Kathleen Mattson suffers from the early-onset of Parkinson’s disease, which over time, and in combination with her medication, had caused her natural teeth to deteriorate significantly. Anxious to find a solution Kathleen decided to try dental implants. Here, she tells her story.
Parkinson’s disease, and side effects of the medication that I was taking for it, gave me a really dry mouth. There didn’t seem to be anything that could provide enough moisture for me to feel good, nor even to help me escape the damage that the unrelenting dryness was doing to my teeth.
Because I just didn’t know where to turn, I allowed these difficulties to continue for about five years. Then I found Anacapa Art Dental online, and I made an appointment.
Going in, the prospect of a surgical procedure terrified me. I thought there would be no way I could go under a general anesthesia. And I worried it was simply not going to work—that with my Parkinson’s the procedure would just be too much.
But then I met Dr. Jivraj and his office manager, Josee, who took my qualms seriously, and were very kind to me as they addressed my misgivings. After this visit, I felt reassured.
Josee told me, “Anything is possible!” with such conviction that these three words encouraged me throughout the process ahead.
From words to action
The full-mouth restoration went really well for me, and I healed quickly. I am very happy with my new teeth.
For 30 years, I was a physical therapy assistant, so I know the medical field and can attest that the standard of care I received was excellent. Everything went very quickly for me, with no complications.
Following the surgery, I took some stronger pain pills for the first few days, and then it was just ibuprofen. Within a week I didn’t need any pain medication at all. I did have to have a soft diet for a short time, but that really wasn’t so bad. In short, any fears that I may have had before the treatment were totally unfounded in my experience.
Like my own teeth
As the swelling subsided, I realized how comfortable I was with the prosthetics—and am still—because they work so well. They actually feel quite like my own teeth.
Now, my teeth have matching surfaces that help me to chew better. I’m also feeling confident about the future, since the implants should help to forestall bone resorption—so my face shape shouldn’t change as it might have had I chosen dentures.
I don’t believe I could wear dentures in any case because my mouth likely wouldn’t hold them—the plates would slide. Dr. Jivraj and Dr. Zarrinkelk, who worked on my case together, found an extraordinary solution that works very well for me. I have a lot to thank them for.
So what is ahead for me now? Before I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, acting and directing was a passion of mine. Now, with the restored confidence my new teeth have given me, I’m considering doing some voice-over work, getting back to stage plays, and directing. Today I not only hope, but feel confident, that the treatment is going to have a positive impact on every aspect of my life.