Read Mark’s Story

I’m Mark. I’m from Collindale, Pennsylvania. I came to By Design to get both upper and lower work done because my teeth were an awful mess. They were mostly broken off. At the point that I came in it was very hard for me to eat most foods. I couldn’t eat things like a sandwich, a steak. Cookies I used to break up into little pieces and to put in my mouth. I left it a long time. I didn’t want to go to the dentist. I saw commercials from various places and I looked into a couple of them. It’s like “Yeah, yeah. Maybe I’ll go get this done eventually.” It got worse and worse that I couldn’t eat what I wanted. People did notice. A couple of people made comments about it. “Are you going to get that work done?” “Don’t you have insurance for dental?” and that kind of thing. I researched a couple of the places that I saw and of all the ones that I looked at and all the ads I saw, By Design seemed to be the best out of them for qualifications and facilities, location, all that kind of thing. The more I thought about it, it’s like “I’m still nervous, but I really should get it done.” Once I did, I didn’t really realize how much I was putting off foods that I liked; I wouldn’t open my lips to smile. I couldn’t say such letters as “F” and “V” because they’d just be like little air puffs through my lips and “F” is kind of a bad sound when you live in Philadelphia.

When I got it all done, it had really changed my whole life and just made me feel like, “Jeez I’m a person again.” I don’t have to look at a menu and go “Yeah, that sounds delicious, but I can’t.” I look back at how much I resisted coming and wonder “Why did I put it off for that long? Why didn’t I come and get this done when it first started to get to be a problem instead of when it got to be a life changer?” It definitely was. It was getting to the point that I could not eat things. I could not smile. I was having trouble talking and immediately after they did the procedures, I said “How long do I have to wait for this?” It was a couple of days. I’m like “What? I can get back to all of this almost immediately?” It really was. A bit of healing, a bit of care. I couldn’t go right back to the heaviest things and I had to learn to re-talk a little because my tongue got used to not having teeth in the way, but it was back to being a normal routine that I didn’t have to think about before I did anything with my mouth. They restored my self-image and respect, which I didn’t think I really cared about until they did because I didn’t know how much I had to put away for not being physically able to do it and how much I did care about how it looked. I always just told myself “I don’t care. Who cares?”, but when I hear people sit there…people would just walk up and go “That really looks good.” I’m like “Thank you.” It’s a nice compliment. Wow, this many people noticed that it was that bad so now they’re noticing that it’s that good. This was nice. Now I want to show them how good my teeth are.

Don’t put it off. The situation only gets worse. I was routinely breaking off teeth eating lunch at work and that just put me in a bad mood and situation and insecurity as it went and I expected the procedures to be spread out over quite a few weeks with the healing that takes several months. They did the procedures all very quickly. The healing was a fraction of what I had imagined. I really felt silly that I had put it off for so long, that it was a lot less involved than I had imagined it to be before I came. It made me think through the time beforehand. Why did I put up with the pain and the embarrassment and everything that went along with losing my teeth for so long when they did the procedures and I don’t have to worry about what happens when I bite into something. I don’t have to worry who’s going to make a funny face when I smile. I don’t even think about they’re there unless I’m actually brushing my teeth. They’re just my teeth now, not my implants. They’re my teeth. It makes me feel very good. I felt I made one of the best decisions I ever did to come in and have the work done.