Ben presented to ArtLab Dentistry having several problems with his teeth, including dry mouth, missing teeth, a collapsed bite, and root decay. Root decay is one of those conditions that can spread very aggressively and is very difficult to control properly. Even if it has been cleaned and treated, it has a high chance of returning. Because of this problem, a more permanent solution is often recommended. In Ben’s case, it was necessary.
Ben is an actor, with a fantastic smile, charisma, and personality that needs to be out there interacting with the public and performing his job in front of the camera. He has been in various movies over the years (Jaws, for one). He wanted to get back to doing what he loves most, being an actor, but felt limited by the look of his teeth. He is a youthful man with a lot of energy, but the condition of his mouth was keeping him from enjoying his life and work.
We were able to transition Ben’s failing, collapsed and decaying dentition. We placed implants with attached provisional teeth, which made an immediate impact. The implants were allowed to heal and integrate into Ben’s jawbone and become part of his body.
After healing was complete we placed Ben’s final monolithic zirconia restorations. These restorations are made from a material that is just stained, not layered with a lot of ceramic. It is very strong, very attractive, and with new techniques we can get some beautiful natural-looking translucency. This material also is less likely to have chipping, which used to be a problem with traditional ceramic restorations.
Ben’s treatment was completed in about 6-8 months. His life has been transformed and he is improving the quality of his work and his life. We are happy to have Ben as part of the ArtLab Dentistry family. It is always a pleasure to see Ben when he visits the office.
“By the time my father was 50 he didn’t have a tooth in his head. Failing in my duty as a good son to outdo him, it wasn’t until I was 60 that I managed to equal such a feat.
During WWI, more focused on saving the world than my father’s smile, the US military on a mission of mercy evacuated his teeth from his mouth in one fell swoop. I myself had the pleasure of spending years upon years, thousands upon thousands of dollars on dentist after dentist. Each was more bent than the other on saving my teeth by way of multiple root canals, bone grafts, scalings, root planing, gum surgery, deep cleanings, crowns, caps, veneers, and on and on and all, as I had suspected might be the case, to no avail.
So when gifted with the, oh so joyous, task of looking for, finding, meeting, interviewing, and vetting a bunch of complete strangers to decide which one to entrust with the demolition and reconstruction of the number one aspect of myself called upon every day of my life to best represent who I am as a human being, not to mention with saving, maintaining, and/or recreating any remaining ability I may have had to bite, chew, eat, speak, get a job, date, kiss, be intimate, basically everything and anything having any bearing on my physical, emotional, and psychological well-being responsible for any semblance of self-worth I cared to hold on to, I gathered all of my well-earned fears, concerns, and anxieties, threw them in a kitchen drawer, and set out on what I was certain would be a physical, mental, and emotional marathon to find a doctor whose work would speak louder than their well paid for, highly tested, and committee agreed upon sales pitch.
I’ve been through enough dental work in my life to learn that, while some discomfort is inevitable, there is rarely if ever any real pain. That aspect of my impending journey held little concern. What did concern me, however, was my realization that pure perfection was no longer the only thing driving my ultimate decision.
It seemed the older I’d gotten the less willing I’d become to accept the varying degrees of unpleasantness generally accepted as inevitable on the way to the type of perfection I was in search of. It wasn’t that I was all of a sudden willing to settle for less than pure perfection. I wasn’t. It was just that what I was willing to go through to achieve that pure perfection had become more important to me. While experience had taught me that I could get through pretty much anything on my own, I simply no longer wanted to.
I’ve met brilliant doctors incapable of looking me in the eye for fear they might grow to care about their patient. I’ve met doctors I would’ve been happy to have as my therapist but would have had to see my therapist had I let them treat me. And I’ve met Doctors I could’ve been friends with but as my friend would have never let me be treated by them.
So when Dr. Reshad appeared from around a corner as I stood checking in for my consultation, I was somewhat taken aback. Most people will generally work up a smile the first time they meet you, especially if you may be about to give them money. But the smile emanating from Dr. Reshad’s face caught me completely off guard. For the first time in my life I had walked into a dentist’s office and within literal seconds been overcome by a wave of relaxation. Peace. It wasn’t so much his smile, but rather the extent to which he was engaged in his smile. One hundred percent of his energy was laser-focused on and in my eyes. This wasn’t simply a man offering his services as a doctor, this was a man who happened to be a doctor offering himself as a human being.
What struck me the most, and the thing that will stick with me for the rest of my life was that within the first 60 seconds of my consultation not only did I know that Dr. Reshad was going to be my doctor, I knew he was going to be my partner throughout this journey as well. I would not be going through this transformation alone.
Have you ever had someone other than your usual person cut your hair? Put makeup on your face or run a tape measure up and down the length of your inseam? Do you remember how your body felt as it anticipated the very instant of unfamiliar physical contact? The instant in which this brand new person’s physical energy would come head to head with your own? The instant in which your animal instincts would not only let you know whether or not this was someone you wanted to have touching you, but whether or not you were going to be walking out the door within the next 5 minutes.
Dr. Reshad loves what he does. Each and every step of the process is important to him, and something he is invested in. Not simply because he is a caring and giving man but because he considers everything he does, every part of the process, it’s own individual work of art. It matters to him. Not only does he take pride in what he does, but he also derives tremendous pleasure from it as well. All of which becomes exponentially more apparent every time you find yourself sitting in his chair. And it is palpable. You don’t leave his office thinking about these things. You leave it knowing these things.
He doesn’t take the journey with you because he thinks he should or because he wants to be seen as a good guy (which he is), he takes the journey with you because he can’t help himself. He is personally invested in “the work”. It is the way he identifies himself. It is the way he defines himself as a man.
His personal anticipation of the results of his work and his hope of perfection of each step of the process is second only to the patient’s own anticipation. And at times I think even more so than the patient’s.
A patient takes the one experience with them when they’re done. A wonderful experience. Dr. Reshad takes every experience with him, no matter where he is or what he’s doing, and hopes the patient’s experience continues to be wonderful.
They say: “It isn’t about success. It’s about the journey.”
O.K. If they say so. However, my experience with Dr. Mamaly Reshad was and continues to be, about the overwhelming and incontrovertible success of the journey.”