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Laugh Out Loud in 2014

January 28, 2014

By Dr. Matt VanderMolen

Advanced Dental Care of Springfield

Here is a story that is educational and motivational.  I sincerely hope it will help you, a friend, or a loved one to laugh out loud in 2014.

Jane liked to bowl and always scored well.  She joined a league, and she was on a winning team.   Her teammates were happy to have such a high scorer on their team.  But they found Jane to be too serious, and even unfriendly, while they played.  She rarely smiled or laughed.  They also found her to be antisocial because she always said “no” to their invitations to go out for a bite to eat after they bowled.  After several rejections to their invitations, her teammates quit asking.

Was Jane really a negative and antisocial person?   Years ago, in another community, Jane was the captain of her bowling team.  She was always smiling and quick to shout out words of encouragement to her teammates – even to the opposing team bowlers!  She usually organized all the parties and celebrations.

So what happened?  Jane lost her teeth to gum disease.  She got dentures that looked like dentures – not how her real teeth used to be.  The lower denture was very loose and hard to manage.  She had to limit herself to eating softer foods.  Jane was embarrassed that she had lost her teeth, and she was embarrassed about her smile.  She also was highly fearful of what embarrassing thing might happen while she ate in front of other people.  She suspected her current bowling teammates thought she wasn’t very pleasant and antisocial.  This hurt her because they were nice people.

Jane’s daughter encouraged her to see the dentist.  She told Jane a lot of things had changed in dentistry in the past twelve years since she had her teeth out.  Jane decided to come into the office and found there had indeed been some changes!  She was greeted with warm and friendly smiles.  She was embarrassed it had been so long since she had been to the dentist, but the dental staff seemed genuinely happy to see her and interested in how they could help her.  She learned how her teeth could be replaced so her smile would look natural again.  She learned that when you lose teeth you also lose bone in your jaw as well. She also learned how the bone loss made the lower part of her face shrink and how that made the corners of her mouth pull down into a frown.

Thankfully, she was offered the latest dental implant technology to bring back her smile.  Her frown lines were gone, and her face looked ten years younger. On top of all these benefits, she found out about dental implants. Dental implants could be placed in her jaws in a way that would allow her dentures to actually snap into place and stay put.  No more worries about loose dentures.  Jane could now eat what she wanted instead of only eating what loose-fitting dentures would allow.

Jane is back to being the happy extrovert she used to be, and everyone on her bowling team is impressed with the transformation.  Jane is laughing out loud and excited to see what 2014 will bring. Go Jane!

As a dentist, I am frustrated by how little the general population knows about what modern dentistry has to offer.  There are far too many “Janes” out there who are needlessly, quietly suffering.  Your smile defines you.  You adapt to your smile.  If your smile is broken, you adapt to it and become broken as a person.  The good news is broken smiles can be fixed.

Dentistry has amazing technologies and treatments to offer, and I want everyone to know most everyone can have a great smile.  Let me repeat that.  Most everyone can have a great smile.

If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, come see what you are missing.  At Advanced Dental Care of Springfield, we would be happy to have our fantastic staff show you our amazing technologies and the awesome results we achieve for our patients.  There has never been a better time to see a dentist.  Call 217-546-3333 or visit us at

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