In early autumn 2014, I self-referred to Blackhills Dental Clinic having heard excellent reports on the work of the surgeons. Having lost several teeth over the years, due to periodontal disease, more problems were emerging. A very detailed examination was carried out by Dr Marilou Ciantar who was very frank about the poor state of my dental health. (There has been no stage of my life since I was 5 years of age that I didn't have regular dental inspections and what was considered the appropriate treatment) I felt extremely stressed and worried. A plan was drawn up by Dr Ciantar and Mrs Adela Laverick, a specialist prosthodontist, to treat me, explaining it would take some time to carry out the treatment. They set out options. After discussion with me, a treatment plan was drawn up, and during the past year, the agreed plan has been carried out successfully.
I was considered suitable for dental implant surgery with dire warnings however about the possible consequences, should I fail to carry out the proper aftercare.
After scrupulous oral dental hygiene care on my part, two implants were inserted in my upper jaw in the first surgery, and later, 4 in the lower jaw. A temporary bridge was made for my upper jaw and a denture for the lower. I experienced little pain in either of the operations. The worst part was keeping my mouth open while the surgery was carried out. Post operatively, I was provided with painkillers and antibiotics, but had no post-operative pain or discomfort which required pain relief. I continued to carry out my rigorous regime of oral care using appropriate mouthwash products.
In due course, and monitoring at the clinic, Dr Laverick meticulously measured, took the necessary impressions, matched colour, and sent these to the dental laboratory. Adjustments and fittings ensued, and at last, the work of art porcelain 'teeth' were fitted on to the implants, initially the upper jaw, and later, the lower jaw. I was delighted with the results.
I then received very thorough instruction from Mrs Laverick on cleaning along the gums under the bridges, using dental floss. This was filmed on my mobile phone. I watched the film several times, and although finding the process very time consuming sometimes, I succeeded after around 30 minutes. I became anxious when I failed to carry out the process to insert the floss. The upper jaw flossing was easy.
Dr Laverick suggested I purchase a Waterpik. In conjunction initially, struggling with dental floss, I found the Waterpik flushed out anything lying along the gum line. I used it at least twice a day. As time went on I was failing to manage to pass the floss through.
My appointment in August and thereafter was going abroad on holiday. I decided that until my next appointment, I would clean my teeth using my Braun electric toothbrush with the flossing action head, and Oral B toothpaste followed by the Waterpik, which I used at least twice a day.
On 3 September I returned to the Clinic to have the bridges removed for adjustment. Mrs Laverick was very pleased with the state of the gums. I cannot recommend the Waterpik highly enough. I felt confident that it was doing a thorough cleaning, despite not using floss for that period, but needed the opinion and reassurance of Mrs Laverick.
The stress caused and the time physical flossing took was not realistic in my busy life. Mrs Laverick told me that some patients cannot manage the flossing process, yet it is vital that cleaning along the gum line is carried out. I would certainly make the suggestion that the Waterpik is a viable option. I will however continue to use both floss and the Waterpik.
The clinic has pictures of stages in my treatment, and Mrs Laverick was pleased to take a photograph of the good state of my gums, having for some 3 weeks, not used dental floss, but the Waterpik.
EA, Perth September 2015