answers lies in a philosophic dilemma as to which is more gratifying giving someone back something that they lost, or giving someone something that they never had? Giving a person a smile that they lost is a reunification with their self-esteem, much like reuniting close family. Giving them a smile they never had is more like re-birth. For us, both are equally gratifying, albeit in different ways, its just that its very rare we get to witness ‘re-birth, like we did for this boy.
And so it goes, after another year of long hours at surgery and dedication to its work, our team was able to witness the transformation in one person. A transformation that reminded each and every one of us that we don’t just treat teeth, or improve smiles, but what we can also change lives.