Customized Solutions

Consultation, careful planning result in beaming new smile.

Meredith Holroyd and her best friend from high school annually go on a weeklong getaway to Murrells Inlet, just south of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. It has become such a staple in their lives that they even made the trek last year as the COVID-19 pandemic raged.

Meredith Holroyd

The trip is on again this year, but Meredith plans to extend her stay and spend a couple of weeks seeing other parts of the Atlantic Coast with her husband. She has time to do that now that she’s retired.

“I just retired in February,” Meredith, 64, says enthusiastically. “I spent the last 10 years working as a customer service rep for HSN but was let go last June. When I didn’t find anything that really interested me, my husband and I talked and decided I should just retire.

“I’m really excited about retirement. I’m not counting out getting a part-time job at some point just to stay busy, but for now I’ve got that trip planned with my friend. Then my husband and I are going to take some time for ourselves, so we’ll just see where it goes.”

Prior to HSN, Meredith worked in sales and real estate after spending time as a dental assistant. The latter was a job borne largely out of her experience with a disease called opalescent dentin, which leaves teeth discolored and weak.

“It’s a hereditary disease, and because of that I had my first abscess when I was just 2 years old,” Meredith reveals. “Then, when I was 17, my teeth just started abscessing one after another, and I eventually had all my teeth crowned.

“The dentist who did the crowns was just awesome. I became a dental technician because of him, and those crowns lasted a long time. I took really good care of them. As I got older, though, the crowns got older and some of them just started snapping off.”

Because of their decaying nature, at least four of the teeth beneath those failing crowns had to be pulled. To replace those teeth, Meredith was fit about 15 years ago with four dental implants, two on her top arch and two on the bottom.

The Implant Advantage

Dental implants are screw-like posts made of a titanium alloy that are placed in the jaw, where they fuse with the bone. Once the fusion process is complete, the implant supports an abutment upon which a crown is placed to complete the replacement tooth.

Unlike real teeth, implants don’t decay, so they can last a lifetime in some patients. That proved advantageous for Meredith, whose remaining teeth continued to decay to a point where she was recently left with no choice but to find a fix for the problem.

“I had already lost some of my back teeth, which made it hard to chew properly,” Meredith explains. “Then the crowns on a couple of teeth in the front snapped off. It was an awful situation, really emotional because I was embarrassed to smile.

“I wasn’t ready financially or emotionally to tackle this problem when it first came about. Then finally, about a year ago, I decided I was ready to get this taken care of and made an appointment to see someone about it.”

The dentist Meredith visited is David Sherberg, DMD, FAGD, of Bayway Dental in St. Petersburg. As he does with all patients, Dr. Sherberg began his care for Meredith by conducting a thorough oral examination.

“She had already lost some teeth and had cavities in most of the remaining ones,” Dr. Sherberg reports. “She also had some cosmetic issues. Her upper front teeth, for example, were too flared out. The good news was that her existing four implants were working. That’s a good sign, because she was interested in an implant option. She didn’t want a traditional denture, but cost was a concern, so I had to get creative.”

Dr. Sherberg used three of the existing implants as the foundation for a complete restoration. He removed the failing teeth and replaced them with dentures secured by the existing implants and six new implants.

Dr. Sherberg spent significant time consulting with Meredith before developing a personalized solution for her. His goal is to get to know each “patient as a person.”

“I need to take everything about that person into account, including their goals and their financial situation,” he states. “That’s how you come to the best possible conclusion. We have more of a boutique service that’s customized to each individual. It’s not a matter of everybody gets this product or that product. We figure out what’s best for each person.”

Safe and Sound

Meredith’s treatment began in January 2020, just before the COVID-19 outbreak, with the extraction of all her failing teeth. Though some of the work was done while the pandemic was raging, she says she always felt safe in Dr. Sherberg’s office.

“It was a year long process, so I visited Dr. Sherberg on a number of occasions during COVID-19 and I always felt very safe there,” Meredith confirms. “He did a great job of following all the guidelines and protocols.”

While Meredith healed from the extractions, she wore a traditional denture. After her gums healed, she was fit with the new implants, four on the top arch and two on the bottom.

Implants need about four to six months to fuse with the jaw bone, so during that period, Meredith continued to wear a traditional denture. Due in part to COVID-related delays she finally received her permanent fixed denture in November 2020.

“We have an Immediate Teeth option, where we fit the patient with implants and a temporary fixed denture right away,” Dr. Sherberg informs. “But that option wasn’t in Meredith’s budget so we went a different route with her. Yes, it took a little longer, but the result was the same. She now has a functionally sound, aesthetically pleasing smile, and it’s because we worked together within her budget to create the best possible solution.”

Meredith says the result was worth the wait. For the first time in years, she’s getting the proper function she’d long been missing from her teeth, and she’s confident about her smile again. It’s why she raves about Dr. Sherberg and his work.

“Dr. Sherberg is just amazing,” Meredith exudes. “He’s so smart, so focused and so positive. I visited three other dentists before I chose him, and I did so because I trust him and because I feel safe with him. He’s exceptional.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. Before and after images courtesy of Bayway Dental. js

 

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    • Bayway Dental

      Dr. David Sherberg and his team are committed to providing exceptional dentistry in a relaxing environment in southern St. Petersburg. In addition to providing exceptional dental work, all patients are given plenty of time with Dr. Sherberg to ... Read More

    • David Sherberg, DMD, FAGD

      David Sherberg, DMD, FAGD, is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine who furthered his education through the postdoctoral Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency program at Virginia Commonwealt... Read More