How overdentures changed my life: Jim’s Story

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Jim has never looked back since receiving dental implants

It’s understandable that feeling embarrassed about the condition of your mouth and teeth can cause a person to avoid many of the ‘normal’ aspects of life.

It’s difficult to look and feel your best with poor oral health. This can lead to low self-esteem, antisocial behaviour and even depression.

In 2004, Como resident Jim Millichamp was severely physically assaulted and spent 12 months in hospital. Jim underwent multiple facial reconstruction surgeries and lost all his teeth.

“I didn’t like going out,” Jim said.

“I didn’t even like going to work. I didn’t like to smile. I would hide my mouth.”

Over time, Jim lost all his teeth and was having to constantly visit the dentist to put more teeth on to his denture.

“Dentures are awful. They move around, you can’t eat a lot of things. It’s a very soft diet; mashed potato, rice, pasta. It’s not nice, and I did that for about ten years. And then I just went, ‘I can’t take this anymore’,” Jim said.

After a decade living with dentures that he hated, Jim met Dr Michael Zaninovich.

Aria Dental Principal Specialist Prosthodontist Dr Michael Zaninovich said Jim was in need of help and a fresh start.

“Jim had experienced a severe trauma which contributed to the loss of his natural teeth,” Dr Zaninovich said.

“He took those brave steps to improve his life and we are glad to have helped him achieve his goals, and to restore his quality of life. It was a pleasure to be a part of Jim’s recovery journey.”

Dr Zaninovich introduced Jim to overdentures (aka implant-supported dentures) a solution for individuals missing all their upper or lower teeth. A vast improvement on traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures are anchored in place, restoring the ability to bite and chew food and allowing for improved comfort and restored quality of life.

It took some convincing before Jim agreed to the surgery.

“I thought, what if I finally get them and they don’t work, or I don’t like them? What if I spend all this money, and Michael does all this work for me and they’re no better?” Jim said.

“But they’re brilliant. I love them.”

Aria’s dedicated denture expert dentist, Dr Daniel Zhang said with the ongoing development of dental technology and dental implants, Aria Dental is able to give patients many more options when it comes to dentures and overdentures.

“All of our patients receive high quality, custom-designed, natural-looking teeth at an affordable price. If you have a loose denture, it is amazing how much stability dental implants can provide to your denture!” Dr Zhang said.

“I just love being able to eat whatever I want now. I haven’t been able to eat properly for ten years, and now I’m eating nuts, I’m eating fruit – I’m eating all the time,” Jim said.

“When you bite they don’t move. They’re as good as your own.”

“When I walked out of Aria, I felt like ‘that’s it’. My journey is finally finished. I can move on. And the mental impact of being able to do that has changed my whole outlook. I’ve reclaimed my life.”

To read the article on The West Australian, click here >

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