Traveling 1,603 miles to get dental implants. From Gustavus, Alaska to Salt Lake City, Utah.
Gustavus, Alaska… Where is that?
Well, it’s a tiny island off the coast of Juneau.
With a whopping total of 369 residents.. And Butch is one of them.
Chris and KC, some of Nuvia’s finest SML MKRS, decided to meet up with Butch in Alaska and join him on his journey to Utah. As Butch showed Chris and KC his home in Gustavus, they were able to capture the authentic culture that Butch and the residents in Gustavus have been able to create.
Because Gustavus is so isolated, that also means that there isn’t much access to dental care on the island. Butch’s oral health began to deteriorate in his early 40’s, he knew he needed to see a dentist, but never did.
He even told us that as he would eat, it would get to the point where his tooth was bothering him so much, he would take hold of his tooth with his fingers and yank it out himself! Sounds just like Max…ouch!
He explained that he hid his smile and laugh for a very long time because he was worried about what other people might think if they saw his teeth. When you watch the video, you may notice that he tends to hide his teeth while talking.
“I’ve always thought about getting implants. I never wanted to get dentures, I wanted something more permanent.”
After a few missed flights, and some layovers, Butch, Chris and KC safely made the trip all the way to Salt Lake City, Utah to get Butch’s permanent teeth in 24 hours.
In order to know if this long trip was even worth it, we needed to get a 3-D scan of Butch’s mouth. The entire team at Salt Lake welcomed Butch with open arms.
Dr. Heimer, a surgeon at Nuvia Dental Implant Center reviewed Butch’s 3-D scan in great detail to ensure he was a good candidate for dental implants, and he was!
We were all really excited for Butch and couldn’t wait for him to get his smile back.
Butch came to the center early Tuesday morning and was put under general anesthesia during the surgery. Something we get asked all the time is if our patients go to sleep during the surgery. The answer is yes! We have anesthesia providers who are there to monitor your safety and to ensure you are sound asleep the entire time.
Once we cleared all the infection out of Butch’s mouth, we placed 8 dental implants in total that would serve to hold his permanent teeth. The procedure went very smoothly and Chris and KC brought him back to his hotel room to rest.
Butch returned the day following his surgery to get his brand new teeth gently placed in his mouth. You won’t want to miss his reaction in the video below.
After all the miles it took to get to Salt Lake City, he told us it was well worth the trip. He was looking forward to his confidence growing and being able to date again without being afraid to smile.
Butch admitted that he would need to learn how to smile again because he had not smiled in so long..
We are happy to announce that Butch’s confidence has been restored. He is smiling to all of his neighbors in Gustavus and is well on his way to jumping back into dating again!
“No matter where life’s journey takes us, the circumstances or challenges we face, there is always hope. Within each of us lies the strength and ability to make a change and overcome.”
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