Graced with a new set of teeth, India Coleman can smile wide and with pride these days.
And do some long-awaited “girlie” things.
Like lipstick shopping with mom.
“I feel like this is my first chance at this. I was born this way,” said the 31-year-old Kent housewife, flashing her newly-installed teeth during a followup appointment at the Pacific Medical Center in Renton last Friday. “My teeth caused me to have infections every month, and they wore me down so badly that I couldn’t function.”
Coleman suffered from the throes of Orthogenesis Dental Imperfecta, a brittle bone disease that’s complicated, variable, genetic and rare.
Needing help, surgery was the answer.
“It was my only chance to get this done,” she said.
Friends and family urged her to apply for a Second Chance, an inaugural community outreach program offered by Pacific Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons (PNWOMS). The group created the program to provide a deserving member of the community with a full-arch restoration and dental implant procedure to restore broken or missing teeth.
Coleman was one of only two candidates chosen for the free surgery from a pool of more than 400 applicants from the area.
“Hearing her story tugged at the heartstrings,” said Dr. Ben Johnson, who performed the surgery, a seven-hour team-coordinated operation on Aug. 12.
In Coleman’s case, it was extreme. Her teeth were broken, worn down and weak. She needed infection-fighting antibiotics each month. She managed the condition with frequent daily doses of ibuprofen “just to be able to eat anything and not be in pain.”
The effort required CT scans, fittings and other pre-op procedures over the course of several weeks before the actual implant placement.
The oral surgical team removed all 24 of Coleman’s teeth, and she was carefully fitted and cast with a new set of permanent dental implants – room for 30 strong teeth in all.
Surgeons partnered with a local restoring dentist, Dr. Cal Broadbent, to perform the full-arch restoration procedure on Coleman. The cutting-edge treatment has allowed her to experience the look, feel and strength of natural teeth with the security of a permanent and lasting solution.
Coleman said she feels like a new person, happy and more confident.
“I feel really good, healthier,” said Coleman, glancing at her husband, Nigel Banister. “I’m not going to be sick all the time. I feel like I can do anything.”
Johnson and the surgical group plan to continue the program. Other PNWOMS community programs are in the works.
“It’s our way to give something back to the community,” he said. “It’s our way to help change a person’s life.”